Monday, August 28, 2006

I miss Tawny Little

This is a re-post from nine months ago when the number of readers I had was sixteen on a good day. My guess is no one saw it. And since award show talk is still in the air I thought it was the perfect time to trot it out again. And for any new readers, it'll give you an idea of the kind of highbrow crap you're likely to find on this blog.


For the past seven years I have reviewed the Oscars for my friends. Included is always a paragraph or two on the pre game, usually focused on local channel 5, KTLA. Here are some highlights:


I miss Tawny Little. God help me, I do. (Tawny was the number one news anchor at local station KABC ). No one was as stupid hosting the pre Oscar show as Tawny (this hard hitting journalist and former Miss America), although Sam Rubin and his co-host, Mindy Burbano came pretty damn close. These were my favorites: Mindy (to Michael Caine): "Hey, your accent is back!" Sam: "There's the back of Tom Cruise's head!" Mindy to Samuel L. Jackson's wife after noticing that Samuel was wearing a purple tux: "Yes, purple is back, but do you really think it's ever gone away?" And finally, Mindy to 80 year old best actor nominee, Robert Fansworth: "Very nice cane!"


Best part of the show is before the show -- the red carpet celebrity arrivals. Once again Channel 5 featured Hollywood footstool jester Sam Rubin and dim bulb sidekick Mindy Burbano. Sam to composer Hans Zimmer: "You've been nominated LITERALLY 4,000 times." Mindy to Anthony Hopkins (nominated for SILENCE OF THE LAMBS): "Gee, you're not chilling in person."

Mindy to Lena Olin: "Did you have to eat a lot of chocolate while making CHOCOLAT?" Lena: "Yes." Mindy: "So are you tired of chocolate now?" Lena: "Yes." Mindy: "That's sooo sad."

Sam said there were more stars there than are in the heavens (never heard THAT one before) and proved it by interviewing Coco Lee, Nancy O'Dell, and Mary Hart.

Hard to believe every star didn't stop by. After all, they were giving away Altoid tins. Class-eeee.

The ABC pre-show wasn't much better. Host Julie Moran (not exactly Edward R. Murrow in a wig) asked Chow Yung Fat: "How hard was it to learn to fly?"

I don't bother to watch even a second of Joan Rivers and her equally obnoxious and otherwise unemployable daughter, Melissa. I venture to say they reinforce more anti-semitism than the Chabad Telethon.


Always a highlight for me is the pre-Oscar show with Channel 5's dashboard bobblehead, Sam Rubin and new co-host this year, somebody named Emily Frances. Picture any Hooters waitress in a gown. But she fit right in asking questions stupid enough to rival Sam's. Emily to Phil Collins: "Was winning an Oscar an out-of-body experience?" followed by "When you present an award are you allowed to have a favorite?"

Sam made a searing observation: "Maybe the calmer people arrive earlier." You're the George Will of Puff, Sam.

His "ditz de jour" Emily kept hitting the celebrities in the nose with her microphone. I guess they don't teach that in beautician's school.

Sam had some incisive celebrity questions himself. To performer Alison Kraus: "Did you rehearse your song?" To Owen Wilson: "Next year is STARSKY & HUTCH going to win a lot of awards?"

In order to lure the celebs to Hooter and Tooter KTLA was again offering packets of M&M's. Sam Rubin's big question to Robin Williams: "Do you like the plain, peanut, or mints better?" Sam majored in journalism at Crossroads.

Channel 5 did not employ a 5 second delay as was evident when Robin Williams said "shit" on the air. In truth, it was the only moment of the show that wasn't shit.

Sam to Will Ferrell's wife: "Do you think Marcia Gaye Hardin is stealing your thunder because she's also pregnant?"

Marcia Gaye Hardin is eight months along with twins and looks huge. So why wear a bright blue dayglow dress? She looked like the Pacific Design Center.

Staying on the "baby" theme, Sam wondered what Holly Hunter would do if she won her second Oscar. "I'll put them together in a dark room and see what happens" to which the lightening quick Sam responded: "Maybe you'll have a Golden Globe".


