|Producers Guild Awards: Five Years Ago|
Not long after, Rob Reiner took the stage to present the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television to… Norman Lear himself. (The award was re-named in Lear’s honor that year.) Reiner’s introduction started in traditional fashion, then went south, so to speak.
We’ve ended the clip there for the purposes of good taste, but following Reiner’s extended homage to his mentor’s cojones, the Awards turned into the night of Norman Lear’s Balls. Keeping one foot in the Friar’s Club, subsequent presenters such as Brett Ratner, Alfre Woodard and George Clooney each ad-libbed their own tributes to the TV titan’s testes. Lear himself took the stage with his characteristic humor and grace.
Winners of the competitive categories that year included some surprises. HBO’s Entourage proved to be a dark horse winner in TV Comedy. For Animated Feature, the winner was Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit—the sole time thus far that the Guild’s award in this category has not gone to a Pixar film. The Darryl F. Zanuck Award that year wasn’t a surprise – winner Brokeback Mountain was by all accounts the most acclaimed film of the year – though it did set up the stunning upset of Crash at the Oscars shortly thereafter.
The Guild’s highest honor – the Milestone Award – went to Clint Eastwood. And one of our acknowledged rules of thumb is: Clint speaks for himself.
It was, by all accounts, the bawdiest of the Guild’s awards to date, though with Judd Apatow (who has been known to enjoy an anatomy-based joke now and again) hosting this year’s proceedings, that title may be up for grabs. Seeing all these clips gives us fresh admiration for the team of Bruce Cohen and Stacey Sher who put on a terrific show. Bruce, of course, is a producer of this year’s Oscar telecast. If that show veers off into paeans to an honored producer’s gonads, just remember: he’s only going with what works.