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Tallulah Morehead

Tallulah Morehead

Posted: January 26, 2009 05:17 AM

Drooping at the Saggy Awards

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Hello darlings. Tonight we had the 15th annual Screen Actor's Guild Awards, which is very odd to me, as I seem to recall us forming the Screen Actor's Guild around 70 years ago. I can't really believe that actors waited 55 years to become self-congratulatory. Having been a screen actress since 1915, I was a floundering member. In fact, they named the union "SAG" in honor of my breasts.

To assure that they'd have the guild's full attention, the award, "The Actor," has followed The Oscar's example, and is sculpted to resemble a naked male, only more anatomically correct than The Oscar. The Actor has nipples, like George Clooney's batsuit. However, the outstretched arm holding a severed face (Gruesome touch!) makes it impractical for use as a dildo, unlike an Oscar, which is why The Oscar remains the more coveted award.

Once again, chastened by the terrible over-hosted Emmy Awards last year, we have an award show with no host, like a cheap bar. This trend is starting to work for me. Better no host at all than Whoopi Goldberg.

The first thing we learned was that Eva Longoria, Phylicia Rashad, and Jenna Fischer are all self-proclaimed drag queens. Who knew? "I'm Jenna Fischer, and I'm an actor," "The award for best performance by a female actor," etc. What is a "female actor"? Barry Humphries? Talk about male chauvinism; apparently SAG thinks only men act, like back in Shakespeare's day. I have proudly been an actress for 94 years. If Bosley Crowther's and Alexander Woolcott's reviews couldn't make me ashamed of calling myself an actress, the Screen Actor's Guild certainly won't manage it now.

Will Arnett thought he was at a terribly upscale AA meeting, and perhaps he was. And Steve Carell let us know that while he can star in pilots, he isn't one himself.

As usual, Tina Fey won Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series, though I know she's an actress. This is Tina's 10th or 12th award this month alone. I worship her, but Tina Fey couldn't have won more awards if she'd died tragically a year ago. She'll probably pick up an Oscar next month, and she's not even nominated.

Alec Baldwin won Best Male Actress in a Comedy Series for the billionth time. Alec Baldwin couldn't win more awards if Tina Fey had died tragically a year ago.

I didn't get the point of the "Trailblazers" montage. Were they afraid they'd run short on time, because they don't have any categories no one cares about, like Best Sound Editing, Best Short Documentary, and Best Writing? In introducing it, some child named Evan Rachel Wood (See what this "Female Actor" thing has done? "Evan Rachel"? Which is it? A boy or a girl?) Actually said (Listen to the tape if you don't believe me) "Tonight we salute their timeless ingenue-ity." Yes, the trailblazers will all be young pretty women forever.

Well, it's always nice to see The Nicholas Brothers, but what trail was James Mason blazing in Lolita? Making strides for acceptance of child molesters, paving the way for The Reader and Doubt? I appreciated that the montage ended on a shot of one of my ex-husbands, Boris Karloff, paving the way for acceptance of resurrected cadavers. Actually, Boris was in the montage twice, his other appearance blazing the trail for my enormous string of ex-husbands. And Boris Karloff was a founding member of SAG. His SAG card number had only a single digit. So does mine. In fact, mine has a minus sign in front of it.

Jane Krakowski was wearing her dress backwards. That happens to me all the time. The cast of 30 Rock won Best Comedy TV Ensemble of Male and Female Actors. The cast of 30 Rock couldn't win more awards if they'd all died in a botched space shuttle re-entry.

Who knew Frank Langella can't read? So Kate Winslet's role as an illiterate in The Reader was inspired by Frank Langella? Kate Winslet couldn't win more awards if she'd gone down on the Titanic.

At this point I began to wonder if I couldn't just repost my piece on The Golden Glob Awards from two weeks ago, but then I noticed that the female actors were all wearing different gowns, so I'm stuck trying to write new jokes about the same old winners. My Oscar piece may end up just being "See previous posts."

Who doesn't enjoy having Mickey Rourke at an awards ceremony, as long as you're not seated downwind from him? At least at the SAG Awards, they don't serve dinner.

Hugh Laurie won Outstanding Male Actress in a Dramatic TV series, and then was funnier than any of the comics. You know, if Jon Hamm wants to start winning these acting awards he's being nominated for, maybe he should change his last name.

