I know I've been going on about Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me but I just can't help it. Aside from an incredibly boring World Series, it's been my only cultural influence this week.
This week's special guests include Bette Midler, Dylan Baker, Tucker Carlson and Nia Vardalos.
Bette Midler - well, you already know she was fantastic without my even having to say anything. Aside from doing a great job improvising with Martin Short's character, celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick, she generously performed The Rose after the final curtain to help raise money for Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS.
Dylan Baker - he's one of those "hey it's that guy" guys. And since I've watched so much TV and so many movies in my life, I recognized him. But when he was pulled out of the audience, the audience let out a collective "EH?". They did not recognize him. How did he do? Imagine you're a person sitting an audience watching a show. And then one minute later, you're on stage waiting to be interviewed by the over-the-top persona of Jiminy Glick. One of two things will happen. You'll either clam up from shyness, because it's difficult to think on your feet when you're sitting under a white hot spotlight - or - you thrive because all your life you've dreamed of being bathed in the warm glow of said spotlight. Unfortunately for Dylan Baker, he fit the former description. He froze up as soon as Jiminy Glick started interviewing him. I felt bad for him. Sadly, his performance fell flat and Martin Short had to carry the entire segment.
Tucker Carlson - unlike Dylan Baker, did not clam up. He was not overtaken with shyness. He was not overshadowed by the enormous Jiminy Glick persona. He stood up to the challenge and was a pleasure to watch. Yes. I know. Saying I like Tucker Carlson may shine the conservative spotlight on me but that shouldn't take away from the fact that he is an entertaining individual even if you don't agree with his views and he was entertaining as heck that night. Go CARLSON!!
Nia Vardalos - she was delightful. When she walked out at the beginning of the sketch, you could see that the card in her hand (the card with her opening line) was trembling. She was nervous. But through her nervousness, she managed to make jokes and look sexy. So sexy in fact, that Jiminy Glick commented on how sexy she was in person. So sexy that at the end of the show, Martin Short thanked her and commented again on her upclose and personal sexiness factor. At last night's show, to raise money, the cast auctioned off a print of a fake Andy Warhol silkscreen of Ed Grimley. In the end, she trumped everybody's offers with a $1,000 bid. Pretty generous, n'est ce pas?
At today's show, the cast auctioned off the song writing services of Mark Shaiman. He's in the show. He is a pretty well-known song writer who has scored quite a few movies and is responsible for most of the music in Hairspray. He's also the main songwriter of Fame Becomes Me and appears on stage quite a bit as Mr. Short's accompanist. For $1,000, one audience member bought a song. Mr. Shaiman will write a song specifically for that individual. Not bad huh? At first, I thought they were gouging the audience, because for all the auctions I've seen, the bidding always starts at $500.00. This means, that an average person like me could never hope to have a song personalized to me by Mark Shaiman. It's kind of unfair. But I guess you can't really expect someone of his caliber to do anything for less than $500. Right? And it is for a good cause.