Monday, September 22, 2008

The day after the Emmys. What really goes on.

Monday morning.

No work gets done in the writing rooms of winning shows. Everyone basks in the afterglow. People are calling all day with congratulations. Muffin baskets and bottles of wine are being delivered faster than Lucy can wrap chocolates on the conveyor belt. Full-page ads in the trades already appear and will continue for the week. My favorites are the agency ads. They’ll salute their clients but their agency logo will take up a third of the page. The cast will stop complaining for 24 hours. On stage, the “greatest crews in history” will still take too long to set up a shot or forget to get the star’s coffee.

If one star from an ensemble show wins while the others lose, everyone – staff, crew, interns, I mean everyone – RUN!!!!

As for the shows that lost, or worse, were not even nominated. There’s not a writing staff in Hollywood (comedy or drama) that isn’t devoting the first two hours of the day to savagely ripping the Emmys. The only break is when they call their friends who’ve won and tell them how thrilled they are for them.

Here’s what I’m sure went down this year. At least a half-hour trashing the reality show hosts and that opening. Heidi will get the brunt of it. But the always reliable “Ryan is gay” jokes will also be flying.

You could play the drinking game for the number of times “talentless” gets uttered when referring to the hosts.

My Emmy review was a five-star rave compared to what’s said in these rooms.

A half hour minimum will be devoted to mercilessly savaging Mary Tyler Moore.

Steve Martin will take some aging/Botox/plastic surgery/no-longer-relevant shots.

Oprah fat jokes are a must.

As always, the room will be evenly divided on Kathy Griffin. But the ones that hate her will be louder.

Of course fashion will take a solid beating. And the women writers will be the most brutal.

The overwhelming consensus will be that no one who won deserved it. MAD MEN is slow and a piece of shit. 30 ROCK is not funny for a second. Tina Fey is over-rated. Jeff Probst is a joke. Glenn Close is a man. Alec Baldwin is insane. Everything is rigged. JOHN ADAMS only won because they wanted to get Tom Hanks to show up for the telecast. Everyone is a hack. The awards don’t mean anything anyway.

Then they’ll finally go back to work, silently praying that next year they’re Matthew Weiner or Tina Fey, or even Jeff Probst.

36 comments:

Zeke the Geek said...

Haha.

Perfect as usual.

Having been in writers rooms, and seen how badly people treat their friends (God forbid a friend's pilot gets picked up. Very little joy there.) This was dead on.

Tim W. said...

I'd love to be Tina Fey. I'd undress and take pictures of myself in the mirror. Oh, wait, did I just type that out loud?

Dave said...

Say what you will about Steve Martin, he's got the deepest reserve of goodwill of anyone in show business. A guy who hasn't made a decent picture (let alone a funny one) since 1982, and he still works and is respected.

He must have naked photos of everyone.

Doug Walsh said...

I'm really shocked by the ratings for the Emmys this year.

Shocked as in, I can't believe over 12 million people would rather watch that crap instead of the Cowboys vs Packers game on NBC.

Seriously,I had no idea they were even on. And what's the point anyway -- the best thing on tv is Top Gear re-runs on BBC America and they don't get nominated.

Now if Jeremy Clarskon was hosting the Emmys I might actually watch.

At least during a tv time-out.

Anonymous said...

Re: the hosts opening... I'm still baffled as to what they thought the joke was? "We're thrilled to be included unfortunately we're too stupid to think up anything to say."

They seem to be operating under the delusion that we would expect them to be capable of coming up with an opening-- that's what writers are for-- you're hosts, just read the damn prompter.

It could be my imagination but I think Tom Bergeron was not happy about the opening. He didn't say a word during the whole vamping thing and his body language struck me as "don't look at me, I had nothing to do with this stupid opening."

