Sunday, September 22, 2013

Confessions of an Emmy winner

The 65th annual primetime Emmy Awards are tonight. As usual, I shall be reviewing them tomorrow. I’ve reviewed them quite a few years now, which means I haven’t been nominated for an Emmy in quite a few years.

To be quite honest, unless you win one, it’s not really that much fun to attend. The only thing worse than losing is losing early. Then you have to sit there for three hours and watch other people bound up to the stage. If you’re not nominated then it’s a little better because – truth be told – you spend a lot of time in the lobby schmoozing with other non-nominees.

But when you win, it is SWEET. You come back to your seat clutching your gleaming statue. Everyone around you congratulates you (even if they don’t mean it), and you’re in such a good mood you don’t even mind sitting through the big musical production number saluting disaster coverage.

Some other things about winning – it takes the pressure off. By that I mean everyone actually in the business knows that from time to time some real assholes win Emmys. At least now you could say, “Well, okay, I’ve got one too.” Even if they have more than you, it doesn’t count. You’ve been in the winner’s circle.

Along those lines, when you’re making your acceptance speech, all the shit heads who beat the crap out of you in high school, all the girls who wouldn’t go out with you, all the employers who wouldn’t hire you, and all the agents who wouldn’t take your call (even though you're their client) – they’re staring at the screen going, “What the FUCK!?”

As statuettes go Emmys are impressive. Large size, good heft, and very cool design. Some of these other awards look like paperweights or doorstops. And Emmys are not just decorative; they’re functional. Chris killed a guy on THE SOPRANOS by clubbing him to death with an Emmy.

And finally – this I didn’t expect – you carry the handle “Emmy winner” with you the rest of your life. It’s mentioned in every introduction, listed anytime your name appears in an article. Very few distinctions stay with you like that. Rarely are you introduced as “West Valley League Bowling Champ” (although, depending on your score, that might be an even more difficult feat than winning an Emmy). But you wanna talk about something that looks good on a resume? Emmy winner is right up there with “former Prince of Liechtenstein.”

So good luck tonight to all the nominees. May you win early or at least lose late. Be nice to the seat fillers. And say hi to the people in the lobby for me. Talk to you tomorrow.


Brian O. said...

A real pleasure reading your candid comments.

Mike said...

Freud would have commented on the photo.
Something about "frequent polishing".

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Excellent. I like the idea of knowing all the people who underestimated you are stuck watching.

Rob Burnett from Letterman told a very funny story one year about racing through the airport to catch a late plane back to NYC and getting stuck at airport security: Emmy statues look pretty dangerous with those pointed wings.


Greg said...

Enough is enough. This is so wrong, it really hurts. Two mistakes in one sentence. Aren't you ashamed of yourself Mr. Emmy winner Levine?.

You wrote "former King of Lichtenstein" which so completely and utterly wrong that it's really insulting to all 34000 of us who live in LiEchtenstein and are ruled by a PRINCE. (Yes, we know: one of the last remaining real monarchies and we're not even a Kingdom.)

So please correct that mistake and carry on with the good work, Mr. "I can't spell Liechtenstein but I won an Emmy" Levine.

Greg, from LiEchtenstein

Chuck Warn said...

The guy from Lichtenstein (Levine's spelling SEEMS right) clearly "doesn't get it" like the kid in that commercial where his knock-knock joke's use of "clean" is objected to by the other kid.
I enjoyed the stroll down Emmy memory lane which I agree is most notable for the schmoozefests in lobbies, bar areas and the entire halls of media interview and photo op central. Looking forward to comparing my reaction to tonight's production with KL.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Cool! Fun post!

erich said...

Ken, I know you keep plenty busy with your books, baseball and more! But I wondered if you are still actively pursuing work in Hollywood as you have previously?

Are you developing pilots? Seeking writing gigs on current shows? For instance, why haven't you written for Modern Family with your old friend Christopher Lloyd?

If not, is that by choice?

King Lick said...

Greg, you're a diEck, and oh yeah, be nicer, fuck-wad!

YEKIMI said...

Wow, I would have spelled it "Lickedinstein".

YEKIMI said...

Wow, I would have spelled it "Lickedinstein".

Jackson said...

I really do think Greg was trying to be funny.

But you'll never win an Emmy with that kind of material, buddy.

Edward Copeland said...

While I'm sure it's wonderful to win, with some of the asinine rule changes the TV Academy makes year after year and some really bizarre choices over what you think are far worthier candidates, does a small part of you ever think, "Gee -- these awards are so screwed up most of the time, while I'm happy I won, I almost wonder if it's worth it to be associated with that organization."

RCP said...

It must have been cold comfort for Susan Lucci (before winning) to have been referred to as "Eighteen-time Emmy nominee...Susan Lucci!" Were people thinking, 'Wow, you've been nominated 18 times!" or "Wow, you've lost 18 times?"

Congratulations on your Emmy!

Greg said...

Ups...seems like the funny somehow got lost in translation...I thought the self-depreciating bit about not even being a kingdom gave it away.
Lichtenstein is the Artist, Liechtenstein is country.
But I'll be quiet now and shut up.

Unknown said...

Did you catch the last episode of It's Always Sunny in Philly? The entire episode was thinly disguised reference to an Emmy nomination.

Unknown said...

Completely off topic comment, sorry, but Ken, is there a physical address, PO Box, C/O that I could send you a fan letter? I've searched for an email address to contact you privately about this, but I guess I'm not savvy enough. Believe it or not, this letter has two objectives. One, to extend my appreciation to you, and secondly, it's an assignment for a creative writing class to send five "charming notes" to five creators that have inspired me. You are one of those five.

Thank you for your time, and I miss the baseball stories,

E Bublitz

Jim Beam said...

Charles Warn and the juvenile King Lick, how could you think Greg was actually from Liechtenstein and being serious?

Andi said...

In my area the Winters tribute was completely blocked by a commercial right after it was introduced.

Another reader who wants to hear your opinion on the Klugman situation, and the general tastelessness of discussion the omissions in advance.

Andi said...

Hell, the New Orleans audience is on some kind of a run.

We also cut to commercial on the Cory tribute.

Andi said...

Forget it. I am just going to call my cable company on this one.

Ignore my prior comments.

I never won an Emmy or a Cable Ace award said...

A Friday Emmy question:

If an writer gets divorced, and their ex-spouse takes everything, do they just sit at home alone and "polish their Emmy"?

Roger Owen Green said...

I feel athe need to defend poor Greg. I mean, how many times has Ken Levine had his name pronounced incorrectly?

And when scholars dig into the history of Liectenstein, they'll find this false citation from KL, which will, inevitably change the spelling of the country permanently, which will screw up history as we knew it.