Monday, August 30, 2010

Baby We Were Born to ROTFLOL

I was not in front of a television last night to see the Emmys, as I was actually somewhere drunk along the Hudson River on a big gay boat cruise. But that doesn't matter. Thanks to the state of the Internet, I don't need to be anywhere in order to see anything any more. Case in point: I just watched the opening to last night's Emmy Awards featuring Jimmy Fallon, a bunch of Glee characters, and far too many amazing cameo celebs just this second.

And it's made me really want to write an award show opening number. Taking a tip from the Tony Awards (or so I'm guessing), it seems that every award show now needs to have live performances kicking off their often boring festivities. In a world where viewers have four thousand niche channels to which they can surf, you have to work, and work damn hard to keep their attention. Last night's opening number is a perfect example of an epic win.

Once upon a time, musical numbers were pretty much limited to the Tonys and the Grammys. Then, at some point, the Oscars got in on the game by featuring live performances from their nominated "best song" category (X, feel free to correct me here, I'm too lazy to look up whether this is true or not; however, if Jimmy Fallon and Jon Hamm were singing the information to me, I might be more likely to pursue the knowledge.)

But here comes The Emmys with a 6-minute piece that I will probably watch at least 4 more times while composing this post.

Seriously, check out the cast in this number! Do we remember the time when actors were too "above it all" to get involved with these petty entertainments? Their job was to show up, walk the red carpet in their borrowed finery, sit down and make interesting facial expressions when the camera turned on them. But now?

Well, just look at it! My personal heroine, Tina Fey is willing to show up, make jokes, and get splashed with fruit juice. Jon Hamm, who is quickly becoming basic cable's George Clooney, abandons the seriousness of his troubled advertising avatar to booty dance with Betty White, who is probably the second coolest octaganerian I know (the first being my Grandpa, who was asked to co-star in this video, but had to turn it down because the Yankees were playing a double header last night).

And then we have the tragic Kate of Kate plus twenty, or however many spawn she brought into this world via reality television. Good for her, though, allowing all of us to laugh at her. Sure, she's probably thinking: "hey look! screen time! om nom nom." But, still, the fact that she plays in the joke that is really just a joke about her is excellent for this.

Add to this video Randy Jackson of American Idol, Tim Gunn of Project Runway, that fat guy from Lost, Jane Lynch (who will probably just start BEING Sue Sylvester, since everyone seems to really prefer her as bitchy, dykey, and sardonic), and the painfully sexy Joel McHale of The Soup and Community and you have the equivalent of the most hilarious orgy I would ever ask to be a part of.

This points to a new brand of celebrity, i feel. The old guard is being left behind for the Feys and Hamms and Whites who are willing to take the extra time to show up at the award show location a day (or more) in advance to practice and film, all while making fun of themselves. Why? Because long gone is the day where movie stars and TV stars were figures so far out of our reach that we were only allowed to see them on the screen. Today, where the average attention span doesn't have time to watch a YouTube video on their phone while running to the store, you need to pull out all the stops and make sure you are everywhere.

Another example of extra effort being put in would be the equally funny "Modern Family" segment featuring both Stewie Griffin AND George Clooney.

(Look out, Jon Hamm, Clooney's onto your trickery, and he's willing to sleep with gay men to keep his place in the spotlight.)

Again, here the humor is perfect. Stewie's referencing Married with Children is something I know I think about every time I enjoy Modern Family. And who, gay or straight, hasn't considered the 3-D power of Gloria's breasts? 

This stuff is brilliant - it is right up my alley as far as humor goes. It is complex in that it references multiple shows, winks so many times at you that you might think it's having an epileptic fit, and doesn't bother dumbing down the jokes for you. And I want in on this.

How do I get a job writing award ceremony sketches and openings? I would LOVE to fight back the dry and useless late-show-esque monologues of yesteryear (yes, I know they still exist, but each year we beat them back further and further with the help of song, dance, and video montages... keep it up!)

I would love to have the full roster of television's stars at my disposal. I'd throw the Simpsons together with John Stewart and Hugh Laurie as Doctor House. I could do whatever I wanted with Kyra Sedgwick as The Closer and Conan O'Brien. The possibilities are endless, and potentially endlessly hilarious.

Apparently last night's Emmys was one of the best awards show broadcast in history. Quick. Funny. Some cried "overkill" (again, I didn't see it.) But allow me to come in on the side of overkill: I'd rather have a show with far too many jokes than one with not enough. Bravo Jimmy Fallon. Bravo writers. Bravo TV actors. I can't wait to see what you have inspired in the other award shows that broadcast in the coming months.

And to close out this post, I won't bother trying to be funny or succinct... I'll just show you Jimmy Fallon saying goodbye to "24", "Law & Order", and "Lost".

Presented without commercial interruption,
- J.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't even recognize Kate in that segment until they mentioned her name. Without that bitch haircut she's just a no-name wannabe. But then again, it's not like she was much with the hair, either.

    I actually watched pretty much the whole Emmy broadcast,and it was pretty damn entertaining. I love synergy and mashing many likeable actors together into great skits is fantastic.