No one is going to get an Emmy Award for planning arrivals.
While there was a well-run valet drop-off for self-driving proletariats not far from the Shrine’s entrance, limos disgorged their bedazzlingly attired guests at the Jefferson Boulevard entrance, where the press and TV cameras were located.
The good news for hundreds of anonymous TV execs and techies was that they had a thrilling brush with glamour as they inched their way down the red carpet. The bad news was the stars were lost in a scene that resembled a Ross Dress for Less mega-sale.
“We’re here to shoot fashion,” said Scott Downie of Celebrity Photo. “It’s immensely difficult to shoot full-length when it’s this packed. I mean, Julia Roberts walked by and we missed her.”
More than one publicist muttered “This is insane!” as they tried to maneuver clients close enough to photographers to be shot, far enough back that the sleek-fitting gowns could be seen, and then to move the stars across the packed aisle for the TV interviews.
The crowd that spilled out into two lanes of Jefferson Boulevard (and by doing that slowed traffic even more) had plenty of time to admire the few protesters who picketed the event from across the street. Most were from the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle, holding signs saying “Ye Must Be Born Again,” “Only Jesus Saves” and “Down With Dirty Movies.”
Ben Griffith, whose sign focused on obscene films, said he was there to remind Hollywood that “there is a God in heaven and that they need Jesus.” However, he declined to name any particular TV show that offended him.
Farther down the block, Al Jacobs was using the traffic jam to interest Emmygoers in one of his demo tapes. The 60-year-old singer was wearing a papier-mache hat resembling a silver shark, and he held a sign that said “Let Me Sing Your Sound Tracks???”
Jacobs, who mentioned having once been a winner on “The Gong Show,” said he was making the tape-distribution effort because “I want to be star. Stardom has eluded me for 60 years.”