There are a lot of thankless jobs in Hollywood, but writing for award shows is very nearly at the top of the list. You've got 2 or 3 sentences to try and make the presenters look good. Chances are at least one presenter is going to rip you during the show for your "lame" dialogue. Yet in the hands of truly talented performers like Fey and Poehler it can be very funny. So stop bitching about the material and put a little effort into trying to sell it instead.

I actually thought this year had more good moments then recent years; Gervias, Rickles, Martin, and Grobin were the highlights for me.

You can watch the Gervais segment here.

VP81955 said...

In a just universe, Yankee Stadium would continue and Sunday would have been the final Emmy awards.

Dave said...
Say what you will about Steve Martin, he's got the deepest reserve of goodwill of anyone in show business. A guy who hasn't made a decent picture (let alone a funny one) since 1982, and he still works and is respected.


1984...you forgot "All Of Me."

Tim W. said...

"Say what you will about Steve Martin, he's got the deepest reserve of goodwill of anyone in show business. A guy who hasn't made a decent picture (let alone a funny one) since 1982, and he still works and is respected."

Hey, Roxanne (1987) is an absolute classic and might be his best movie, and Bowfinger (1999) was a temporary return to glory.

Annie said...

I miss Yankee Stadium already. Next year's Emmy hosts - may I present for your consideration - Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra.
-AE

Alice said...

I really like Steve Martin, even if he refuses to age. :)

As for the hosts... boooooring!!! Please give us Steve Carrel, Ricky Gervais was super funny and I really love Colbert and Stewart.

jbryant said...

tim w's right: Roxanne and Bowfinger, particularly the former, are great. Martin was also pretty funny this year in Baby Mama, regardless of what one may think of the film.

anonymous: Bergeron and Klum were both silent during the opening, but it seems to have been written that way (to the extent that that train wreck was written) -- they did their shtick after the other 3 left the stage.

I wouldn't be surprised if the show's ratings were respectable for the first two minutes, then plummeted as viewers switched to something else -- anything else -- the Golf Channel -- public access -- gin rummy with Grandma -- self-mutilation...

Tallulah Morehead said...

BOWFINGER was definitely a terrific film, even despite Eddie Murphy (showing restraint. He only played two characters.)

But Martin's I'm-not-aging thing reached a Zenith in his horrible PINK PANTHER. He played Clouseau as BEFORE he was an Inspector, making the character younger than he was in any of the Peter Sellers films, even the first (Still the BEST.), yet Martin was 60 when he made the film, and looked every day of it. For such an extremely smart man, what vast self-delusion.

That said, his memoir BORN STANDING UP is a GREAT read!

Hiring those five reality show hosts to host this broadcast was the worst idea in the history of terrible award show ideas. If Allen Carr was still alive, he'd be saying, "Ha! My Snow White sings with Rob Lowe Oscarcast doesn't look so crappy now, does it?"

Honestly, how smart do you have to be to know better than to hire Howie Mandell --- for anything?

All five of these unentertaining idiots came out and said how they had no material, and took a looooonnnnng time to do so. In the past, a funny host would do an amusing comedy monologue here, but these five boobs took an original approach. The guys babbled pointlessly about how they had nothing to say while Heidi, who was in drag (To blend in the with the guys, who were a drag.), stood there silently, thus coming across as the only person on stage you didn't want to shoot - yet. I soon realized that I did not have near enough vodka to get through this ordeal.

Then, in a great moment for feminism, William Shatner and Tom Bergeron harassed, attacked, and stripped Heidi. Fortunately, they were running long, so they had to cut the rape. (It had run way too long in rehearsal, while they waited for the 300 year old Shatner to get it up.)

Tina Fey and Amy Pohler are comedy goddesses. These five "Hosts" aren't worthy to park their cars or breathe their air. Their intro should have been, "And now, two people who SHOULD be hosting this show instead of us."

All hail Ricky Gervais. The man is hilarious. For five minutes, the show was suddenly funny and entertaining. I thought I'd accidentally changed the channel when I fell off my chaise reaching for the gin, and landed on the remote control. The man is Tina Fey with a penis, and 30 extra pounds.

