WGA East ceremony long on laughs

Host, presenters make light of low winner turnout

Raucous humor at the B.B. King House of Blues was directed at the many Writers Guild Award winners who opted to collect statuettes in Los Angeles on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mandy Patinkin uncovered a big blooper and Rachel Dratch played the cello at the East Coast edition of the Writers Guild Awards, which held simultaneous ceremonies in Gotham and L.A.

In New York, no one knew who was or wasn’t in the house, meaning hosts and guests scanned the crowd after each envelope was opened looking for decisive movement towards the stage.

“I’m going to accept for them,” presenter Jimmy Fallon said. “You know, when I bought a typewriter, my mom said I was a jackass. Who’s the jackass now, mom?” he said, claiming statuettes for the absent Heath Corson and Richie Keen. The duo won for Web series “Aim High” in the original new media category.

“Saturday Night Live’s” Seth Meyers, waiting with one statue in each hand, said, “I feel like I’m in a horror movie and I have to hold these things or everybody dies.”

“Writers Guild Awards,” sang Fallon to the tune of “Riders on the Storm,” accompanied by comedian and actress Dratch, the evening’s host. She welcomed the crowd of “writers, and people who don’t have social problems.”

“What’s up, Writers Guild? How ’bout those wings?” cracked Jon Benjamin sprawled on the floor with his microphone. “It’s hard to write a new series. It’s hard to write anything really. I wrote this. I wrote what I’m reading right now. It was really hard.”

“Homeland” star Patinkin accepted the show’s win for best new series with fond words for scribes. “I’m just an actor. I am nothing special. An actor is only as good as what they have on the page in front of them, and anyone who tells you differently is full of shit,” he said.

But he blew his top after being called back later by screenwriter Terry George to accept the episodic TV award for the “Breaking Bad” seg “Box Cutter,” which tied with “The Good Soldier” episode of “Homeland.”

“I have no idea what this show is,” Patinkin said. Peering at the envelope, he shouted to George after realizing that it was a tie. “How many drinks have you had? You should read it all,” he yelled.

“I guess I’m not getting a job on ‘Homeland,'” George replied.

Judd Apatow, receiving the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence, appeared bemused by a montage of his pics featuring mostly erections and people getting hit in the head while having sex. “It was too long. And it pointed out some repetitions in my work,” he said.

Introducing Apatow, Kristen Wiig thanked “my friend B.B King for hosting theses awards at his lovely home.” It was the ceremony’s first time at the Times Square venue.

Daytime TV writer and creator of “Ryan’s Hope” Claire Labine, winner of the Ian McLellan Hunter Award, decried the decline of the genre. “I am appalled that more care was not taken with this form that I love a lot,” she said.

A self-declared very drunk presenter Jonathan Ames ranted about HBO canceling his series “Bored to Death,” dissed comedy series winner “Modern Family” and declared, “I don’t understand what’s happening in the alternate universe of Los Angeles. But we have Mandy Patinkin here to accept everybody’s award.”

WGA East prexy Michael Winship gave a nod to press freedom and journalists arrested covering Occupy Wall Street protests, and to New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid, who died in Syria last week. A third of the WGA East’s members are broadcast newswriters.

Stephen Colbert’s team, which won comedy/variety series for “The Colbert Report,” paid homage to their boss Colbert, who “writes like a mofo.”

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