There were a lot of funny moments at the Writers Guild Awards on Saturday night — along with a lot of dull, self-indulgent ones — but despite a very amusing acceptance speech by Larry David as he received the Paddy Chayefsky Award, the one that nearly put me on the floor was Chris Rock presenting a couple of TV writing awards.
Inevitably, the comic who once said that “A man is as faithful as his options” had to weigh in on Tiger Woods’ much-publicized affairs and recent abject apology.
“I just wanted Tiger to go, ‘I love my wife, but I also love pussy,'” Rock said, beginning a brief dissertation on the fact that men are essentially pigs.
But he was just warming up. Before announcing the variety writing award, Rock said that “Conan [O’Brien] got fucked over by the way,” calling NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker “the Elgin Baylor of TV execs.” If you’re a Clippers fan (Baylor is the team’s former general manager) or know anything about the NBA, that’s a pretty fabulous analogy.
For whatever reason, most of the other lines that stood out from the evening were almost equally blue. “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner said that as a youth, “The only thing I was good at was jerking off and lying. And [now] there’s an award for that!” And emcee Seth MacFarlane opened by discussing his struggles with the Fox censors over “Family Guy,” asking, “Did you ever try to write a penis joke when you can’t say ‘dick’ or ‘balls?'”
Still, the most insightful line — in a night filled with neuroses and talk of the torture writers endure, self-inflicted and otherwise — might have belonged to “Modern Family” co-creator Steven Levitan. On behalf of his fellow writers on the show, he thanked their parents for weighing them down with “just enough neuroses so we became writers, but not so much that we became actors.”
It was difficult to tell how many of the actors at the event were laughing, but everybody else certainly was.