June 8th, 2009
11:43 AM ET

In hindsight I should have shown more skin

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.tony.awards.jpg caption="Cast and crew of 'The Norman Conquests' speak on stage during the 63rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2009 in New York City."]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

The Tony Awards were given out last night here in New York. I boycotted them over the snub of my one-man show,  Nice to Meet You, Now Please Get Out of My Bed.

I’m at a loss, frankly, as to why I was passed over. It’s not like I was a diva. In fact, I went out of my way to encourage audience participation. I don’t care what the critics say, folks in the mezzanine loved those diet pills.

The only reason I can think of – aside from the unpleasantness with that jar of Nutella – for this theatrical injustice is that the Broadway establishment didn’t like my burlesque tribute to Angela Lansbury: “Murder, She Wrote…All Night Long.”

I mean, yes, there were those who raised their eyebrows at my habit of spending intermission arm-wrestling with Kathleen Turner. But those are the same people who criticized the opening line of the show. Which, by the way, I think says less about me than it does about their fear to consider the question: “What would Jennifer Love Hewitt do?”

And sure, 43 minutes of the show were me weeping over a spilled container of body glitter. If you didn’t like it, well, I’m sorry you hate America.

By the way, no, it’s not considered nudity if you’re covered in Grand Marnier.

I’ll be honest, the timing of this snub couldn’t be worse. I’m trying to nail down a deal to sell the film rights and I’m worried that, without recognition from the Tony Awards, I’ll never realize my dream of being portrayed on the silver screen by Mary-Kate Olsen.

Meanwhile, the chances of me staging my follow-up Broadway production are now slim to none. It’s beyond disappointing. I had such high hopes for Any Day You Don’t Sleep With Your Landlord is a Good Day.

But, look, I’m not naïve. At least not after that night with Liza Minnelli at Red Lobster. I’m aware that edgy theater productions such as mine are easily dismissed as unappealing to a wide audience. America wants high-quality mainstream entertainment like NBC’s  I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here – a reality show so far best known for the alleged torture of Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag somewhere in the Costa Rican jungle. I’ve yet to see an episode of this trainwreck, but rest assured, I will tune in for the finale – provided the aforementioned Couple from Hell is shot out of a cannon.

Just don’t shoot them in the direction of Broadway.

Follow @jackgraycnn on Twitter

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    So... That WAS you that night at Red Lobster with Liza Minnelli...Thought so!! So good to have Jack back!! Missed your witty word... : )

    June 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  2. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    Not sure if I've just missed them or you haven't been blogging, but glad to have you back! That was the most hilariously entertaining read of my week thus far. Not often can I say anything I read has me literally laughing out loud, which I did through pretty much this entire piece.

    And I for one hope to catch a revival of "Murder She Wrote... All Night Long."

    June 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  3. madfashionista, nyc

    Oh, Jack, you poor darling! I was one of the twelve people fortunate enough to see your show. The sight of you weeping over that body glitter will stay with me forever, or for at least the next two weeks. I'm only slightly insulted that I wasn't the audience member chosen to lick the Grand Marnier off of you. After all, I was the only one in the front row, AND I was awake.

    Be that as it may, your post is wonderful, as always, and has almost removed the foul taste in my mouth from that number from "Guys & Dolls." The fat fellow who played the original Nicely-Nicely Johnson is rotating in his very large grave.


    June 8, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  4. Lori

    Hey Jack, Welcome back!

    You have a supreme talent for writing, that Alone would be grounds to Win an Award : ) I love how your experience in life is expressed in a humorous, laughing, and, yes, sometimes in even a thought provoking fashion..... in a matter of fact way... you gotta love what you do, an i do enjoy the laughter you give. have a great week. ~

    Sincerely, Lori in MN

    June 8, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  5. Michele Beller

    Oh, that's hilarious! Some people just don't recognize good art when they see it.

    June 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  6. mary ann

    very funny, have a great week, everyone! School's out in
    Florida! even for teachers, starting tomorrow... have a great summer, jack and anderson..

    June 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  7. Stacy

    Yay, Jack is back! You've been bogarting the funny for much too long. I don't know about anyone else, but my day is not complete without an Angela Lansbury reference.

    My condolences on your Tony snub. I'm afraid Mary-Kate Olsen is now off the table, but I'm sure Jodi Sweetin will still totally take your calls.

    Also, please stay away from the trashy reality TV. I think your boss watches enough for both of you. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out if Spencer and Heidi are real people. I'm guessing the answer to that question might be in the eye of the beholder.


    June 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  8. Samantha

    I second Connie. Stay away from either of the Olsens.

    It's only a matter of time until they snap and eat someone whole.

    (while I am sure you are delicious, I would be sad not to have any more of your blog posts to read).

    June 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  9. Jennifer

    Great blog as usual. Thought you might tweet last night after Angela Landsbury's big Tony win but I guess you two were out partying to celebrate.

    June 8, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  10. Clarissa Middleton

    I want to know what we can do about North Korea and the American journalists sentenced to 12 years!!!

    June 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  11. Connie

    This is pretty funny but just a warning. Stay away from Mary Kate!! I've never seen any of the stuff in Costa Rica or any of the other show you mentioned. If Anderson Cooper ran all day I'd probably watch it all day.
    Have a great week!

    June 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  12. Carla

    Your humor is wonderful..unpredictable always hilarious and enjoyable! Keep it going!

    June 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Shilpee Shrestha

    A v-good one! It'll let me pass my usual Monday Blues.
    Thank you, Jack and thank you, Anderson. 🙂

    June 8, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  14. Janelle

    You made my Monday!! Thanks for laugh.

    June 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  15. K. Weldon

    ...Burlesque tribute to Angela Lansbury: “Murder, She Wrote…
    All Night Long.”

    Ha ha ha... great!

    June 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  16. Jim Haynes

    i would like to tell you about a simple cure for the flu that was given to me when i was very sick in the 1950's. I was deathy sick with the Asian FLU and my landlord came over to see me and found out i was sick and said he'll be right back. He came back with a can of Oregon blackberry pie filling and told me to sip the juice until it is all gone,but don't eat the berries. So, i tried his remedy and within about 6 hours i was actually sitting up and feeling hungry. All my flu symtoms were gone. Since then i have been giving this remedy to my 5 children and friends and family. It has worked on us for over 50 years, so i would really like to pass this information on to as many people that i can.

    June 8, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  17. Duncan

    HAHAHAHAHAH- I needed that laugh this afternoon...an evening at Red Lobster with LM...ROTFL!!!!

    June 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  18. DragonTat2

    Who the hell is Heidi & Spencer?

    June 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  19. Tommy

    Thanks for the witty humor. It is much needed!

    June 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  20. rainbowlite

    Hi Jack. That was funny. I think your one man show need more of your dog and rain boots. The trick is to leg wrestle Kathleen Turner. Word on the street is she's an unstoppable arm wrestler.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  21. maryeking

    Ha! I like your style Jack. Maybe you should change your name to Styles Gray...can I get Liza's number? I need a good lesson learned on naive-ity.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  22. Jill

    You should probably just bypass the Tonys all together and make an all new awards show for blogging.

    Glad you're back... the insipid world of hospitality gives me very little to look forward to everyday (unless you count being berated by strangers ... which is a joy in it's own right), so it's always appreciated when there's a Jack Gray update.

    Final sidebar: Nice to see that Liza Minelli is moving up in the world... first being Kristen Wiig's BFF in an SNL skit and then dinner with you at a Red Lobster. There is hope for all of us.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  23. Ruthie Rader

    Tony baloney. Sometimes it's just as much fun to pitch it at the wall and if it doesn't stick then smile and watch it slide.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  24. BettyAnn,Nacogdoches,TX

    Give Yourself A Tony Jack!
    You certainly deserve an award and so Does Sammy. I actually thought of how cute you and Sammy would have been in that song performed from Hair last night. What was the name of that song? Oh, yes, Hair.
    I can just see you and your peace dog covered in body glitter running around the audience sitting in cute young things' laps and Sammy puffing on her joint and sticking her nose in funny places of which belong to Angela Landsbury, and as it would turn out, she failed to see the humor. Go figure.
    Glad to see you back in the saddle even if you are nude and covered in Grand Marnier. Anyone who can do that is level orange alert and in your case, that is a very good thing!
    You were missed.