John Krasinski and Amy Poehler's expert distillation of every dramatic cliche made it unnecessary ever to see a drama again. It was like all of Revolutionary Road in 30 seconds, with cuter people.

Sally Field won Outstanding Female Actor in a Dramatic TV Series for screaming "Penis" at the top of her lungs on a network owned by Disney. Walt Disney has been dead a long, long time now, and if he wasn't, that clip would have finished him off.

I guess Mariska Hargitay collapsed her lung for nothing. (More commitment, Mariska. You have to die for a sympathy award.) But really, I thought we'd all learned not to give Sally Field awards any more. I was concerned that, with the osteoporosis she tells me she has 14 times a day, she'd snap an arm just lifting the award.

Really, don't give Sally awards. Sally always shows up and always makes weird speeches. This time she told us that her stepfather was Yakima Canutt, since it was Yakima who did that stunt in Stagecoach, not Jock Mahoney, who was married to Sally's poor mother. What a shock for the Canutt family. Sally said her mother had been "an actress," but that she herself has "been an actor for 45 years." So did she get the sex change before or after playing Gidget? My guess: before.

In introducing the clip from Milk (which I believe stands for "Men I'd Like to Kiss") Josh Brolin said "We recreated the tumultuous events of the late1970s, a road of high expectations and deep controversy, that led to our nation's first gay rights movement." What? Excuse me? "Our nation's first gay rights movement??? Hello? The Stonewall Riots were in the late 1960s, June 1969 to be exact, and the founding of The Mattachine Society, our nation's actual first gay rights movement, occurred almost 30 years before Harvey Milk's political career. The Gay Rights Movement had been going for decades by the late 1970s. You'd think Barbra Streisand's step-son, of all people, could get his facts, pardon the expression, straight, and praise Harvey without insulting all the gay rights activists that came before Harvey, and made Harvey possible.

Outstanding Ensemble Cast of Male, Female, and Transgender Actors and Actresses went to a bunch of Madmen, probably driven crazy by all the SAG gender confusion, although its always nice to see darling Bobby Morse win something. Love you, Bobby darling!

Alan Rosenberg, the current President of SAG, looking rather like that clip of Boris Karloff in The Mummy, made a short speech about how the awards show was being watched by 800,000 men and women in uniform ("Female Soldiers and Male WACS"?) In "bases here and around the world." There's nothing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan care more deeply about than who wins the SAG awards. Everyone was relieved when Alan Rosenberg left the stage without calling for a strike vote right then and there.

The Life Achievement Award for a Male Actress was given to Darth Vader. Oh dear. I adore James Earl Jones, so it naturally distresses me to see him get the Quick Before He Dies Award. It makes sense to honor Jones in the wake of the inauguration of President O'Bama, as Jones was the first black American president, back in 1972's The Man, which was written by Rod Serling, so white people felt secure that it was just a Twilight Zone fantasy that could never really happen.

Vader has apparently recorded The Bible as an audio stone tablet. The way they discussed it, The Bible wouldn't mean anything if James Earl Jones didn't read it. Fine by me. Having The Bible read by Darth Vader should dramatically increase atheism.

Jones just played Big Daddy in an all-black production of Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. I don't get that. Just how many wealthy black southern plantation owners were there in the old days? Zero. It's like doing a production of Roots with all the slaves played by white actors. You know, I think I'd like to see that.

I don't know what Jones had to say in his speech. I was listening when he revealed that he and Richard Harris had been gay lovers (I'm so unsurprised), but then he began quoting The Bible, and lost my attention. I did catch his insulting assertion that only one person there loved Paul Newman.

They must have been hoping to close-up early, because the only reason to say the words: "Ladies & gentlemen, Ernest Borgnine" is to clear a room, and I should know, as I was married to him for a few minutes many years ago, so briefly, neither he nor I remember it.

Ernie was handing out Outstanding Performance by a Passing-For-Female Actor in a TV Movie. Just what every distinguished actress wants: to be handed an award by a man who has famously trumpeted to the world his addiction to masturbation. One expected the winner to be wearing rubber gloves.

So Ernie has to announce the winner's name. He says, "Laura ..." and then a long pause, while both Laura Dern and Laura Linney start to get up. Ernie, when you have two nominees with the same first name, pick up the pace! Ernie, your marriages to me and Ethel Merman combined went by quicker than that announcement.

