Lily Tomlin looked around the lavish HBO party and said, “This looks like the king of Thailand’s wedding reception.” Precisely. HBO’s Billy Butchkavitz-designed Thai-themed party filled a 10,000-square-foot tent with massive Southeast Asian statuary, purple and gold decor, 1,500 guests and enough costumed staff to remake “The King and I.”
Though there were no Thai royalty on hand, an Emmy-winning former U.S. vice president received a fair amount of attention when he arrived. Al Gore was just a few tables away from comedian Louis Black, who said of Gore: “The reason he’s winning Emmys is he’s not good at winning the other things.”
As for his own Emmy loss, Black said: “I lost to Tony Bennett. It’s like losing to the Jefferson Memorial.”
The night’s big arrival was David Chase. Chase, who has a fairly grave demeanor on the happiest of occasions said, “It’s sad. This is the end. I’m going to miss everyone.”
As for the big win on the final award, HBO West Coast programming prexy Michael Lombardo said, “The ‘Sopranos’ winning was the only way the Emmys could have ended. That standing ovation was for the impact it had on TV.”
The party ended at 1:30 a.m., when the power was shut off, which meant that Jeremy Piven, Bret McKenzie and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa could no longer play drums onstage.
— Bill Higgins