Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#TheOneWhereJonMarriesAnnie

I thought I’d take a break from my television rants, misguided observations of life, and attempts at humor to share a brief account of a special day – Annie Levine & Jonathan Emerson’s wedding last Sunday. Along with photos of people you don’t know.

The actual wedding was at a very cool art deco restaurant called Cicada in the historic Oviatt building in downtown Los Angeles. Scenes from many movies were shot in that building including DOUBLE INDEMNITY. And Cicada gets a lot of screen time too. Many scenes from MAD MEN were filmed there, and it served as the primary set for last year’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY (but we had them clean up all the blood before the ceremony).

Everyone stayed at the nearby Biltmore – it’s one of those classic old European-type hotels. Think: the Plaza in New York (although I told Annie “Don’t even think about recreating the wedding scene from PLAZA SUITE).

Downtown has undergone a real transformation over the last decade. Parts are becoming gentrified and hip, but there are still enough homeless people and psychotics shouting obscenities to ensure that the real downtown remains preserved.

My wife and I had a suite so that we could use the sitting area to provide hair and make up for the bridal party. We had a fabulous view of Pershing Square right across the street. Unfortunately, on Saturday they had some sort of salsa festival and it was like the bands were in our room. But that only lasted for eight hours… both days.

Saturday we had an actual wedding rehearsal. Some real thought went into this. It reminded me of the runthrough we had before taping THE DATING GAME. Meanwhile, they were setting up for that night’s event – the wrap party for RISSOLI AND ISLES. Several of the guys in the wedding party were hoping on Sunday to find Angie Harmon passed out under a table.

But we all got lovely gifts from the happy couple and no one asked “What is my motivation?”

Later that afternoon we held a reception for all the out-of-town guests. I offered suggestions on what attractions to see in LA. Jon’s relatives wanted to know which studio tour to take; mine wondered where they’d see the most celebrity graves.

The Emersons hosted a muy bueno rehearsal dinner at a fun nearby Mexican restaurant. Gracias Michael & Becky. I have no idea what was in those tacos (or drinks) but they were delicious. We parents gave our speeches and there was not a dry seat in the house.

Sunday the festivities began in earnest. Hair and make-up in our suite starting at 9:30. Coffee and sweetrolls were provided. The fathers and groomsmen took five minutes to put on suits. We met down at Jon & Annie’s suite where the Markers Mark was.

Annie looked spectacular in her wedding gown.

Next were all the family pictures. I recognized most of the people I was in the photos with.

Now it was time to go to Cicada for the main event. We all walked the block from the hotel to the venue. Several of the homeless guys wished “Mazol tov” to the bride.

Cicada was beautifully decorated. Alas, no Angie Harmon sleeping it off in the men’s room.

Two of Annie’s closest friends couldn’t attend because they were both in Israel. As a surprise, Jon arranged for them to join us via Skype. Rarely do you see people holding up iPads during the ceremony. By the way, it was 4:00 AM in Israel. That’s how close these friends were.

Otherwise, we had about 135 friends, relatives, and ten of the best unemployed comedy writers in Hollywood.

A harp player accompanied the wedding procession with theme songs from classic sitcoms. These out of work writers wrote on most of these iconic series.

The ceremony itself was touching, emotional, and joyous. Annie & Jon each wrote vows that were both heartfelt and hilarious. I’d tell them to write RomComs if RomComs didn’t now suck.

Then came the Hora, the Jewish line dance of celebration and confusion followed by maybe my least favorite tradition, raising the bride & groom and then parents in chairs. Safer is Wile E. Coyote getting on an Acme rocket.

The highlight of the dancing, eating, cake cutting, toasting, schmoozing portion of the festivities was my wife Debby organizing all the women to sing “Sunrise/Sunset.” You cannot have a Jewish wedding without that song. They performed it way better than the Broadway production starring Harvey Feirstein and Rosie O’Donnell.

Obviously it was a bittersweet night. What daddy can really let go of his little girl? But Annie has made the perfect choice. Jonathan Emerson is everything a father could ever want for his daughter. If anyone loves her as much as me I know it’s him.

So all and all, this was a magic night of love and laughter. Annie and Debby did a spectacular job planning this wedding. Every tiny detail was taken care of.   And we'll appreciate their efforts even more when we see what a clusterfuck these upcoming Olympics in Brazil are. 

Now Annie & Jon start their lives together. I know they'll do great.  As I said in my speech, I look forward to the day – and this will happen – that I’ll be known in the industry as Annie Levine’s father and known in life as Annie Emerson’s father.

29 comments:

Wally said...

Multicam or single cam? How many takes? Can't wait to see how it turns out in Post. Congrats.

Jim S said...

Congratulations Ken, but I want to say you missed an opportunity to show us more pictures of your grandchild. You get a failing grade in grandpa school for that one.

