At the Governor’s Ball….

Got into my very first post-Emmy Governor’s Ball tonight.
Ordered a diet coke and began to circle the room, looking for stars like Lucy Ricardo in an episode of “I Love Lucy.” I quickly realize that there are many more non-stars here than stars. So this is gonna take some work. It’s not easy to circle the room when teams of food servers keep marching out of the kitchen with scarily focused precision.
OK! My first sightings. Sitting at a table in the middle of the room are Marcia Cross and her hubby and across from them are Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer. Alright, I’m cookin now. There goes Conchata Ferrell, making her way to the ladies room. I sure wish she had won for “Two and a Half Men.” I was rooting for her.
Meanwhile, Brad Garrett is sitting with a table of folks I don’t recognize and is eating his dinner. I don’t know what they served since I was just a mingler, not an official guest. I know it was meat and a potato and it all looked really fancy – Food Network fancy.
OK, jackpot. This is the “Ugly Betty” table, or tables, and I see Eric Mabius kissing someone’s Emmy. America Ferrera is nowhere to be seen so I assume Mabius is smooching the Emmy won by Richard Shepard for directing the “Betty” pilot. Also spot Michael Urie and the kid who plays Justin whose real name escapes me at this late hour. And Ana Ortiz is there too, looking lovely.
Tony Bennett has just been introduced and he’s gonna sing! i make my way to the center of the room. This, I gotta see…and hear. He does three numbers including “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and is in incredible form. Is he 81 now? Amazing.”
Back to star sightings: I see Thomas Haden Church arrive, Emmy in hand and he is standing with the gang from “Broken Trail” including fellow winner Robert Duvall. Then this was cool: I’m plotting my next move when I tiurn around and essentially am face-to-face with Al Gore, the former vice president of the U.S. and an Emmy winner tonight. I say, “Congratulations Mr. Gore.” He smiles, says “Thank you” and we shake hands. I’m kinda giddy for a few seconds then spot LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who is just being surrounded by all these people – mostly women. He seemed to be trying to make his way out of the room was constantly being stopped, asked to pose for pictures etc.
I decide to make one last circle around the party before heading out. i spot Glenn Close standing at a table talking to people, including Edward Asner. At another table, I see Ben Vereen talking to his “Roots” co-star Leslie Uggams.
I didn’t see Sally Field at the ball but on my way in, I did see her walking out of a press tent with her son and before I knew it, I said to her: “Great speech!” She paused for a moment, looked over her shoulder and said: “Thank you!” Then she walked into the night…

Sally Field talks backstage about her speech…

Sally Field was told by a reporter that her anti-war comment at the end of her acceptance speech would get a lot of attention.
“Oh well,” was her reply. “I’ve been there before….I don’t care.”
Then a reporter wanted to know what she thought of FOX bleeping out the “goddamed wars” part of her remarks.
Field: “Oh well. If they bleep it, I’ll say it somewhere else.”
The actress added: “I said what I wanted to say. I wanted to pay homage to the mothers of the world and let their work be seen and valued. i seriously think if mothers ruled the world, we wouldnt be sending out children off to be slaughtered.”

Field said that in her speech, “I had no agenda. I wanted to pay homage to mothers, period. Especially the mothers who wait for their children to come back from war.”

Of being on “Brothers & Sisters” as Nora Walker, she said: “I’m very fortunate and grateful to have Nora Walker in my life, all the Walkers. I wanted to say something about the mothers who wait for the military children to come home. That’s the heart iof Nora Walker’s character this year. I don’t see this kind of character examined: what is it like to be a woman in her 60s? It certainly is a blessing and a great opptortunity for me to explore myself as an actor at this time in my life.”

America Ferrera wins for “Ugly Betty”

This was a no-brainer and so, so deserved: America Ferrera just won the Emmy for best actress in a comedy series to go along with her Golden Globe and SAG awards.
“It is truly an amazing wonderful thing that happens when your dreams come true. I just wish for everybody that they get to do what inspires them.
She paid tribute to the cast and crew and creators and writers and directors etc: “This is such an amazing wonderful acheivement and the award is getting to wake up and go to work tomorrow and see all your faces.”

Al Gore is backstage while Sally Field wins onstage…

BREAKING NEWS: Al Gore just told us that he isn’t running for president and congratulated the Academy for going green this year.

OK, back to the show: Sally Field has just won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for “Brothers & Sisters.” She plays Nora Walker on the ABC show, the mother of five adult children, including a son sent to serve in Iraq. Field was giving a terrific speech about motherswhen that damned orchestra ruined her flow. But she collected herself to finish strong: “Let’s face it, if mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any goddamed wars in the first place!”