In the land of blinkered vision lives a guy named Martin Sheen. Sheen said "Our show was never in any way partisan..." which was one of the funniest lines of the night. WEST WING was a weekly televised rebuke to The Bush Administration. It was a wishful-thinking fantasy for decent people to watch and fantasize "This is what it could be like, if we had a qualified and decent man in the White House, instead of the evil clown who's in there now."

In that brief Dragnet parody, Jeff Probst made me wistful for the dynamic acting chops of Jack Webb. When you can be outacted by Jack Webb, you're dead.

Sally Field gave her son an Emmy for John Adams for Outstanding Founding Father. Thomas Jefferson was screwed yet again. Jefferson is the Susan Lucci of the Founding Fathers. When last seen, Jefferson was out drinking, and looking for "Comely blackamoors."

Wayne Brady (Speaking of comely blackamoors), who apparently isn't retired, just tired (He is so over.), and Kate Walsh, announced Outstanding Guest Actor and Actress Who Aren't Good Enough To Be Awarded on the Real Show. Glenn Turman (Who?) won the Actor award, though I was rooting for Robert Morse, because I adore that wonderful, kind, thoughtful, fabulous, funny man, and Cynthia Nixon won the Actress award. I have nothing against Cynthia Nixon, but hearing the words "Nixon Won" always makes me cringe.

At least it's over for another year. We won't have another awards show to kick around now until February. Whatever shall we do? Oh, I know. Drink!

Cheers.

Tom Quigley said...

Whatever happened to the wild all-night post-awards parties at Paris Hilton's?.... If they're gone, then there's no reason for me to get back into this business...

Actually, between the Cowboys-Packers game on NBC and the final game at Yankee Stadium on ESPN, I hardly watched any of the Emmys... Maybe they would have garnered better ratings if they'd made it the halftime entertainment of the Cowboys-Packers and switched the game from Lambeau field to Yankee Stadium....

I just had a sickening thought... Next year (ta-da!): the Academy Awards during halftime of the Super Bowl.... Anyone who thinks the day's coverage is too long already will really have a reason to bitch.... Now they'll have to suffer through a four-and-a-half hour halftime show -- with Bob Costas and Dan Dierdorf as the hosts... Correction -- make it an eight-and-a half hour show with those two... The first hour and half is Costas's dissertation on how football and the Oscars are such an intertwined part of our American culture....

Annie said...

Maybe the five dead-hosts-walkin' schtick was intentional. "So, reality show hot-shots, you think you can host a show? Fine. Here's the Emmys. Choke on it. Then give tv back to the sitcom people, who know how to riff and entertain on their feet."
The Emperor's New Clothes Award Show.
-AE

Tim W. said...

I can't believe I forgot Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Another truly great movie made after 1982. And Parenthood was also very good. I'd also put Dirty Rotten Scoundrels into the `good' category. Perhaps Dave meant 1993. Hell, before 1982, about the only good movie he made was The Jerk, and I haven't seen that in many, many years, so I can't attest to how well it's aged.

Roger Owen Green said...

I'm so afraid...Emmys recorded, not watched...shall I TRY to watch or just delete?

Tezcatzontecatl said...

"The Jerk" holds up incredibly well, as well as translates generationally. I've shown it a couple of times to my two boys (9 & 11, respectively), and they think it's freaking hilarious. Not many days go by when I don't use the phrase, "One dollar and NINE CENTS!", but that may have something to do with the fact that, thanks to sales tax in King County, any item purchased for a dollar actually does cost $1.09. Or it could also be because I'm a dumbass.

Tezcatzontecatl said...

