Moments before he accepted the Television Academy's Bob Hope Humanitarian Award from his lovely friend and former hospital co-worker Julianna Margulies last night at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards, George Clooney proved once and for all what a truly great humanitarian he is. Mr. Clooney did so by taking time off from saving the world and sleeping with the cast of Modern Family to personally tell me that he "really enjoys those Huffington Post playlists you do." Accordingly, I now demand that we give this saint his own very special Nobel Peace Prize for Playlist Appreciation.
Seriously, it's been a profound -- for me -- honor to work alongside George, Joel Gallen and many other volunteers on America: A Tribute To Heroes and subsequent TV events like most recently, the Hope For Haiti Now telethon. I feel privileged to have witnessed up close just how genuinely dedicated this man really is to the refreshing and even honorable idea that people do something meaningful with the very mixed bag that is modern fame.
In his acceptance speech last night, Clooney spoke of the time he spent years ago with Bob and Dolores Hope and his aunt, the late great Rosemary Clooney, who I once had the pleasure of interviewing in her later years for Vogue magazine. Back then, Rosemary sweetly told me "George is a very nice boy." She also told me that I "would have gotten along famously with Ira," referring to her longtime neighbor Ira Gershwin." Curiously, that's still probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Let it be said, Rosemary Clooney was one fantastic lady.
Last night, Rosemary's hunky/heroic nephew rather elegantly referred back to his time spent singing and talking with the Hopes and his wonderful aunt, pointing out that "They're the best version of the term `celebrity.'" George Clooney went on to say, "It's important to remember how much good can get done because we live in such strange times where bad behavior soaks up all the attention and press, and the people who really need the spotlight -- the Haitians, the Sudanese, people in the Gulf Coast on the 5-year Anniversary, people in Pakistan, they can't get any." I was reminded of something Bob Hope said long ago that still applies: "If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble."
Finally, George ended his comments by making a point worth re-running here -- words that to my ears sounded almost like a prayer for redemption from deep within our modern celebrity food chain: "Here's hoping that some very bright person right here in the house -- or at home watching -- can help find a way to keep the spotlight burning on these heartbreaking situations that continue to be heartbreaking long after the cameras go away," he said. "That would be an impressive accomplishment."
Sadly, I'm not bright. So now along with his richly deserved Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, it is my great honor by the nominal power invested in me by this blog, to present George Clooney with his very own uplifted Huffington Post playlist. As always, please add your own redemption songs here for George -- and for the rest of humanity too.
REDEMPTION SONG - Bob Marley & The Wailers
CRUMBS FROM YOUR TABLE - U2
HELP - The Beatles
PEOPLE GET READY - The Impressions
LORD PROTECT MY CHILD - Bob Dylan
LEND A HAND - Jakob Dylan
GOD BLESS THE CHILD - Rosemary Clooney
LUCKY US - Bob Hope with Margaret Whiting
HIGH HOPES - Frank Sinatra
HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART - Al Green
HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE - Bruce Springsteen
LEAN ON ME - Bill Withers
SOMEDAY WE'LL ALL BE FREE - Alicia Keys
HEAVEN HELP US ALL - Stevie Wonder
HELPING HAND - Fats Domino
WHO'S GONNA HELP BROTHER GET FURTHER - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
LORD HELP US - Tom Jones
HELP SOMEBODY - Maxwell
I CAN HELP - Elvis Presley
EVERYBODY HURTS - R.E.M.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE - Brad Paisley
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - Joe Cocker
SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME - Brian Wilson
MAN IN THE MIRROR - Michael Jackson
HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT - Kris Kristofferson
WHAT'S GOING ON - Marvin Gaye
DON'T GIVE UP - Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush