By BERNICE FOX
Michael Keaton, Bill Hader, Martin Short and Larry David – all Palisadians — went into Monday’s Emmy Awards as nominees. If they were optimists, they were hopeful they’d bring home that winged statue.
Keaton’s category came up first: outstanding lead actor in a limited or anthology series or movie.
This is Keaton’s first Emmy. It was for his starring role as a doctor in the eight-episode series, Dopesick, about the opioid crisis. It premiered last fall on Hulu.
When Keaton got to the stage to accept his Emmy, he looked at presenter Oprah Winfrey and looked at the award, joking that she must have 90 of those.
Then Keaton got serious and thanked his family for respecting his childhood dream to be an actor. It’s a dream that developed from watching television, starting in the mid-1950s.
He said from about age 5 to 10 his jaw would drop as he followed westerns and gangster shows and comedies on his family’s little black-and-white TV set. On the Emmy stage, he described this as “magic” for him as a kid.
Keaton said back then he would go outside and re-enact scenes or create his own scenes as his parents and brothers and sisters would watch through the window. Keaton emphasized that they were never demeaning or dismissive and never made fun of him. That’s a positive memory for a career that requires some measure of confidence.
It turned out Keaton would be the only Palisadian to win an acting Emmy at the awards show.
But Palisadians still were in the spotlight later at the Emmys.
Former Pacific Palisades honorary mayor Martin Short was joined on stage by Steve Martin and Selena Gomez — his fellow cast members from Only Murders in the Building, also a Hulu show. They were presenters. But the jokes came first.
Short realized the applause they received while taking the stage was, OK, nice. So he said “In my head, that was a standing ovation!
“But please, this is so embarrassing. Selena and Steve are here, too!”
Steve Martin said the real reason they were there was to sell reverse mortgages.
And Gomez topped it all by asking “You know what I love about working with these guys? No paparazzi, ever.”
If Bill Hader was disappointed that he did not repeat his two previous wins as outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for Barry, he didn’t show it. When Jason Sudeikis won for Ted Lasso, Hader rose from his seat and gave his former Saturday Night Live castmate a solid congratulatory hug. Martin Short also had been up for this award.
Ted Lasso, on AppleTV, took the top comedy honor – outstanding comedy series. Bill Hader’s Barry, Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm – both on HBO – and Only Murders in the Building with Martin Short, were among the shows also up for that award.
Former Palisadian Geena Davis received the special Governors Award. It’s for her Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The institute works to bring more women into the entertainment industry with a level playing field.
And two actors and one broadcast star who had lived in the Palisades were included in the In Memoriam segment. Photos of Ray Liotta, Bob Saget and Vin Scully were shown as John Legend provided reflective music.