With a hilarious opening number and a comic rant against the networks, the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards really bit the hand that feeds it. It also showcased the talents of some living legends.
Brian and Stewie More Animated Than Ryan Seacrest
It’s sad when you’re upstaged by a couple of characters from “Family Guy,” but Brian and Stewie’s wild song-and-dance number was a lot more entertaining that host Ryan Seacrest, who really looked out of his element during the entire show. Seacrest had a few good moments, though, especially when he told Hayden Panettiere, the 18-year-old member of the “Heroes” cast that her birthday gift was to sit as far away from “Entourage” star Jeremy Piven as possible.
Please Put the Orchestra in the Wood Chipper
After giving Ray Romano time for a 5-minute monologue (“If your wife ever complains that you’re not home enough, stay home for two years”), the Emmy winners were kept in line by an ominous countdown clock and annoying music when they ran out of time. It’s just not classy to run legends like Robert Duvall, a winner for “Broken Trail,” and Tony Bennett, who won multiple awards, off the stage.
Thomas Haden Church, the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, on a wardrobe malfunction: “Jumped out of limousine to pee; pants immediately not fitting.”
Terry O’Quinn, the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, commenting on the messy conditions on the “Lost” set: “I wonder what it would be like to bake up a batch of cookies on Wisteria Lane…and get one of their checks.”
Katherine Heigl, winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: “My own mother told me I didn’t have a shot in Hell of winning tonight, but she’s a really big supporter.”
Elaine Stritch, winner of the Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, on flubbing her lines: “I’m not faking this; I really don’t know what the Hell I’m doing.
Sally Field did have something important to say on stage, but she was bleeped by the censors.
Tony Bennett Rocks
After a beautiful duet with Christina Aguilera, Tony Bennett returned to the circular stage when director Rob Marshall won an Emmy for “Tony Bennett: An American Classic.” That special also won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special and Bennett scored an Emmy for Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical Program.
The Other Tony
Tony Soprano’s crew didn’t walk away empty handed, with wins for Outstanding Directing and Writing in a Drama Series. Though “The Sopranos” won for Best Drama Series, James Gandolfini lost out to James Spader for Best Actor in a Drama Series. “I feel like I just stole a whole pile of money from the mob…and they’re sitting right over there,” Spader said.
Would George W. Bush Have Got This Much Air Time?
Current TV creators Al Gore and Joel Hyatt won for Original Program distributed over the Internet. All Gore needs is a Tony to make him a triple threat.
An Explosion of Hot Greenhouse Gasses
Though Fox’s “Green With Emmy” initiative is admirable, having 5 bloggers providing online commentary about the event provided nothing but hot air. The idea was to offer real-time commentary from 5 people on the scene, but the messages were just inane, with one blogger spending 3 hours lusting after Hugh Laurie (“House”). After constant misspellings like “The Sapranos” and “America Farro,” Fox needs to buy Justin, one of their bloggers, a dictionary. It’s called “spell check” Justin; look into it.
A Message From All Viewers
Actor Lewis Black delivered what can only be described as a brilliant rant against annoying network policies, like the “crawls” at the bottom of news programs and shrinking the closing credits of a show to promote another show. “At the end of the show, don’t clutter up the screen so we can’t see who worked on the show.”