He gets more than he likely bargained for as John Stamos relates to him an unprintable story about being told during an intimate moment of Mr. Davitian's unclad screen prowess, a story that, Stamos says, brought his enthusiasm for the unfolding intimacy to a rapid end.
Sitters never win
The final pre-show countdown gets under way. With three minutes to go, the room is pandemonium, celebs flooding in. Parades of unlikely juxtapositions collide as the announcer begs the room to be seated. The "Grey's Anatomy" table toasts themselves, while not far away the "Studio 60" crew looks somber and glum.
Clint Eastwood strides in, looking unhurried as ever, and even at his age, he's a man not to be trifled with. Publicists rush their charges to their tables. One tells Jamie Foxx there is a rumor that Prince is throwing a party in Foxx's suite. Foxx laughs. Sharon Stone stumbles past with date Dominick Dunne.
A poignant moment amidst the mayhem: Jim from "The Office" walks in and stands at the top of some stairs, looking around for his table. Pam from "The Office" sees him enter, flies over and beckons him from the bottom of the stairs. As he starts to walk towards her, his attention is distracted by a woman in a silver evening gown and he is pulled off in another direction, leaving Pam standing awkwardly alone. Life imitates art all too faithfully.
With seconds to go, Helen Mirren strides in. The lights go dark for the pre-show tape and the army of publicists race off the floor. And suddenly George Clooney is handing out the first award.
The schmooze must go on
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After a valiant attempt lasting all of 10 or 15 minutes to sit up straight and pay attention to the show, a good part of the audience decides its time to party and adjourns to the bar just off the back of the ballroom. A growing roar begins at this spot, until gradually it swallows the sound and focus of the show.
In the bar, "24" star Mary Lynn Rasjkub who plays Chloe, the show's prickly computer savant, shares her disgruntlement with co-star Kim Raver. Contrary to her expectations of spending a night with her colleagues (collectively nominated for Best Dramatic Series) Rasjkub finds she has been seated in a distant wing, far from the official show table, with a group of strangers. She confesses to being in a "dark place" about it.
When the show's mega-producer, Brian Grazer, enters and says hello, she does not hesitate to accuse him of stealing her seat. Grazer good humouredly denies all, telling her that "My Name is Earl" star Jason Lee, who has mysteriously been placed at the "24" table, is the real culprit and seat thief.
In any event, the night does not go so badly for Rasjkub as she keeps the party going in the bar. She soon receives gushing fan visitations from Geena Davis (the tallest human in the room, by far), Sean "P Diddy" Combs, (who tells her she is "one hundred percent true gangster") and a member of the show's security team, who tells Rasjkub that he formerly worked for the NYPD's counter-terrorism squad and that "24" has it "exactly right."
The big question Looking around the room, we know who the super-glamorous famous looking people are. And the stiff-looking types in power suits are self-evident Hollywood characters. But what about the man in a white tux, with giant sequin-adorned glasses and matching shoes. Or the woman in the poodle dress (black with circles of white fur) who seems another fringe hanger-oner, until she gets an amazingly warm greeting from Zach Braff. (But what does it mean, exactly, if Zach Braff knows you?).
And then there is a woman of a certain age, adorned with spare-no-expense, quadruple-plus sized body adornments and clad in a tighter-than-skin blouse made of alternate rows of mesh and velvet. Unfortunately about midway through the show, the rows drift out of position and she is aggressively working the room while her enhancements are front and center for all to bear witness, with only a thin layer of mesh protecting them.
Meeting of the moguls
An overheard conversation between Brian Grazer and Donald Trump:
Trump: I'm getting a star tomorrow (on the Hollywood Walk of Fame)
Grazer: I've got one.
Trump: Oh really?
Grazer: Where is yours?
Grazer: That's a good spot.
Trump: That's what they tell me.
Grazer: It's great to show your kids.
State of disorder
The party continues in the back of the room, brought to a halt not at all by Warren Beatty's honorary award but entirely by Sasha Baron Cohen's speech. Actress Paget Brewster walks past claiming, "I'm no drunker than everyone else here."
It is abundantly clear, wandering the room, that the TV people in the second and third rings from the center, are a million times more fun then the staid movie people in the center pit.
At commercial breaks, Rupert Murdoch stands at his table and surveys the room with what seems a mournful sadness, an island of calm amidst the whirlwind. On the men's room line, L.A. Police Chief William Bratton shakes Murdoch's hand a true power schmooze conducted as chevaliers of a simpler time know how.
When asked about her show coming up empty tonight, "Weeds" creator Jenji Kohan tells me, "If I cared about the opinions of 90 foreign strangers, I'd be a hooker outside the U.N."
And so the show lurches towards a close. "Babel" and "Dreamgirls" win the big prizes, sparking little more than mild whaddyaknows from the crowd. And then, after cashing in ticket stubs for gift bags, it's on to the parties.