The magic spot on this one is at 4:47
The Tony awards are very nice. People sing, dance, and be very pleasant with each other. The work these people do is remarkable, singing and dancing every night on Broadway, and while it is immensely entertaining, there is of the same sexy glitz and glamour of Hollywood – The drama, the scandals, the gossip.
Bette Midler’s been entertaining people since before Bob Hope was riding around on dinosaurs entertaining people. I saw her perform once at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, I was probably 8 or 9 years old. While I don’t remember much of anything about the performance, I do remember that she had the whole crowd wrapped around her finger – we were all part of her performance just as much as the classic formula to many of her jokes.
In a classic awards show moment, she gets up to accept her award, and goes to work telling jokes before starting into her thank yous. She goes for two and a half minutes before coming up for air, where she runs into trying to remember the stereotypical laundry list of mentors, producers, agents, make-up artists, life coaches, refrigerator repair men. It is this point where the awards show producers take a stab at getting her off the stage.The producer has to keep the show on time, and we’ve all fallen asleep while experiencing terrible awards show producers. Bette doesn’t go for it. Instead, she launches back into a story to regain her momentum.To her credit, does a great job of walking all over the “play off music” which runs for more than 30 seconds before she waves an angry hand and tells them to “Shut that crap off.” When the song runs out, about 15 seconds later, they don’t start another, but allow Ms. Midler to finish out her 4 minute speech.
While I enjoy this clip as an instructional piece on “How to beat the awards show ‘play off’ music” I don’t think any acceptance speech should be more than 90 seconds – and that’s a long one.
Every once in awhile there are some great speeches that become part of the awards show culture – here are a few.
The fun begins at about the 2 minute mark on this one: Valerie Harper has a hard time finding the mic. Lucille Ball and Jack Benny quickly turn it into a bit.
It’s hard to not like Sally Field being this happy and genuine.
Taylor Swift does an extraordinary job of calculating and fabricating her public image. This moment will live on forever in the awards show culture, and was a pivotal moment in her career.
Jack Palance gets some laughs with this one and really helped open up the acceptance speech as a platform for delivering a bigger message – and it’s probably a little overdone today.
While I understand what she’s saying, Angelina Jolie talks about loving her brother in a weird way. The awkwardness is not something that is replicated, though the sentiment is.