Yeah, I watched the Golden Globes, which are more “honest” in the fandom of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than are the Oscars of the (clearing my throat) American Motion Picture Association. The Oscars pretend to award quality, while massive lobbying belies that. Globes generally go to actors the reporters like.
I watched the Globes to see the globes on some of the women (sorry about that), for Ricky Gervais’ oft-bleeped comedy segments (he had a hilarious line that there would be no list of those who died this year because it wasn’t diverse enough), to see who is drunk and who would use the platform to bleat their political opinions — and this year to see Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks get special awards.
I love both of them.
As someone who covered comedy for decades, and who was married to a comedian for a decade (it was no laughing matter), I always loved Ellen for her ability to wring laughs out of everyday situations with her gentle, Middle American humor. And this was before she was gay.
OK, actually she was gay, but who knew?
Then she came out on her TV show, and then she lost her show. Now that is severe shorthand, but it is what happened. And then, 17 years ago, she was given a daytime talk show that was a hit. Why?
First, her gentle humor. Second, her personality. Third, her honesty. On the Globes she said she has been open and honest and she has been. For a lot of people in flyover country, traditional America, who never knew a gay person (at least they did not know they may know one), found Ellen nonthreatening; lovable in fact. She fit none of the frightening stereotypes of gay people.
Around the turn of the century, the majority of American opinion on gay marriage did an about-face from opposition to acceptance in a decade. I think Ellen deserves a major share of the credit, along with “Will and Grace,” plus the coming of age of music lovers who were fans of openly gay performers from Elton John to Freddie Mercury to Janelle Monae to Miley Cyrus.
If I had to pick one phrase to describe Ellen — who I had the pleasure of interviewing when her show was set to launch — it would be down to earth.
The perfect description also of Tom Hanks, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing when “Bosom Buddies,” the ‘80s light comedy that paved his way to stardom, came on the air. He came across as the genial nice guy, which we knew was not an act. In later years he proves his acting chops.
In real life, he has a long term marriage to Rita Wilson (a much better record than me), he is charitable and devotes time and money to mildly liberal causes, but not in a strident way that makes others want to retch. He has never been involved in a scandal (as far as I know.)
I believe if the Democrats chose him for their presidential candidate, he would win.
What Jimmy Stewart was to our parents’ generation, Hanks is to ours. He has an Oscar for his role in “Philadelphia,” with comedy (“Toy Story”), romantic (“Sleepless in Seattle”), and dramatic (“Saving Private Ryan”) roles under his belt.
I would go to the movies and pay to see any film he was in. I am that confident of his choice of roles and ability to carry them out.
Yeah, it’s a man crush. I can live with that.