Return to narcissism with Emmys

October 29, 2001|By Phil Perrier

LOS ANGELES - The twice-postponed Emmys have been rescheduled for Sunday.

Producers say this will be a more dignified show than those of previous years.

And nothing says "dignity" like Jerry Springer.

This year's show will have a somber tone, we are told.

As if the show isn't somber enough every year by the fourth hour.

Last year, by show's end the audience looked as though it had survived a hostage crisis.

But the Emmys should go on because they are as "returned to normal" as we get: shallow, vapid, shamelessly narcissistic.

All the base values that we have abandoned since Sept. 11 are joyously uplifted by the Emmys, a proceeding that tells us that despite rumblings from the likes of Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld, we should really be concerned with the comings and going of Lisa Kudrow.

In fairness, real concessions are being made this year in an effort to reduce the Emmys' usual freak-show tone.

Joan Rivers will not be doing her pre-show banter at the rope line.

Apparently, it was realized that the concepts of "dignity" and "Joan Rivers" could never be reconciled.

The show will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

An appearance by Anne Heche is expected, even though she was not invited.

TV legend Walter Cronkite, who positively reeks dignity, will open the show while the casts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed will argue over who exactly Mr. Cronkite is - Wilford Brimley or the Quaker Oats guy.

Not only will things be more serious this year, but there will also be some new awards.

The following are some of the new awards and my picks for who will win them:

Best Show for the Criminally Insane: Bob Patterson.

Best Show for Middle-aged Perverts: Dawson's Creek.

Best Performance by a Guy on Heroin: Robert Downey Jr. (Ally McBeal).

Best Show for Weepy Overweight Women: Touched by an Angel.

Best Show for People You Want to Slap: Friends.

Best Career Slide for an Actor: David Caruso (NYPD Blue, to movies, to video, to cable).

Best Career Slide for an Actress: Shelley Long (Cheers, to signing head shots at the Albuquerque Livestock Expo).

Phil Perrier is a stand-up comic and free-lance writer who lives in Los Angeles.

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