The winner was Laura Linney yet again, her third award for this one performance. She couldn't have won more awards for this role if she'd died back in the Revolutionary War, which by now Laura Dern and Susan Sarandon are wishing she had. She said her fiance had told her "not to fondle The Actor," although whether he meant the award or Ernie wasn't clear. Ernie's more of a do-it-yourself-er anyway.

Here's my doubt: Is there some reason a non-Catholic would want to see
Doubt? It's about an uptight bitch of a nun who is worried that Phillip Seymour Hoffman might not be a child molester, which is apparently a requirement to be a priest. Not my idea of entertainment.

Then it was The Big Moment: the Dead Actors Montage. The crowd tastefully didn't cheer for dead Cheston. Unfortunately the clips chosen of Mel Ferrer were of him dressed like an 18th Century ponce, but then they were followed by a breathtaking shot of a nearly-naked Sam Bottoms that really made you miss him. Cyd Charrise looked so hot that dead Bob Prosky in the next clip said, "Wow." Big applause and cheers broke out for Sydney Pollack, so either they all want him to give them work in the next world, or they are really glad he's gone. Having just passed away, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry and Ricardo Montalban were making their Death Montage debuts. Three clips of Van Johnson got no applause, while just one clip of Bernie Mac, who hadn't had near the career Van had, got a big reaction. They apparently could not find a clip of Don Gallaway where he was delivering interesting dialogue. Same for Bernie Hamilton. That's what careers in series TV does for you. No applause for Richard Widmark, even though he was pushing that old lady down the stairs again, usually a crowd pleaser. But the shot of a shirtless Paul Newman in his prime got the crowd cheering, and they ended up applauding the fact that I was not in the montage, while all over the room, actors were phoning their agents, wanting to know why they hadn't even been considered for the Dead Actor Montage, with the agents all replying, "Next year, I promise you!"

Outstanding Masculine Actress in a Supporting Role in a Movie went, of course, to Heath Ledger. They're inscribing his Oscar as I write. Heath couldn't win more awards if he'd -- Oh wait. Never mind.

Defrost Nixon and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are this year's designated bridesmaid movies, the films that get lots and lots of nominations, but never win anything. At The Oscars, look for one to win a screenplay Oscar, and the other to take home Best Make-Up.

Thank heaven Meryl Streep won Outstanding Effeminate Actor in a Leading Role in a Movie. I was getting damn sick of that "Kate Winslet couldn't win more awards if she ..." joke. Meryl was shocked that she won for playing a woman so incredibly horrible that I don't even want to see any more clips of her. Even if Hoffman is molesting little boys, she's still worse than he is. You couldn't pay me to sit through her whole performance in the movie.

Mrs. Tom Cruise was allowed out on a day pass signed by Tom to present Outstanding Butch Actress in a movie. Finally putting a halt to re-presenting the Golden Globs, it went to Sean Penn, who wasn't even nominated for a Glob. Sean was damn funny. He said he "noticed that the two statues [of 'The Actor'] have rather healthy packages." Wow! It turns out that Sean Penn is a bottom. If he'd been a top, he'd have noticed what nice butts they have, a detail that had not escaped my notice. This is what comes from havnig been married to Madonna. That could turn anyone gay. Any day now I expect Guy Ritchie to change his name to Gal Ritchie.

Sorry (not really), about your losing this award, Mickey Rourke. You know, maybe if you were suddenly to die tragically ... But don't waste time. They're voting for The Oscars right now!

The cast of Slutdog Millionaire won the Film Ensemble Cast Award, because their winning any individual awards would have required the presenters to pronounce Indian names, and as we saw, several of the presenters can barely read. Now when the other nominated ensemble casts speak of "The Mumbai Terrorists," they will be referring to this cast. But honestly, Slutdog Millionaire doesn't even have a dog in it, except for in a dinner scene. And what's with casting Indian actors to play Indians? I remember back when Indians were played as God intended, by distinguished British actors like Peter sellers in The Party, Sir Ben Kingsley in Ghandi, Sam Jaffe (Not really British, but distinguished enough for two) in Gunga Din, or Sir Alec Guinness in A Passage to India. That took acting! Any Indian can play an Indian. That doesn't require any acting. And they're screwing distinguished British actors, make-up artists, and manufacturers of burnt cork out of jobs!

Well that's it for The Saggy Awards. I'll be back when Survivor returns to CBS in a couple weeks, and of course, for The Oscars. Till then, Cheers darlings.

To read more of Tallulah Morehead, visit
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