The PBS broadcast of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize on October 30 was a festival of tributes to Ellen DeGeneres – which is fine, since she is quite talented comedically. But it wasn’t so much a tribute for the comedy as it was for her pioneering work promoting homosexuality.
For laughs, consult top producer Cappy McGarr, who insisted Ellen wasn’t picked for political reasons: “The Kennedy Center is apolitical. We have had so many people who have their own brand and type of humor. We don’t pick winners because of any advocacy they do. It is all about funny and a funny life.”
Tuesday’s Washington Post honored lesbian comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for“A comic’s courage” to come out of the closet. So did the Kennedy Center people who selected her to win the Mark Twain Prize. She did not disappoint the liberals.
On the awards show (taped for PBS), she made a “sly nod toward Mitt Romney’s sentiments” with the joke, “Thank you, PBS. I’m so glad to be part of your final season.” She also told Politico Romney made her “very, very scared” for women for many reasons (on which she apparently didn't have the "courage" to elaborate):
Actor Chad Everett, best known for his role as Dr. Joe Gannon on the CBS drama Medical Center in the 1970s, died of lung cancer at age 75. Oddly, obituary writers in both the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post dragged out an old incident from 1972, when Everett -- identified in both newspaper articles as a "conservative Republican" -- upset feminist Lily Tomlin on the Dick Cavett Show as he mocked his wife, the actress Shelby Grant.
Everett and Grant married in 1966 and stayed married until she died last year. This is how Matt Schudel revisited it in the Post:
Whenever I think of actress Lily Tomlin now, I think of her animal-rights plea in 2008: "The word, ‘zoo,’ is sort of elephant-speak for Guantanamo. They’re really, they are suffering and being tortured."
Sometimes you have to laugh at the overwrought emotion that Hollywood celebrities bring to their causes. In a story on Thursday’s Today (in the supposedly hard news 7am half hour), KNBC reporter Robert Kovasic reported on a debate in Los Angeles about whether to spend $40 million to renovate and enlarge the elephant compound at the Los Angeles Zoo, or instead create a 100-acre elephant preserve just outside the city.
MRC’s Geoff Dickens caught this soundbite of actress Lily Tomlin wailing about the plight of the elephant in the zoo: “The word, ‘zoo’ is sort of elephant-speak for Guantanamo. They’re really, they are suffering and being tortured.”
The elephant in question, named "Billy," was shown alternately munching on a leaf, walking near a pond, and sticking his truck over the fence at tourists with cameras — which is, I believe, an existence very similar to terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.