Quite frankly, I've never understood the public's fascination with awards shows. Hearing about the awards is great, but why in the fuck do we need to watch it? Hell, I get bored going to the awards ceremonies after my son's soccer tournaments, and those last all of about 8 minutes. If you're in the industry, I totally get it. But if you're not, why bother? My soon-to-be-ex-wife (STBEW) is obsessed with awards shows, yet she never watches TV nor does she watch movies. That said, if they did it all with marionettes, or costumes like the Lion King Musical, then I'd be in. Or make everyone dress up like the Kool-Aid man. THAT, I'd watch. Failing that, I'll settle for the Cliff Notes version the next morning.

jbryant said...

tallulah: wow, that Dragnet parody must have been brief indeed. I thought I caught the whole show, but I have no memory of that bit. Now if I could just forget Howie Mandel's rambling, poor Alan Sues' floundering and Mary Tyler Moore's arms.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Jack Webb not a great actor? Pshaw! He invented that clipped, staccato delivery, monolithic expression, and stick-up-the-ass walk. If they showed Dragnet reruns daily I'd watch them until I shuffled off this mortal coil.

D. McEwan said...

Well Cap, one generally likes an actor to have a second emotion they can express in a pinch.

Actually, I don't recall Webb having even a first emotion. well, disgust I suppose. I recall in those 1960s episodes, when he'd walk into a room with middle-aged actors in lousy, cheap wigs and "Psychedelic" clothes, ineptly simulating me and my friends. (Jack's "teenagers" were usually over 40.) And Jack would do his disgusted eye-roll, which is as close to expressive as he ever got, while he communicated his contempt for everything I held dear.

Which I suupose, is why I stopped watching: every episode was an insult directed at me and my generation, deliverd by lousy wooden actors in silly outfits. DRAGNET'S hippies were indistinguishable from Bob Hope playing a hippie in one of his "Comedy" sketches. I think they were even the same wigs.

But no, not awful actors. We all know for instance, that Harry Morgan is a fine actor, but on DRAGNET, he was forced into that Webb monotone delivery. No one in real life, not even cops, talk like that, unless they're on the sort of heavy medication that would get Webb's eyes rolling.

SUNSET BOULEVARD is one of my top favorite movies. (There'd be no Tallulah without it.) Jack Webb's performance in that film is astonishing. He actually seems alive, energetic, and human. Why he chose to spend his career playing a zombie with a badge I'll never know.

D. McEwan said...

"Tom Quigley said...
I just had a sickening thought... Next year (ta-da!): the Academy Awards during halftime of the Super Bowl"

Sickening indeed. Just exactly how are The Superbowl and The Oscars intertwined? Much of each's audiences are mutually exclusive.

For instance, I have seen every Oscarcast for the last 50 years, missing not even one.

I have never seen a Superbowl, not five seconds of a Superbowl, and I intend to keep it that way until my grave claims me.

I'm sure there are lots of Superbowl fans out there who have watched every one, and who have never watched The Oscars, and never will.

They don't call The Oscars The Gay Superbowl for nothing. It's what we have INSTEAD of sports. Combining them would force The Superbowl into my home, where it is EXTREMELY unwelcome.

And it drags Bob Costas along? Yikes. Every 4 years I get some Costas when watching The Olympics (the only sports I EVER watch, and then, only men's gymnastics, men's diving, and some of the wrestling and swimming.), and every four years I find myself HATING Costas with a passion. His inability to SHUT THE FUCK UP when people are singing in the opening ceremonies, and his repetition of the same handful of athlete backstories OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND is absolute torture. I would think even Superbowl viewers would want his head on a pole.

During the Olympics just concluded, I was informed by Costas that that the extremely adorable little Indian-American gymnast Raj Bhavsar only got put on the American Gymnastic team at the last possible minute, when Paul Hamm had to pull out.

That was a very interesting tidbit the first time I heard it. However, They felt it necessary to retell that fact every single time Raj appeared. Anytime Raj was onscreen, this anecdote was retold every 37 seconds.

