Friday, April 6, 2012
Lily Tomlin..."Ernestine" character delights "TORIE OSBORN" supporters at fundraiser! Bid for 50th State Assembly Seat!
It wasn't an over-the-top glitzy fundraiser - along the lines of those thousand-dollar chi chi spectacles tossed for President Obama - but the relatively low-key event (to raise funds for Torie Osborn's bid for a State Assembly seat in California) had its entertaining and politically- informative moments.
For example, on the heels of screening a series of hilarious clips which focused on a "cast" of zany TV & stage characters Lily Tomlin fleshed out over a long-and-distinguished performing career, the quirky comedienne launched into an impromptu sketch featuring lovable favorite - "Ernestine" - set in the claims department of a fictional Health Care provider.
All of the timely "politically-oriented" gags brought the house down.
"Oh, that's elective surgery. We elect not to pay for it," Ernestine quipped to one imaginary client, as the audience roared knowingly.
In fact, a dozen-or-so well-written one-liners (like the ones quoted below) kept the Osborn supporters in stitches during Tomlin's brief stint on stage.
"We don't care if you're fed up. We only care that you are paid up," she huffed to one mighty angry so-and-so.
"HMO doesn't mean help me out, 'ya know," she snapped back in a knee-jerk reaction.
At this juncture, Ms. Tomlin shifted gears a tad, and was inclined to express her angst over the ways words and phrases have been transformed in recent years.
"They've changed the name of the homeless, for instance," she lamented.
"They're now called neighbour."
"Swipe used to be what we called stealing. Today, it means you're swiping to pay with your debit card."
On occasion, she mused about hilarious offbeat subjects, too.
"I know that peanut oil comes from peanuts and that olive oil comes from olives. But, I worry about where Baby oil comes from."
And finally, the joke that topped 'em all, with the biggest round of applause?
"Did you see that program on TV about the black hole in the Universe which is sucking up people and everything else thing into it? They can't figure out whether to call it Twitter or Facebook."
On a more serious note, Ms. Tomlin proceeded to pitch for political candidate Torie Osborn (a personal friend for years) and a bid for her seat in the State Assembly.
Lily started off by pooh-poohing the Republican powers-that-be - and hinted that their ideas - may end up nudging Californians down a slippery road to hell.
"When the politicians talk about a new chapter, I sure hope it's not Chapter 11," she joked, as Osborn's supporters egged her on.
"If money is the root of all evil, would be be a good thing to be broke?" she wondered aloud.
When Ms. Osborn finally took the podium, supporters sprang to their feet in unison, and gave her a thunderous standing ovation.
Ms. Osborn was gracious and down-to-earth in the overwhelming aftermath.
In fact, earlier in the evening, I spied the effervescent politician dashing up the aisles to greet guests - in a patterned shirt-jacket fashioned in eye-catching hues of turquoise and blue (teamed with a chic black "t" and tasteful dress slacks that matched up) - and lead 'em by the hand to their comfy seats in the orchestra pit.
By the way, Osborn is quite unlike the overly-coiffed plastic-looking females who tend to populate the political terrain.
Osborne comes across as somebody's caring "Mom".
In her brief chat with the supporters present, she underscored it was time to bring back the "California Dream", and that the spanking newly-created 50th seat in the State Assembly was a great place to start in the years ahead.
Sheila Keuhl - who was also on hand - went a step farther.
After noting that the 50th seat was comprised of a handful of tony neighborhoods (such as Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Malibu, and West Hollywood, to name a few) she made an astute observation.
"It's an open seat for a fabulous candidate," she enthused.
"And, that candidate is Torie Osborn!"
Kat Kramer - the daughter of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kramer - sang her praises, too.
In fact, when I first strolled into the lobby of the DGA, I spied Ms. Kramer - elegant as usual and dressed-to-the-nines (with Mother in tow) - waving a ubiquitous sign with "TORIE" etched on its face in bold colorful print.
After informing me that her other daughter was in the car parked outside under-the-weather, Mrs. Kramer was inclined to beg off the festivities, unfortunately.
"Kat, stay with your friends," she half-whispered to her daughter, before disappearing out the front door.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that Kat Kramer is a good friend of Ms. Tomlin, and that she tossed a musical tribute for the brilliant comic last February which was well-received.
I missed it because I was in San Francisco.
"It was a first. I am planning to organize another one in the near future," Kat confided.
Kat's personal project - "Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World" - has also been garnering kudos from the media, filmmakers, and the industry-at-large in recent days.
It dawned on me this morning that the likes of women such as - Kat Kramer, Lily Tomlin, Torie Osborn, and Sheila Keuhl - just may end up "changing the world" together if last night's events are any indication.
For Torie Osborn, we'll see what fate has in store for her on election day, eh?
Get the vote out!
Bruce Vilanch brought house down with Mae West anecdotes!
Hal Sparks comic relief packed a wallop!
(Queer as Folk)