TV's top talkers try out for spot on red carpet

March 03, 2006|By PATT MORRISON

The red carpet - it's got a casualty rate worse than a Dick Cheney hunting trip.

The Rivers women, Joan and Melissa, have been busted to the TV Guide Channel, where they have to do their snarky shtick squashed into a horizontally split screen while listings for Japanese anime and celebrity poker shows roll queasily below them.

Comic Kathy Griffin got sent back down to the minors for joking about a 10-year-old actress going into rehab.

And Isaac Mizrahi, the gay fashion designer, was unrepentant after committing what sure looked to me like misdemeanor battery on live TV at the Golden Globes, squeezing one actress' breasts and asking another about her nether hair. But the academy has let it be known that anyone who misbehaves on Sunday will be called on the carpet, not reporting from it next year.

Given the attrition rate, it's time to start auditioning. So bring on the bloviating boys (and girls), with sequins:

Wolf Blitzer: "The Situation Room is. Here on the. Red carpet. And joining us is. David Strathairn. Star. Of Good Night, and Good Luck. Congratulations. How does it feel? Portraying my idol, Ed Murrow. Who, like me. Reported from a war zone."

Greta Van Susteren: "Michelle Williams, nominated for best supporting actress in Brokeback Mountain, you're on the red carpet, and on the record with Greta Van Susteren. Is that a Monique Lhuillier you're wearing? I bought my Lhuillier when I returned from Aruba, where I hosted my latest special on Natalee Holloway, who disappeared into a sinister nightmare on that island paradise about 280 shows ago. And Michelle, I have to tell you - there's a great movie in the Natalee Holloway tragedy, and since your character in Dawson's Creek died in the end, you'd be perfect to play Natalee in ... "

Nancy Grace: "Don't you dare, Greta Van Susteren. Don't you dare presume to speak for Natalee or her family. I'm a victim of violent crime myself, because my fiance was murdered, and if anybody should have a role in The Natalee Holloway Story, it's me."

Bill O'Reilly: "Welcome, Felicity Huffman, to the first `No-Spin Zone' at the Oscars. I wanna know who you're wearing, but first I wanna know - who are you? You're nominated for best actress in Transamerica, but hey - should it have been best actor? C'mon, no spin here - give it to us straight.

"You and the academy and your husband here, William H. Macy, all say you're a woman. I say - maybe not. We'll have to agree to disagree."

Larry King: "George Clooney, good of you to join us on the red carpet edition of Larry King Live. You're nominated for best supporting actor in Syriana - I haven't seen the movie, but I've been there, Syriana, many times of course, wonderful country, troubled, certainly. Hold that thought, George, we'll be right back. Be sure to tune in next year to Larry King Live at the Oscars, when we'll bring you - well, we don't know yet."

Oprah Winfrey: "Reese Witherspoon! You come and talk to me. Or you'll never be on my show again, even if you make Legally Blonde III. I know what's going through your head: How hard it is, getting into those Spanx! At Harpo Productions, we love Spanx, but they're harder to get into than Jimmy Choos with the calf-high ties!"

Sean Hannity: "Warren Beatty, Warren - Sean Hannity over here - Warren? Warren? Typical liberal. Won't even look to the right."

Anderson Cooper: "A special red carpet edition of 360 starts right now. William Hurt, here with me at the Academy Awards, and what I am about to say is harsh but it must be said. Nominated for best supporting actor in A History of Violence. A brave effort, a heroic effort, but you're not going to win. Hurt's the name and tonight I'm afraid hurt will be the game. I just want you to know that we're here for you, and we'll do what it takes to get to the bottom of this, to find out who's responsible for this tragic, tragic loss here tonight."

Stephen Colbert: "Brokeback Mountain nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, not an easy name to pronounce, not an easy movie to watch. So I haven't. Jake, the gay agenda - it's more than brunch and shopping. Brokeback, Capote - don't try to deny it: It's the year of the nancy boys at the Oscars!"

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We'll let you know.

Patt Morrison is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Her e-mail is patt.morrison@latimes.com.

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