When I watched goofy Michael Phelps start acquiring more gold than there is in Fort Knox (No wonder the Red Chinese wanted Goldfinger to raid Fort Knox. They needed all that gold to make Phelps's medals.), I was told the story of how my lovely Ian Thorpe had said that he didn't think Phelps would win 8 gold medals, and how Phelps posted this comment in his locker to motivate himself. It was a very interesting story...ONCE. Over the course of those two weeks, I heard this story 847 times.

Meanwhile, the backstory of Australian diver Matthew Mitchum, the Australian diver who stopped the Chinese sweep of the diving gold medals, and took the men's platform diving gold medal, was never told.

This year, Matthew was the only openly gay male athlete at the Beijing Olympics. The other 10 out Olympians there (out of 11,028 athletes. Statistics tell us that there were around 1,100 closet cases.) were all lesbians.

When Matthew announced on Australian TV that he didn't have the money to bring his male lover, Lachlan Fletcher, with him to the games, Johnson & Johnson's Athlete Family Support Program gave him a grant to pay for Lachlan's trip.

On Matthew's last dive he was 34 points behind the Chinese diver in first place. Then Matthew came out and did magic, practically tying himself up like a pretzel in mid-air, like flying oragami, and doing it with such beauty, grace, and perfection, that he scored four 10s, for a total score of 112.1, the highest single-dive score in Olympic history! He stopped the Chinese sweep dead in the water, and won the gold for Australia! He cried. His lover cried. I came.

But, although NBC let us see Mitcham's win, not one word of his story was told to America. Costas never topped blabbling about Phelps long enough to tell us Matthew's story. Nothing about his being openly gay, nothng about Johnson & Johnson paying for his boy friend to accompany him just as they did for the spouses and squeezes of the straight athletes. Not one single shot of Lachlan in the stands watching, let alone hugging his lover in triumph. Nothing. Nothing at all. We saw every gold medalist's family members (I saw so much of Michael Phelps's mother, I'd know her on the streets, were I walking them again.), their wives, husbands, lovers, pets, agents, hunchbacked assistants, and even endured photos of their mewling hellspawn, I mean adorable babies. But not a word of Mitchum's story.

Maybe his was not the super achievement of Michael Phelps (Who, come to think of it, seems to be dating his Mom. Where's his girl friend? Cloud Cuckooland?), but Matt had a great moment, and is a fine young, mildly effeminate man of exceptional courage following in Greg Lougains's trail. And his tale is a damn sight more interesting than a lot of the boring blather and endlessly repeated cliches we were told ad nauseum.

NBC has since apologized for the "Unintentional" snub. "Unintentional" my ass. They had all the info there, right along with the info they had on EVERY SINGLE ONE of the other 11,000 athletes! They CHOSE to ignore it. And then they apolgized in a magazine article statement. Not exactly reaching the mega-gigantic audience that was watching the meet on TV. That's like apologizing on BIG BROTHER. No one sees it.

(I relate Matthew's story at greater length on Tallulah's blog:
http://tallulahmorehead.blogspot.com/2008/08/tale-of-two-divers.html _

I would trust those boobs to cover The Oscars? Not on my grandmother's SCIENCE & HEALTH!

The good thing about the Olympics is that when they are over, I don't have to her Costas's voice again for four years. (I don't watch the winter Olympics. The male athletes are overdressed. No nearly-naked events. What's the point?)

No, keep Costas and crew AWAY from The Oscars, and The Oscars away from The Superbowl.

"jbryant said...
tallulah: wow, that Dragnet parody must have been brief indeed. I thought I caught the whole show, but I have no memory of that bit."

Well it wasn't memorable. 45 seconds of Jeff Probst imitating Jack Webb, while Badge 714 was projected on the screen behind him, coming out of a commercial. Total filler, and a waste of time that Kirk Ellis could have used to finish his sentence.

Wayne said...

I predict the low ratings will lead to changes. The Academy will shorten next year's Emmy's by dropping scripted shows. Or putting scripted shows in with the special craft Emmy's.

James Antonas said...

I think organising an award ceremony like this and the Oscars would be quite a difficult endeavour.

