Cloris Leachman gave me the finger last week.
It was right after Betty White faux-flashed me.
Well, not just me... but me and my friend Erin. And about 598 other spectators as well. We were at the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences (The Emmy People) watching Betty get honored for her sixty years in television.
It was quite a spectacle. The still-sharp & hilarious 86 year-old Betty White was joined by dozens of special guests, including every single regular cast member from The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Except, of course, for Ted Knight, who is previously engaged... what with being dead and all).
The stories they told were incredible and it reminded me of why I wanted to work in television in the first place.
And then I discovered this set of Production Binders on the NeighborGoodies Table, which reminded me of why I almost left television altogether:
On the middle binder, you'll note this logo--which made me shout out in unbridled terror:
You see, when I first moved to the Hollywood Hills, I worked on a lot of crappy shows.... including the first two years of the abortion that is the World Stunt Awards (WorSt Awards for short!) Basically, it's an awards show for stunt people. But it's much, much more than that. It is a nightmare from which I will never recover.
The first year I did it, I was a Production Coordinator, which is to say I had to do pretty much everything that no one else wanted to do. I was terrible at it, and it was the first time in my career that I failed at a job.
To be fair, show was cursed... By the end of it, there were 7 (seven!) non-stunt people with broken limbs of one sort or another (including the receptionist who fell down the stairs), one guy wound up in rehab, two audience members got hit in the heads with swords. A partial list of my own traumas include a broken car, a car accident (in a different vehicle), a near-beheading by a ninja, a run-in with a pissed off tiger and the decision of the owners of the first apartment I lived in kicking everyone in the building out in order to remodel (which, to be fair, led me to the apartment with the NeigbhorGoodies table. But I was still mad at the time.)
The universe was finding new and intricate ways to fuck me and everyone else involved in this show. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger got into the act and stole a giant box of cookies from me. (If you really need to know this story, check out my post on All Bitched Up about it.)
Oh, and did I mention that one of our crew guys up and died two days before the shoot? Because that happened, too. And we all kind of envied him.
It was--for a while--the most heinous experience of my career. (Until I worked on an even more piss-poor pile of poo once referred to as a "Big Bunch of Who Cares," which overtook the record as The Worst Show In The History of Everything sometime in 2005.)
Anyway, the WorSt Awards proved brutal, and I almost didn't survive them. I've done all I can over the years to wash away the emotional scars... mostly with booze at the WorSt Awards after-parties (of which I attended several after my tenure with them was finished. After all, who am I to turn down free booze and hot stuntmen?)
Whoever left these production binders emptied them out pretty good, leaving only the menu for Jerry's Deli inside of one...
...and this "TALENT" sign on the other:
The saddest part about all this: I'm still rattled to the core by the sight of that Taurus Logo. And also, I'm pretty sure I know the dude who left these NeighborGoodies... and I'm pretty sure he also worked with me on the "Big Bunch of Who Cares."
If I make it to sixty years in television, it'll be a miracle... And I'm pretty sure no one will be celebrating my body of work. And if they do, I pray to God they forget about the Big Bunch of Who Cares.