So a few weeks back, I decided to try to watch the Tonys. *Snooze.* Sorry, I fell asleep just thinking about it. It really was unbelievably dull. I can only surmise that (1) the theater industry pouts and whines until television networks agree to run their private nobody-has-a-clue-who-these-people-are-except-other-theater-people awards ceremony; (2) the entertainment industry, including television networks, honestly believes that viewers are consumably interested in its every move, including boring awards ceremonies.

It was Dull, and yes, that's Dull with a capable DDDDDDDD. Actually, I happen to think that the Oscars are Dull too. I really wonder about the poor stars who have to attend such ceremonies. At least I can read, eat, clean, take a shower, write while the TV is on. Someone told me once that the Oscars and Tonys hire "fillers," people to sit in empty seats. Stars can go out and mingle in the lobby but the theater will always look full. That lobby must be packed! I can only surmise that stars go to these things because they get to attend parties afterwards. Which I think sounds equally dull, but I'm willing to concede that beautiful people standing around with other beautiful people getting drunk is more interesting than sitting in a dark theater for three hours.

I stuck it out for the first half because some of the musical numbers were okay. Unlike the Oscars, there was no main host (or if there was, I forget who), only a series of announcers. They came out in two's and some of them had little patter routines. And some of those routines were pretty stupid. And some of them were okay. The funniest routine involved the Monty Python musical folks.

And then a man and a woman, I forget their names, came out with a puppet. Who was the puppet? A Republican. A Republican puppet! We know all about that!! Har har har.

And I turned the channel.

It wasn't so much that I was offended, although after two years of grad school, I'm pretty sick and tired of liberal angst. It was that it was so dumb. You see, there are clever zingers and then there are not so clever zingers and then there is pre-adolescent idiocy, like kids who think it is hilarious when you say the word, "Poop."

In other words, there was nothing about the "joke" that was remotedly funny, other than a bunch of actors got to call the President of the United States (yes, it was aimed at George Bush) a puppet on National Television. (Oh, gosh, we're so funny.) But there was nothing else behind the "joke," except, well, animosity. The delivery wasn't especially good (it wasn't Grodin or Stephen Wright, who can make you laugh just by saying the word "pizza"). There was no play on words. No juxtaposition of ideas. Nothing particularly hilarious.

For example, there's a bumper sticker that I see quite often: "I need a good florist who will send two bushes to Iraq." I don't agree with the sentiment, but I think it is really clever. Nice play on words. Nice zing. An excellent capsulation of concept and message. Very well done. But saying the equivalent of "Oooh, the president is a potty head," that's not funny, that's just really, really, really pathetic.

And the TONYS crowd laughed heartily. And I thought, And I'm letting myself be bored by what these self-absorbed morons are doing? And changed the channel.

There are a vast number of actors on Broadway that I admire and respect. But there's also a vast amount of silliness. Unfortunately, the Tonys (and the Oscars) usually show the entertainment industry at its silliest.



Cherndawg said...

heh, you said "poop." Ha!

Henry said...

I think "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot" was kind of funny...the first time I saw it.

I have a friend whose car sported the bumper sticker "This car runs on blood" which I think is very witty. My friend really hates GWB, but "This car runs on blood" offers an alternative realpolitic interpretation that I think Kissinger might appreciate.