From the Vault : “On the Recognition of Our Need to Be Recognized”


With the 66th Annual Emmys upon us, we begin the true awards show season once again. I thought I’d have some fun and pull an old post out of the archive that expresses my true feelings about these ceremonies. Enjoy!


So the Emmys aired last night. After weeks of build-up, people spent all day crowding outside the Nokia Theatre, here in L.A., hoping for a glimpse of their favorite celebrity on the ubiquitous red carpet. Twitter lit up with play-by-play commentary, snarky riffs on what was happening every second of the red carpet and the subsequent hours-long telecast. Now days will be spent obsessing over who won, who lost, who got robbed, who looked good, who behaved well, who was funny, who wasn’t…

Who cares?! Or more to the point, why do we care?

I’m a little torn on this. As an actor, I understand the desire to be recognized by your peers for doing great work, particularly since a lot of us take up this craft and profession to compensate for our own insecurities. (Much as I hate to admit it, I absolutely include myself in that group.) The trophy you get is merely a symbol that says “Hey, we, the people who do this as much as you do, think that you’ve done some amazing things professionally this year and that merits a token of our esteem.”

On the other hand, as a TV viewer, I’m not a big fan of the spectacle that these things have become. I didn’t watch the Emmys this year. That’s not a slam on this year’s host (the incredibly funny Jane Lynch) or the nominees (I’m a fan of most of them). I haven’t watched any awards show in quite a few years. It’s just gotten too ridiculous for me. The musical numbers, the awkward pairing of celebrities who deliver jokes that just don’t land, the stiff applause of those who don’t win while seething with rage and/or tears inside… the endless commercial breaks!!

You cannot swing a dead cat without hitting an awards show these days. Off the top of my head, here’s a short list of awards shows that air their ceremonies on TV:

Again, that’s a short list. And that’s just the ones that affect actors directly! There are awards for every part of the industry out there. And many televise their ceremonies. It’s even become a gala event and breaking news when they announce the nominees — that’s right, we’re supposed to get excited to hear them tell us names of the people who only might have a chance of winning.

What can be done about this? How do we return some sensibility to these things? IMHO (and this is a long shot), if they’re going to televise it they should do it like the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Prize Patrol. Throughout a particular day, they should roll an armored truck up to the winner’s house and deliver the award with a bunch of balloons and one of these legendary “swag bags” I’m always hearing about but have never seen. They can televise those without disrupting the normal broadcast schedule or depriving the viewing audience of either the spectacle of an awards show or the programs these people are being recognized for. Done and d–

Excuse me… there’s someone at the door.

OMG! It’s TV’s Jon Cryer with my Emmy Award! I take it all back! This is the greatest day of my life! Outta my way, world, I’M BETTER THAN YOU!!!!