I can’t remember the last time I was behind a velvet rope to cover a star-studded event like the March 26 preview screening of “Noah” in midtown Manhattan with virtually all of the stars and other important personages in the Hollywood firmament.
(Photo courtesy of Grace Hill Media)
I certainly can’t remember standing behind a rope line like that described above for two-and-a-half hours in bone-chilling cold. Sure, I wore a topcoat over my suit and had my cotton driving gloves on, and there was a tent to shield the stars and their red carpet, but there weren’t any heaters on my side of the tent, that’s for sure.
With aluminum police-style barricades mere inches from the rope stanchions, and with the spot for each journalist’s news outlet taped onto the carpeting (so you literally knew exactly where you stood in the reportorial food chain), we reporters were more like puppies at the pound hoping for attention from someone. Anyone. And we might’ve gotten some, too, if our spots weren’t so close to the theater entrance. I pity the journalist who did several takes of his opening lines, including about the stars he was expecting to interview. I don’t remember seeing a single one of them approach him.
There was the occasional uptick in the decibel level when a stretch limo slowed in front of the theater, or an actor entered the tent from the side opposite from where I was standing. But most my time was spent rehearsing in my mind the questions I hoped I would ask but never got the chance to.
When not rehearsing, I chatted with other frozen-out reporters, and remembered Bill Cosby’s terrific take on the Noah story in his very first comedy album, “Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow … Right!” In the bit, now 50 years old, Cosby not only played God (speaking in a lower register and moving the microphone closer to your mouth will do the trick), but also the put-upon Noah.
Cosby’s Noah said “… Right!” every time he thought God (or somebody) was trying to put one over on him. After one instruction from God, Cosby responds, “… Right! … Am I on ‘Candid Camera’?” In another, after God delivers precise instructions for building the ark, Cosby answers, ” … Right! … What’s a cubit?”
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