This is Field’s third Emmy.

Helen Mirren wins another Emmy!

Robert Duvall is sitting about five feet from me right now – waiting to face the press – and has placed his two Emmys on the ground. I feel like crawling over there, picking one up and sprinting to the men’s room and making a pretend speech. C’mon, you know you all have wanted to do that.

Helen Mirren has just left the press room with her second Emmy in two years – this time for “Prime Suspect.” She also won the Oscar this year and she’ll take it all: “Other years, I’ve sat out there and not won so I’m very familiar with that feeling as well.”
Miiren was asked if she has m et Queen Elizabeth yet, who she played in “The Queen” and won the Oscar for. the answer is no. The Queen had invited Mirren to the White House State Dinner this year but the actress was busy filming the sequel to “National Treasure.”
“It’s embarrassing. I felt mortified and very, very bad about it but there was nothing I could do.”

Memorable lines from Elaine Stritch and Brad Garrett…

I love Elaine Stritch, showbiz legend. She won the Emmy last weekend for her guest role on “30 Rock” and presented with Stanley Tucci. But as she struggled with the teleprompter she confessed: “I’m not faking this. I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing!”

Brought the house down.

As for Brad Garrett, his humore was more controversial.
He complimented co-presenter and “Til Death” co-star Joley Fisher on her revealing dress then said, as he towered over his much-shorter partner: “You should see it from up here! Note to self: ‘Buy milk.’ I think you just made Charlie Sheen’s ‘to do’ list.”

The camera panned to Sheen. He was not laughing

Al Gore wins an Emmy!

He couldn’t win the presidency (at least the electoral votes) but Al Gore is on a winning streak this year. The documentary he starred in, “an Inconvenient Truth,” won the Oscar this year and now his TV venture, Current: An Interaction Television Network, just won an Emmy!
“We’re trying to open up the television medium,” Gore said.
As he left the stage, he shouted: “More to come! next month!”

The man has learned how to get his message across…

Backstage with the cast of “Roots”

They came back here and I had to know, what did they think of this year’s crop of nominees in the miniseries category?
Ben Vereen turned the question around and said to me: “What do YOU think?”
I didn’t say. Thankfully, they had taken the mic away from me by then.
They paid tribute to Alex Haley who wrote “Roots” based on his own family history.
This is what I found sad: while Mischa Barton works in film after film, the great Cicely Tyson told us: “I’m looking for a job! I feel like Bette Davis who put an ad in the newspaper…do you remember that? I’m presently unemployed – for most of my career I’ve been unemployed.”
She laughed when she said that. But this great actress, an Emmy winner and former Oscar nominee, still looks great and has that incredible voice.
Somebody hire this woman!

Funny moment: Tyson emphatically proclaimed that “Roots” was the first mini-series – ever. Burton tried to correct her by mentioning 1975’s “Rich Man, Poor Man,” but she would not budge. She was Miss Jane Pittman after all. But, I think she was wrong on this count.
Uggams seemed to sum it all best: “Alex Haley’s writing, i have yet to see anything that tops it.”

Jersey Boys pay tribute to “The Sopranos”

The audience is being treated to a medley of Four Seasons songs by the cast of the Tony-winning Broadway show “Jersey Boys” as they show clips from the show. Just an inspiring idea.
Now, the ENTIRE cast of the show has walked out and are getting the night’s first standing ovation. They weren’t presenting or anything…just stood there and basked in the ovation.
I think I’m gonna cry.

“Daily Show with Jon Stewart” wins! So does Tony Bennett and Judy Davis…

This wasn’t too hard to predict…
OK, Jon Stewart was juat getting warmed up and the damned orchestra started playing. OK, I know ya gotta stay on schedule but… Let. The. Man. Speak!

“Tony Bennett: An American Classic” just won for outstanding variety or comedy special.
I love what Bennett’s son, who produced, said: “Dad, because of you, I’m going to be reaching for the moon for the rest of my life.”
Then the orchestra starts to play as Tony himself takes the mic but for him, they stop. So what did he say? He just wanted to introduce his wife in the audience!
Well, when you’re an 80-year-old national treasure, you can do things like that.

I’ve made fun of “The Starter Wife” tonight but really, it’s biggest saving grace was the performance of Judy Davis who elevates anything she is in. She won best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie. Presenter Marcia Cross said to the audience: “She’s not walking down te aisle.”
Davis did not show up. Probably home in Australia.
I suggest you rent “The Ref” if you want to see one of the best performances by Judy Davis and I also loved her in “A Cooler Climate” opposite Sally Field.