Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hooray for Hollywood! (the infamous Snow White and Rob Lowe video)

We doan need to watch no stinkin Awards show; we need only watch this.

Arguably the highest, most glorious point in Oscar history--the very epitome of artistic Hollywood achievement and good taste. 

The moment poor Eileen Bowman opens her mouth as Snow White (possibly the most irritating of all Disney characters) the number drops straight down the toilet bowl and starts spinning; her chirpy whine (you have to work to acquire a voice like that) playing delicately on the eardrum like an icepick.

Love her foray into the audience. Always found the smiles on Oscar night plastic--here they look positively quickset, and cracking under the hard sun. Caught poor Dustin Hoffman (is that him? video's so blurry) doing his best Benjamin Braddock grin ("I want to say just one word to you, just one word: Plastics"). 

Bowman goes back onstage, then babbles a bit Norma-Desmond style before going into a Tropicana-style nightclub number complete with dancing coconut drinks and tango.

They wheel out a few of the living dead--Dorothy Lamour, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Vincent Price, Coral Browne. Always happy to see these people, though I wonder if they were happy to be seen in this.

Then the host (Merv Griffith) delivers the zinger: "Isn't it exciting Snow? Isn't it thrilling? It gets better." Look of disbelief on Bowman's face. "Meet your blind date--Rob Lowe!"

He steps onstage, takes a mike, and the moment he opens his mouth--oh yes, it got much much better, a stretched out, agonizing rendition of "Proud Mary." The dancing coconut drinks come back and kick the energy level so high the nightclub tables themselves get up and start dancing. 

Pause; you wonder if the number's over. A drumroll--apparently not! Cut to the audience, where Gregory Hines looks as if he's asking himself "can I stop bending over now?"

They come to the Grauman's Chinese Theater number, and as Lowe and Bowman pull aside the sliding flats, you swear you could hear the strains of "Springtime for Hitler" play for a moment.

Pfft. Brooks can only wish he achieved something as tasteless; compared to this, he's fucking Vincente Minnelli. A high-kicking chorus line of theater ushers and usherettes follows, then Snow White appears center stage with a crown of stars planted in her hair, wearing a huge diaphanous gown studded with lightbulbs that recalls the abdomen of the Queen Mother in Aliens. They do a dramatic reprise of "Hooray for Hollywood."

The stairs close on this monstrosity, we see at the apex of the stairs a doorway done Chinese Theater style, the door opens, and out steps--Lily Tomlin?

But why not Tomlin? She steps down and for the first time in lord knows how long gives us a dose of sarcastic sanity. "I told them I'd be thrilled to do the Oscars if they could just come up with an entrance," she begins. "Think of it, more than a billion and a half people just watched that!" Funny, only she's temporarily upstaged by a final bit of madness--a man crawling head-down the stairs, flinging shoes offstage. "What," you wonder--"are loose footwear forbidden? After all that just transpired, unworn shoes onstage are in bad taste?!"

"I knew it was going to happen one day--the whole planet has gone Hollywood," she continues. "Welcome to the shoe!"

Oh yes. Makes one almost want to watch the upcoming shoe.

Almost. 

I'm ready for my cigarette now, Mr. DeMille.

2.24.13

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