Fallon Flat: The Emmy Disaster
In an article published earlier today, PopEater.com's Marc Schneider suggested that "literacy in America may be on life support" if a certain constituency of the viewing public believes Fred Savage to be dead simply because the image of Corey Haim used during last night's Emmy’s “In Memoriam" segment vaguely resembled him, and in spite of the fact that that image was clearly labeled with the late former child star's name. That a lot of Americans are more receptive to visual than typographic information may be a verity – the advertising industry has been operating upon the idea for at least a century—but I would like to propose a slightly different theory for the cause of this small scale internet-based death hoax. Though I was not personally confused by the information presented to me during the segment, I couldn't help but feel that it would have been a bit more foresightful on the part of the show's producers to show an image of Haim... that didn’t look exactly like an image of Fred Savage! So is it possible that many viewers regarded this as some sort of cryptic sign of the impending death of Fred Savage?
No: surely this decision was made in the interest of honoring Corey Haim as he once was, but like many of last night's well-intentioned “plans,” it went up in smoke. Choosing that picture only served to inadvertently dishonor the memory of poor Corey Haim by reminding the viewing public of how bland and interchangeable teen idols of the 80s really were. The Corey Haim/Fred Savage mishap is perhaps one of the more subtle misfires of the three-hour fiasco. But it’s easy to point out the obvious flaws:
For example, the fact that nearly every award recipient had to be played off the stage halfway through his or her speech, prompting at least five of the bemused awardees to call attention to the forced brevity of their speeches as they were giving them. Is this yet another instance of vain, attention seeking celebrities who simply can’t make do with generous ninety second allotments of airtime… or still more bad planning? So the acceptance speeches—really one of the main attractions of an award ceremony, wouldn’t you agree—were almost universally cut short to make way for… more comedy and song parodies from Jimmy Fallon.
I fail to see the value of Fallon doing a rather poor impression of Billie Joe Armstrong’s singing voice for nearly three minutes. Armstrong is not a naturally gifted singer: I’m sure even fans of Green Day will concede that he has a flat, toneless, cigarette-bitten voice. So what’s the joke? Wait, I know:
At one point Fallon ventured out into the audience and sang a song with Stephen Colbert, and if you looked closely at the right side of the screen, you might have seen Conan O’Brien, sitting about three rows back, watching his usurper’s antics with a look that could only be described as equal parts sad and disgusted. Upon seeing this you might have assumed that Conan would be incorporated into the skit, perhaps in violation of his NBC-issued gagging order. Uh… no, as it turns out, some idiot sat him there for no reason.
Other low points included a three minute “tribute” to every television genre, the most egregiously idiotic of which was a tribute to Drama, which consisted of a series of short clips of “intense” acting: various performers crying and screaming, sputtering lines of dialogue which made no sense outside of their original contexts, resulting in what was essentially a montage of “various kinds of random emoting.”
I think I finally understand why the ATAS, the AMPAS and the NARAS always pull content from their awards ceremonies off of YouTube, despite the fact that it will never be aired or screened ever again.
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