Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What it's like to win an Emmy

Emmy fever is still upon us.  It will last another hour or so.  But I thought I'd take advantage of that to tell you what it's like to actually win an Emmy.  And it puts winning in perspective.

You're in the audience suffering through the show. Finally it's your category. You wake up. The envelope is ripped open, your name is read, you can’t believe it, and you race up to the stage. You stand at the podium.

What’s going through your mind at a monumental moment like this? For me, honestly, I thought of all the assholes I went through basic training with in the army who thought I was such a fuck up. I was hoping they were watching and having heart attacks from shock. I was also aware that everyone in the audience was glaring at me. I saw the red light of the camera, knew that yes, this was my one big moment on national television. But I also knew that if I didn’t get the hell off quick – I mean REAL quick -- millions of people I didn’t know were going to hate my guts.

So I rushed through my prepared speech, thanked my wife, son, and I think Drill Sgt. Miller then was led off.

Backstage, you take photos with your presenters. In our case, Arthur & Kathryn Murray. Who knew they were even still alive? Then we were led from one interview room to the next. National TV, national radio, local press, national press, foreign press, magazines, food product surveys, I dunno. Light bulbs flashing. Questions coming from all sides. Microphones shoved in my face. And after a few minutes we’re ushered into the next room because the next winners are breathing down our necks. We were in a daze. We just went where they told us. Finally we were told to go through “that door”. We did. It closed and locked behind us.

And we found ourselves outside. In the alley. Next to the garbage dump, surrounded by buzzing flies. In our tuxedos, holding our shiny new Emmys. What the fuck?! We banged on the door to get back in. Nothing. We walked along the side of the building, trying other doors. All closed. I thought of maybe using the Emmy to jimmy one of the locks. No dice. It took us fifteen minutes to finally get back into the hall.

Which more than matched the fifteen minutes of fame.

17 comments:

Jay said...

Humblebrag!

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/b10ee0bc16/humblebrag?playlist=featured_videos

Love the blog Ken, I just thought you might enjoy this if you haven't seen it yet. As an aside, it's been a rough year to be a Tiger's fan!

Edward Copeland said...

Even when you aren't nominated, you must be like those of us at home who cringe at some of the winners and some of the omissions over the years. Do you still feel pride in being honored or at some point, as when this weekend they though Kevin Costner could act, do you feel like a Golden Globe winner who remembers that Pia Zadora won one as well?

Breadbaker said...

Food product surveys? In the state of mind you were in, perhaps you were the one responsible for them green lighting New Coke.

Brian said...

Great story, Ken. What year did you and David win?

Also didn't realize you were in the Army. How long were you in for? I would imagine that experience was useful when you were working on MASH.

Robert Pierce said...

And now I know where you and David got the idea for the Frasier episode "Door Jam"...

Chas Cunningham said...

How come so many award recipients turn the wrong direction after their acceptance speeches? You'd think they could master the difference between exit stage left and exit stage right without the assist of an escort.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

That was one of your funniest stories ever.

Cheers

Paul Duca said...

Arthur Murray taught Ken fame flees in a hurry...

NamJock said...

Very funny, but congrats anyway. It's quite an achievement even if they do treat you as a herd of rolling stock (that's why they call it a cattle call bwaaa-haa-haa-haa).

Great description of the actual process.

Tim W. said...

Ken, you know what you should have done was say something extremely controversial in order to extend your 15 minutes of fame. Maybe some anti-semetic tirade or something. Then you might have been front page news!

John said...

What? Joan Rivers and her daughter weren't out in the alley with their microphones to comment on the winners as they walked down the sludgy gray carpet?

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angel said...

According to IMDB. Ken won for Cheers in 1983.
Now I am really surprised Arthur Murray was still alive. :-)

Greg Ehrbar said...

That's even funnier than if they dragged you away from the podium and said, "Good night," and you replied, "There were two songs 'Goodnight,' there was 'Goodnight Irene' and 'Goodnight Sweetheart'...

Tom Quigley said...

Ken, I don't remember watching the Emmys the year you won, but I can envision Kathryn Murray escorting you offstage after your acceptance speech, her floor length haute-couture multi-layered taffeta gown gracefully flowing as she performs three or four dramatic pirouettes and swirls around you and David while the playout music builds to an emotional climax -- then catches her heel on her gown and losing her equilibirium, crashes to the floor with a sickening thud.

The next day, it's announced that 500 Arthur Murray Dance Studios are closing.

Jill Pinnella Corso said...

Hilarious! Did you really get locked out?

It's a big achievement. Did you feel extremely proud? Or paranoid that now something bad must happen? Or anxious about living up to it? Did it open any doors (excluding the one that locked on you)?

I don't know how you felt but I hope you were and are very proud.

Paul [Daniel] Asuncion, BLUE said...

An Alley? No...you're kidding? You're NOT.
__________________________________

There should be an interview show done on-location, in that alley.