Like many people across the globe, I tuned into the "Hope for Haiti" telethon on Friday night. Of course its not like I had a choice, considering that it was on 500 channels and my only other option was getting dressed up and going out in the torrential California rain only to show up at my destination with carpet-head.
I know this is wrong of me to say, but was that not the most boring telethon of all time? Granted, I didn't catch all of it, but what I did catch was downright dismal. Halle Berry on a dark stage in leather pants reading off a cue card with about as much emotion as Napoleon Dynamite. Robert Pattinson couldn't be bothered with shaving his sparkly vampire beard and was as stiff as a cardboard box. What they said wasn't even heartfelt. It's like they were reading off a cue card all the while thinking, "I can't wait to hit up Koi after this and get me some California Rolls." Cold Play sang one of the longest and depressing songs of all time. I realize that Haiti is a horrifyingly sad event, but so is Muscular Dystrophy and somehow Jerry Lewis seems to put on a telethon that has a little gusto. And anyone who was alive in the eighties can tell you that there is nothing sadder than starving African children and Madonna still sang "Into the Groove" to raise money during Live Aid.
The most exciting part of the telethon was when the camera would occasionally pan to a room full of A-list celebrities answering telephones. I had planned to make a donation (again) but when I saw a room where Jack Nicholson sat side by side with the guy from The Office, just behind Julia Roberts? Well that just sealed the deal. After trying approx. 60 times (only because my daughter willingly hit the "redial" for me over and over) and getting a busy signal, I finally got a ring. And then I saw him on the telly: Ringo Starr. Sitting in the last row (which is just wrong I tell you!) and virtually the only celebrity not on the phone (aside from Chevy Chase). With each ring I chanted "Pick up the Phone Ringo" in an English accent, hoping to will fate into allowing me to have a conversation with an actual Beatle (although I would have also been happy with Leonardo DiCaprio or Meg Ryan). Unfortunately, some sweet lady named Pam (and no, it was NOT Pam Dawber of "Mork & Mindy" fame) took my donation with a cherry voice (much more cheery than Nicole Kidman's earlier speech on the black stage of doom).
Sure, I was disappointed that I didn't get to speak with Ringo. I would have told him that his hit song "You're 16, You're Beautiful and You're Mine" will always be a favorite of mine (despite its pedophile overtones). I may not have Ringo, but during my stint in the reservations department of a 5-star hotel, I have spoken on the phone with Bryan Adams (he jokingly told me to give him a bed with a mirror over it. Hilarious), and the lovely Kim Cattrell. At the time Kim was in Arizona filming a Lifetime movie of the week about aliens (seriously) with Rob Lowe. Apparently the film's budget didn't include a travel agent and Kim called in her own reservation. This was years before "Sex and The City", but of course I recognized her name and voice from the hit 1982 movie "Mannequin". Kim couldn't have been nicer and I remember feeling a pang of pity when she booked the least expensive room in the not-yet-renovated part of the hotel.
All kidding aside, I really don't mean to criticize this great and meaningful event. To be honest, they could have forgone the celebrities (even Ringo and Leo) and just shown pictures of those poor children, injured and parent-less with nowhere to live and I would have shelled out some dough. And it was all for a great cause, even without a tired, sweaty Jerry Lewis screaming for a drumroll or Madonna belting out "Get Into The Groove."