What TV star was more than happy to take selfies with fans? Whose jokes got wild applause and whose made the crowd uncomfortable? What speech had the audience in tears?
Scroll down to see the 10 things I learned while attending Tuesday night’s 23rd TV Academy Hall of Fame ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. All told, it was an amazing night of great acceptance speeches, clip packages and unforgettable stories from the people who’ve written, produced and starred in some of the best TV of all time.
1. Selfie Time
TV icon and freshly minted Hall of Famer Julia Louis-Dreyfus indulged smartphone-carrying fans and colleagues by merrily taking selfies and posing for photos, despite her publicist’s many efforts to try to escort her out of the hotel lobby. (That’s me on the left doing my best not to start quoting every “Seinfeld” episode imaginable… yada yada yada.)
2. 600 Episodes
It was revealed that prolific TV writer/producer David E. Kelley has written 400 solo television episodes and co-wrote another 200 over the past few decades. He admitted that he prefers writing alone in an empty room and then passing the script onto someone better than him who can make his words into a reality. Check out the photo gallery at the bottom of this page highlighting all 38 Emmy-winning performers who prevailed thanks to Kelley’s scripts.
3. Movies are dumb and TV is awesome
That hilarious quote was spoken by none other than Amy Poehler, who was tapped with the honor of inducting Louis-Dreyfus into the Hall of Fame. Poehler received wild applause from the mostly-TV audience after that zinger.
4. Adele Dazeem jokes are so last week
The evening’s host Tom Bergeron told a John Travolta–Adele Dazeem joke halfway through the ceremony, and either the crowd didn’t get it (after all, the Oscars were almost two weeks ago and Hollywood has a short attention span) or they just didn’t consider it funny. For the record, I thought the joke — that in “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” Travolta shouting “Adele Dazeem!” would be muffled by the plastic — was great.
5. Robin Williams no-show
The entire cast of “The Crazy Ones” — Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Wolk, Hamish Linklater, Amanda Setton — were in attendance to honor their creator David E. Kelley, except for the one notable exception. Perhaps Robin Williams had more important plans that day?
6. I’m the only one who likes chocolate
Attendees of the ceremony were treated with a three-course meal: beat salad starter, juicy steak entree and rich chocolate cake dessert. You can tell it’s Hollywood when the best entree — dessert, duh — is left nearly untouched on everyone’s plates. I, on the other hand, licked my plate clean.
7. “Tonight Show” feud revisited
See my full wrap-up of Bill Maher‘s comments regarding the epic 2009 “Tonight Show” feud by clicking here, but suffice it to say, Maher clearly took Jay Leno‘s side during the debacle and thus didn’t have any kind words for Conan O’Brien during his Hall of Fame speech. It was the night’s most awkward moment by far.
8. Thisclose to sleeping on the couch
Jay Leno finished his acceptance speech and was just about to walk away when he realized, “I forgot my beautiful wife!” He gave a wonderful tribute to his better half, saying, “She always kept me on the proper track” for 33 years.
9. “Sons of Anarchy” whiplash
Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter‘s invitations mark the second time since October — when the TV Academy hosted an evening with “Sons of Anarchy” — that the star and producer have been tasked with aiding a TV Academy event despite being perennially snubbed at the Emmys. It’s the ultimate “I love you, I love you not” routine. Sagal was tasked with inducting her Fox boss Rupert Murdoch into the Hall of Fame, while Sutter played nice as he watched from the crowd.
10. Posthumous Poet
Sound pioneer Ray Dolby was welcomed into the Hall of Fame posthumously, having died in 2013. Dolby’s wife Dagmar and son David were on hand to accept the honor on his behalf, with Dagmar bringing the audience to tears when we fully realized the double meaning of her final line: “My sincere thanks for this recognition at a time when our life had become very quiet.”