Sam Rubin, 'Entertainment Groveling Jester to the Stars' for Channel 5, again co-hosted the Oscar arrival show. He said it was "particularly emotional going back to Hollywood." Oh yes, to now be only a block away from the Fredericks of Hollywood "Museum of Bras" and Popeye's chicken restores the event to the luster and dignity it deserves. Sam's co-host this year was Lynda Lopez, who we were told is Jennifer's sister. I guess following in the Joan & Melissa Rivers tradition, you need an untalented family member to co-host one of these shindigs. Bring back Mindy Burbano. At least she asked stupid questions. Ly-lo just stood with her back to the camera blocking every celebrity Sam fawned all over.

Okay, that's not fair. She did ask some stupid questions. To Robert Altman: "Does it get less exciting to go to the Academy Awards?" Or to Hugh Jackman: "Are we over run by Australians tonight?" To Will Smith she made the observation: "You're a little bit smaller than when I saw you last."

But for sheer idiocy it's hard to beat Sam. "And that's the exciting thing about today," Sam gushed, "Some people have been here before and some have never been here before." I wondered why today was exciting. To Sting he asked: "What's distinctive about singing to a BILLION people?" Helen Mirran was queried this by slathering Sam: "How did you make your role so vivid" to which she replied: "It's called acting, darling."

Suck-up Sam's best question of the night was directed towards the lovely Jennifer "I had any trace of humor or personality removed" Connelly. "I hear John and Alicia Nash are here. How are they feeling? And how are you feeling about the way they're feeling?"


The pre-Oscar coverage is always amusing. Most inane (as always) was Hollywood fool/footstool/bootlicker Sam Rubin and his co-host this year, the brainless Toni Senecal (who I assume is Sam’s gushy sycophant counterpart in New York) on KTLA. Sam to Catalina Sandino Moreno: “Did you spend a lot of time getting ready?” Has he ever actually talked to a woman?? Toni then asked her: “It’s your first movie, you’re the first Columbian to ever be nominated – call me crazy – how do you feel?” Toni asked Sophie Okonedo what was the best gift she had received.

Nominees I never heard of or recognized were blowing them off. Maybe if they weren't trying to lure them with Tic Tacs.

The KTLA fashion expert said about Hilary Swank; “It’s a surprise to everyone. She looks fantastic.”

Sam to P. Diddy: “People watching at home, having an Oscar party, what can they learn from you?”

There should be a spam blocker on my TV to save me from ever seeing Joan and Melissa Rivers. This year they’ve been relegated to the TV Guide channel which answers the question “what could possibly be less entertaining than a 24 hour program guide crawl?”


Anonymous said...

Very, very funny, and a crystallization of why I stopped watching ALL pre-awards-show red-carpet blather about five years ago. It's actually possible to just turn the TV on when the actual show begins.
Unfortuantely I occasionally need to check the crawl on the TV Guide channel, and all this week you can not turn it on without encountering Joan & Melissa. According to their own listing, they are still "live" three days after the event is over. Frankly, there is some doubt whether Joan is "Live" even when she is live.

VP81955 said...

Very, very funny, and a crystallization of why I stopped watching ALL pre-awards-show red-carpet blather about five years ago. It's actually possible to just turn the TV on when the actual show begins.

Substitute "pre-game" and "actual game" for "pre-awards-show red-carpet" and "actual show," and you have the football equivalent.

I can recall watching channel 5 from Los Angeles (KTLA) on satellite in the late eighties, and thought its newscasts were reasonably intelligent and sober. Of course, that was too good to last.

Eye in the LA sky said...

Just realized that Tawny has recently turned the big 5-Oh!

That means she could soon be joining Joan & Melissa on the crawl-screen of amusement!

Anonymous said...

Just kidding, Tawny. We really do love you.

Anonymous said...

aidon't know what made me google tawny little today...I've lived in So Cal for almost 30 years...i forgot about her on the red carpet!

Thanks for pointing out all the things people can say when they're not scripted! Apparently Sam Rubin and his posse have a problem thinking and standing at the same time! And Joan and Melissa? oy! who's got the market cornered on plastic surgery in THAT famiy!

I'll remember this if I tune into a pre-game show for the Oscars this year...stop me, please!

fhill123 said...

i have always wondered which chin Sam Rubin is most proud?