Carol said...

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing that with us!

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I met Annie briefly at the Sitcom Room - congrats to all. Mazeltov!

wg

Glenn said...

"A harp player accompanied the wedding procession with theme songs from classic sitcoms."

Was MASH one of them? Hearing that theme song played before a wedding is surreal, weird and kind of hilarious all at once.

The Curmudgeon said...

Wonderful! So happy for all of you, and especially for the bride and groom.

Peter said...

Wonderful pics, Ken! Glad you all had a wonderful day.

By the way, I haven't listened to it yet but this is the "How Did This Get Made" podcast on Mannequin 2 that was mentioned in the comments yesterday.
http://www.earwolf.com/episode/mannequin-two-on-the-move/

Have you listened to it yet, Ken?

John Hammes said...

Ken Levine said...

Unfortunately, on Saturday they had some sort of salsa festival and it was like the bands were in our room. But that only lasted for eight hours… both days.



That sure makes for a loud, long time: maybe somebody originally wanted a seltzer festival, not a salsa festival...

(Apologies to Jerry Seinfeld)

Jim said...

It looks like a great day. Congratulations to all. And out of curiosity, what was the point of that little black tent in the centre? Given that you're indoors, and that it doesn't look like the sort of place that has big holes in the roof.

Tammy said...

Congrats to Annie (great dress!) and Jon and all the Levines (and Emersons)! I love that they had TV theme songs, how fitting :)

Jim: the tent is a chuppah, it's where the Jewish wedding ceremony takes place. I think it's supposed to symbolize the new home the couple are establishing.

I have a question too, maybe American readers can clue me in: I've always wondered what the rehearsal dinner is for. Is it so all the people with titles (bridesmaids etc.) know what to do? And what DO they do? I always imagine the "ushers" like ushers in movie theaters, but that's probably not the case :)

Rosalie Fox Huntington said...

Tears in my eyes... from the sweetness of your words and feelings. And of course from your humor! Mazel Tov to you all!

Diane D. said...

What a lovely wedding day story. It's not necessary to know anyone to enjoy it and the pictures.

Richard Y said...

spectacular

Kosmo13 said...

That's great, Ken!

A successful career in television and a wonderful guy to share her life with. It sounds like your daughter is living the life you created for Nancy Travis in "Almost Perfect."

YEKIMI said...

Congrats to the now legally married couple. I haven't been invited to a wedding in years. I'm at the age now where I'm more likely to be invited to divorce parties or funerals......which, if you think about it, is the ultimate divorce.

Philip said...

@ Tammy:

The rehearsal is just that: rehearsing. There are various elements of ceremonies that us WASPs either include or not include, which involve signing documentation, having readings, songs sung (all things that happened at my wedding) and so the rehearsal is planning out the way that people are going to get to their marks and the timing etc. etc.

Usually the bride/groom supply food, which is the main function.

Ushers hand out a program and direct people to the proper "side" (bride or groom) depending on whose side of the family they hale from.

At least at all the weddings I've been at!

Robb Hyde said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Anita Bonita said...

You know, I held it together until the last paragraph. Now there are tears all over my keyboard, dammit. :-P

Tom Collins said...

Can't believe your daughter gets second billing in your own hashtag title! What is this, some kind of Desi Arnaz "I Love Lucy" contractual deal?

DrBOP said...

Geeez.....came here for your annual Live Levine: MLB All-Star "Game" Red Carpet Review.....all I get is an outline for "Wedding Planner 3 (4?5?): The Flying Levines" (of which I'm pretty sure I speak for at least most of your readers that we ALL want to see THE chair aloft pic.....the one where you look supremely comfortable about the minions supporting you ;^)

Happy, happy.....may the road rise up to greet you all.



PS Ken, ESPN did an excellent ten minute news piece in their 7pm ET Sports Center on Tony Gwynne and his relationship to the city and club. Hopefully, it will be included on their stand-alone video page later this evening.

Tammy said...

Thanks Philip!

Unknown said...

Congrats to the bride and groom! (And to the papa of the bride.) May they have many years of love, happiness, laughter and 3-year-contracts on long running shows.
Miriam T.

thirteen said...

This was just terrific. Thank you so much.

404 said...

Congratulations to the happy couple, and to you as well, Ken!

Dan Trigoboff said...

Mazel tov! Many happy years together!

Alyson said...

"A harp player accompanied the wedding procession with theme songs from classic sitcoms."

That. Is. Amazing! Should I ever get married, I am totally stealing this idea.

Jason said...

"Rarely do you see people holding up iPads during the ceremony"

My mother was injured the morning before my brother's (out of state) wedding and couldn't attend, so I facetimed the whole thing on my iPhone...

Anonymous said...
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Johnny Walker said...

Belated congratulations! How wonderful!