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How Not to Host an Awards Show

So the Emmys were a couple days ago, not that you'd know about it from reading this blog. I'm blameless in the matter, as I am about all things. You see I don't write on Sundays, so couldn't cover the show for yesterday's blog entry. And Gladstone, who has no problem writing on the day of rest, evidently overlooked it. "I hate things that are popular," Gladstone confirms. "And God," he adds.

Every other website in the world however has written about the Emmys, and their collective conclusion was something like, "holy goat balls, that sucked." Apparently the biggest culprit were the hosts, who due to what was no doubt a hilarious mix up, had no actual experience speaking in public, telling jokes, or entertaining people. How on earth Howie Mandel keeps ending up on a stage with a mandate to entertain America is beyond me, but I'll wager those fuckers at the Make A Wish foundation are involved somehow.

Critiquing the hosts of awards shows has grown fashionable in this blog and forum age. Generally I have no problem being crassly populist, but this time I'm going to go a different way. Instead of making jokes about god damned Jeff Probst, I'm instead going to make an attempt to foster a sense of co-operation between the Film & Television entertainment industry and the often-pantsless Internet entertainment industry.

How to Host An Awards Show

The MonologueAlthough the vast majority of your material will be pre written, being an award shot host will still require you to have a charming personality and well-honed sense of humor. If at all possible, avoid being Margaret Cho (this should be easy for most of you.) Ideally, you should be Ted Danson. Hell, ideally we should all be Ted Danson.

Re: Politics. Yes yes, we get it, "Impeach Obama," whatever. And yes we know there's an election going on. It's hard not to. You see the reason we watch your movies and television and music videos is to escape from all that. You think we're watching Two and a Half Men for it's gritty realism? Also, saying "Obama" in front of a Hollywood audience is about the cheapest applause you can get outside of asking a bunch of Cincinnati concertgoers their opinions on Cincinnati's ability to rock.

You might want to drop those Brokeback Mountain jokes you were planning on breaking out - they're getting a little long in the tooth. In fact, any kind of material that's centered around suggesting someone might be gay is starting to look a little dated. If you absolutely must make jokes at the expense of a minority group, may I suggest pregnant women? Isn't it about time we drive pregnancy back into the closet?

Is Jack Nicholson attending your show? Jack Nicholson is considered Hollywood royalty, so everyone will enjoy it when you say his name and point at him. But under no circumstances should you look Jack Nicholson in the eyes. The last time this happened was during the 2004 Academy Awards, when after being looked in the eyes by host Billy Crystal, Jack went berserk, stormed the stage and repeatedly punched Crystal in the balls. To his credit, Crystal didn't flinch, or even appear discomforted, although this would later raise even more awkward questions.

The AwardsAcceptance speeches are the bane of the awards show host, but until we start firing awards at the winners with a large slingshot, we're going to have to live with them. Here's a quick tip for speeding them up. Early on in the show, remind everyone to please keep their acceptance speeches brief. Then to show that you're serious, fire a couple rounds into the orchestra pit. You'll need a gun for that last part - one of the grips will usually have one. Bonus: aside from keeping the speeches short, this will help remind children watching at home that the orchestra is for losers.

The award presenters are mainly going to be A-list actors like yourself, and as such are your primary competition when it comes to landing roles/banging starlets/etc... For that reason, take advantage of your elevated role as host to undermine their confidence. Before they go out on stage, jab them in the chest with your finger and whisper "You'd better not fuck this up." Then when they return from the stage, veer deliberately in their direction and smash your shoulder into theirs before muttering "I can't believe how badly you fucked that up. Good luck on the next season of "The Surreal Life" Tobey."

The Filler

Like moles on all but the priciest of call-girls, every big awards show is going to be marred with at least some singing and dancing. Why? Evidently audiences would be upset with an awards show that was "only" 2 hours long. As the host you probably won't be involved in all of these events, but a great way to put your "stamp" on the show will be by doing little skits in the background. During one number, release some livestock onto the stage, and then chase the animals around a bit while the dancers are still going through their routine (those guys are such pros.) During another, arrange for a case of dildos to be spilled out on stage mid-performance, and then scurry around trying to pick them all up, stuffing them into your jacket and pants as fast as you can, until you look like some sort of nightmarish porcupine. As they say in the business, this is a sure way to get people "talking."

The kids today love that Internet, so you'll want to incorporate that in some way. I'd suggest that when introducing one of the filler sequences, you promise an elaborate song and dance number set to a medley of television theme songs. You then turn around and flee as the theme song to Magnum PI swells up from the orchestra pit, while a platform descends from the ceiling, carrying a man (Tom Selleck if we can get him) stretching his anus into an enormous gaping cavern.

Edit: This is 10 times funnier if you actually listen to this while you read that.

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Chris Bucholz

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