What are these ceremonies for?

For 'stars' to congratulate other 'stars' for their work over the year...it's like an annual performance review but televised...but in essence it's a big pat on the back for playing dress ups. Therefore...there is a fine line that must be walked when organising these things...between putting down and zinging these self-deluded, self-important actor types so that John Citizen can once again feel good about taking those smarmy actor types down a peg...and the other side being a ceremony to congratulate these acting people on a job well done...do they deserve this line to be walked carefully? Sure...but in doing so...people like Ricky Gervais and Don Rickles could never host one of these things...there's only so much smart mouth and put downs celebrities can take...you're better off having someone likable with a touch of edge as a host...and bring out the caustic people like Rickles and Gervais to present awards and zing people.
I remember when Martin Short presented an Emmy a couple of years ago and brought on the Tony he'd recently one...and was kind of miffed that he didn't get the Emmy that year...for Merlin I think...hilarious...anyway...the point is...the balance must be kept...offensive/inoffensive.

This year's problem was the inoffensive was blandly inoffensive. It needs someone like Steve Carell who is funny, readily identifiable and is not particularly rude...then mix it up.

Actually...it sounds pretty easy.

jbryant said...

cap'n bob: you can watch the first two seasons of the '60s Dragnet for free at hulu.com (video quality is superb). Coincidentally enough, I watched the first episode a couple of nights ago. It's called The LSD Story, and sure, it's dated, with far-out hippies wigging out on acid, but it was also an interesting time capsule. (SPOILER) And for all the clear disdain Joe Friday has for the acid dealer in the story, he at least manages to seem upset when the kid ODs at the end.

This "worldwide Webb" also has two seasons of Adam-12 and 3 seasons of Emergency. And there's The New Adam-12 and The New Dragnet, whatever they are, plus LA Dragnet, the short-lived 2003 reboot starring Ed O'Neill. No '50s episodes unfortunately.

d., I can absolutely understand anyone turning up their nose at Webb's patented performance style and authoritarian bias, but he was one helluva director (at least in the 50s incarnation of the show, which I'm more familiar with).

Apologies for continuing the off-topic conversation. Blame Jeff Probst.

Susan S said...

I confess, I didn't watch the whole thing - what I did see was painful enough. I don't know if the ad leadins were the same everywhere, but I'd rather see the winner finish his sentence than hear some lame voice over telling me what was coming up.
Don Rickles was the best thing I saw on the whole show - a little respect please - don't you dare music him out... but they did - I think his digs at the writers were payback enough though. And what's with the audience needing to be told to pay the guy a little respect? A plague on all their houses!
At the end of the show, all I felt was relief!

Frank said...

Hey D. McEwan,

Most everyone I know watches both the Oscars and the Superbowl. Sorry the world isn't only filled with stereotypes like you seem to think it is.

And you should check out the Superbowl. Even if you don't care for the game, there's fun in rating (and mocking) the commercials and the (usual) crappy music at halftime (Prince being the exception.)

Tim W. said...

I watched one Superbowl in my life before I realized that I hate football, and I have better things to do with my life than sit in front of the television for three hours watching it. And the ability to be able to watch commercials and make fun of them is not exactly a prospect I find enticing. I mostly stopped watching network television to AVOID the commercials.

Anonymous said...

Another Hollywood group masturbation. Snore...
Why do they televise these things in that they are really only interesting to Nielson customers and Hollywood insiders?

Tom Quigley said...

"They don't call The Oscars The Gay Superbowl for nothing... "

Let Bob Costas hear that line and he'll probably start calling the Super Bowl "The Straight Oscars"....

D. McEwan said...

" Frank said...
Hey D. McEwan,
Most everyone I know watches both the Oscars and the Superbowl. Sorry the world isn't only filled with stereotypes like you seem to think it is."

Frank,
My exact words (Scroll up and check for yourself) were "Much of each's audiences are mutually exclusive."

