NO ONE wants to say it out loud but all the award shows on television are getting to be a bore. Whether it's the Oscars or the tonys, the format never seems to change. "May I have the envelope, please -- the winner is. . ."
"Oh, my goodness, oh my gracious, this is the greatest moment of my life -- I want to thank my producer Ron Christmas, my agent Eddie New Year, the cast, the cameramen, the sound mixer, my chauffeur, the woman who comes to clean my apartment twice a week, the Beverly Hills Fire Department, the boy who delivers my newspaper, my mother, my father, my third husband, and his two children by a former marriage, Thomas Edison, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Burger King, who always let me have it my way. . ."
The producers of these shows know they're up against the wall and they are searching desperately for a new format to hold the audience's interest. I believe I may have one for them.
Instead of announcing the winners at shows such as the Academy and Tony awards, they could announce the losers.
This is how it would go.
The nominees for the best actress are Lila Crane in 'Valium,' Sylvia Riff in 'Light My Beer,' and Dora Tremble in 'Roller Skate Hustler.' And the big loser is Lila Crane who starred in 'Valium.'
"I am delighted to accept this award because it gives me an opportunity to mention all the no-talent people who participated in the making of 'Valium.' I don't know where to begin when it comes to blaming people involved with this picture. There were so many of them I'm sure I'll forget someone. w
"To my lecherous producer, Sam Tolstoy, who pursued this project for 13 years before he found a studio dumb enough to put up the money, I would just like to say it was a lousy script to start with, but you managed to mess it up even worse. To my director, Gary Ack, who doesn't know one end of the camera from the other, I advise you to go back into your father's slipcover business. To the cast, who sabotaged every scene I had, I will see all of you at a Screen Actors Guild hearing where I've preferred charges. And to my astute husband-manager, who persuaded me to play in this turkey, I want the house in Bel Air, custody of the dogs and a complete accounting of all the money I've made in the past 10 years. If you have anything to say to me after tonight, you can tell it to Marvin Mitchelson, my lawyer."
"Thank you, Lila, and now for the best actor of the year, the nominees are Rock Hammer, for 'Drowning,' Jeff Holster for 'Far Too Many Indians,' and Dan Lava for 'The One-Legged Place Kicker.' And the loser is Dan Lava."
"I'm proud to stand up here and accept this award, not because I believe that I am the only loser in this business. Everyone who was nominated is a loser. I saw Rock Hammer's performance in 'Drowning' and had to walk out of it. Jeff Holster's portrayal of a half-breed sheriff set the motion picture business back 20 years. They both deserve to be up here with me tonight. As for 'The One-Legged Place Kicker,' I have nothing to apologize for. I did it for the money, which in this business is the name of the game."
"Let's hear it for a great actor, Dan Lava. And now our final award for the best picture of the year, the nominees are 'Two Tickets to Picasso' produced by Sy Custer, 'The Incredible Tax Shelter,' producer Merrill Linch, and 'Ashes Over Portland,' producer Chauncey Campbell. May I have the envelope, please? The big loser is Merrill Linch.
"Accepting the award for Merrill Linch, who could not be with us tonight, is E. F. Houghton."
"Ladies and gentlemen, Merrill wanted to be here this evening, in the worst way. But as you know he's doing one to 10 in the Allenwood Penitentiary for padding the books and writing bum checks to pay the cast. 'The Incredible Tax Shelter' was a labor of love as far as he was concerned, and although it brought in $60 million at the box office, it never made back its negative cost. Why a jury refused to believe this, is something Merrill will never understand.
"To the talented people associated with 'The Incredible Tax Shelter,' who were cheated out of their profits, Merrill has asked me to say you've been great sports, and as soon as his parole comes through he'd be proud to make another film with each and every one of you."