That is "Much," not "Most," not "All." I am aware that there are people who watch both and took that into account when I crafted my sentence. Try reading more closely, and processing what the words mean before assignning to me sterreotyping I am not guilty of. (As, for isntance, I am guilty of ending that last sentence in a preposition.)

That said, the vast majority of MY social circle wouldn't watch a Superbowl even if they were paid to. (DAMN! An other concluding preposition.)

As for your suggestion: "And you should check out the Superbowl," if I didn't take that suggestion from my dad 40 years ago, I won't be taking it from you now.

You see, while most sports, like baseball and basketball for instance, merely bore me into a comatose state, a couple, football and boxing being at the top of the list, I DESPISE!

Football is a violent, revolting game, designed to create a pro-war and violence mindset. When I was going to high school back in the 1960s, the emphasis on football (Which was clearly considered more important than academics by the school administration) was to help create a mindset in the male student body that would make us all into willing cannon fodder for Vietnam. Listen to George Carlin's famous piece on the psychological difference between football and baseball. He says it better than I.

So I do not support football, and I will never, ever watch any part of a Superbowl. It's one national ritual I find repellant. The suggestion that I subject myself to that crap for the ads and the halftime show is insane. I might as well suggest you try watching gay porn for the laughable dialogue and "acting".

I shan't interfere with your watching the Superbowl, but I beg to be excused - forever.

D. McEwan said...

PS. Jeesh. I ran that reply through my spell checker, and it still made a hash of "assignment" and "instance."

Anyway, for indepednat verification of my assertion that there's a lot of people would would watch an awards show but not football, check out Doug Walsh's comment near the top of this thread, where he expresses his shock: "I can't believe over 12 million people would rather watch that crap [The Emmys] instead of the Cowboys vs Packers game on NBC."

It was not a shock to me, any more than I was shocked that other folks preferred his choice. I never miss the Emmys, even if all I do is gourse about hem. I was unaware there was any football game on, just as I only learned two days ago, from reading this thread, that they are going to tear down Yankee Stadium.

Some of us live in a sports-free world, never glancing at the Sports Section in a newspaper, and changing the channel when the sports reports come on the TV news, and like it that way. Some folks find "Off" a better TV viewing choice than a football game. Others love it, and live for it. That's the beauty of freedom of choice.

D.M. said...

"indepednat"? Good grief. I have to have this spell checker looked at.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Doug,

I agree with most of what you say bout Dragnet and Webb's acting, but that's what endears it to me. I, too, was one of those hippies he was railing against, and I found him hilarious. The Baby in the Bathtub caper is a classic.

jbraynt: Thanks for the info. I'll bookmark the site.

D. McEwan said...

Well, if it weren't for DRAGNET, Stan Freberg and my dear friend, the late Daws Butler, would never have written ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGONET, and that alone justifies its existence. When I was writing a radio special with Daws over 30 years ago, his gold record for ST. GEORGE & THE DRAGONET was there in the room in which we worked. Touching it felt like touching a Holy Relic.

When Freberg went to Webb to ask for clearance to use the DRAGNET theme music on the record, Webb not only okay'd it, but furnished the same musicians, to make sure the music was 100% authentic. Said Webb to Freberg, "I'm a fan." So Webb clearly had a sense of humor about himself.

And I worked with Howard Culver in the 60s and 70s, while he was also regularly appearing on DRAGNET, if that counts for anything.

But Webb will forever remain the King of one-note acting.

VP81955 said...

Say what you will about the late sixties "Dragnet" TV show, but the fifties radio version was brilliantly done. Its realism gave the listener a genuine feel for how police work -- and until you hear some earlier, hackneyed detective radio programs, you can't understand just how revolutionary "Dragnet" was in its day.

Incidentally, every year I pull what I call "the last great act of cultural defiance": I listen to the Super Bowl on radio. There, the game takes precedence over the commercials, the halftime concert and all the other bull. As it should be.

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