    June 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  25. Aaron Horne

    You make me laugh.


    June 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  26. julesgregory

    Once again jack you nail another fine from line to line performance here. Coffee with jack gray always make my early day (yawn). Your Broadway show aspiration is really quite admirable. I mean any one of the one man/woman shows would have never been had they not been gone after with a vengeance. The reality is that right here jack you have an online audience matched by any packed to full capacity Broadway theater. However, if it's the foot lights and the glamor of making a dramatic Norma Desmond descending a staircase entrance that you crave, then might I suggest you just keep on trying to get through to them, just as though you were up next in line on "SO You Think You Can Dance". If you can survive that, and that one pumpkin faced judge with the most annoying machine gun laugh, you'll have one foot in the door to Broadway, via Las Vegas that is!. After all dreams are merely dreams unless one crosses the threshold between them and reality, stepping out of them quick to make them happen, I rest my weary case and concede to all. Thanks for all the laughs today~ julesgregory

    June 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  27. Lilibeth

    Hi Jack, great to see you back! I’ve missed you. I’ve heard so much about this “I’m a Celebrity…” show but it just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m trying to watch less TV and spend more time outdoors while the weather is nice. Have a great summer!

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  28. Renee

    Jack tell us...did Liza, you know, make a pass at you last night over cheddar biscuits? Is she looking for another friend?

    June 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  29. Anna, HK

    Jack, how do you know they snubbed you? Maybe they'd tried contacting but couldn't get hold of you..... I mean, goodness..... you're everywhere! The longest time you were stationery was when you were crying over spilt glitter... not the best of times for a little tete-tete in those circumstances I would imagine...

    Anyhow, maybe you need to spend more time with your buddies Angela, Kathleen or Liza & see whether some of their shine will rub off onto you.... you never know..... Tomorrow is another day.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  30. Caddoh

    Perhaps you could rent a stoner-bus, and take your show on the road, to give it the attention it deserves?
    I'm sure they just overlooked you; your ballot is probably under a table, somewhere.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  31. Wally de Dilbert

    What a fun challenge it would be to work with you on your potential theatrical show. Considering our current economic malaise, I would tweak the title ever so slightly to Any Day You Don't HAVE to Sleep With Your Landlord is a Good Day.
    I foresee an off-Broadway premiere at Highways in L.A.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  32. Kimberley

    Hi Jack!

    Can't believe they passed you up. Clearly they don't recognize real talent... and with such a promising follow up too. How will Broadway survive without you?

    Awesome and funny as usual... love your sense of humour & really happy your blogs are back.


    June 8, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  33. badkid03

    Hey Jack,
    Nice blog! Sorry you didn't win a Tony! Maybe someone can make you a fake one out of cardboard and put it on your desk to make ya feel better lol Anyways keep up the great posts! Have a great week!!

    June 8, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  34. Isabel, Brazil

    Uhhhuuuuuuuu! You came back! Thanks!

    Great way to start the week was no longer the best (bodies of flight 447 and sentencing of Laura Ling and Euna Lee!)

    I love musicals. I love everything that has dance very much! Good times that the ballet was part of my life!
    The Broadway is amazing. Ah, if I lived in NY ...

    Great post, as usual! Thanks

    See you on Twitter!

    June 8, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  35. Carol B. in MD

    Hmm...thought you might be depressed because you weren't the inspiration for Mame, a little before your time. Angela was certainly one of the belles of the ball last night. Although your show sounded riveting, don't let the critics get to you. Maybe there will be a role opening up in Hair. Just don't glom onto one of those celebrity shows with the couple unofficially known as twit and t**t. You might regret THAT.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  36. Jame Rodriguez

    Hello Hello Jack,

    Agree with most posts. Good to have you back on the blogs and i'm sorry you did not win a Tony. However, you left the most important question out....Did Kathleen Turner beat you?

    June 8, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  37. AJinSoCal

    Because of your frequent Tweets about Angela Lansbury, I thought of you when she came on stage last night. Your blog cracks me up. Thanks for entertaining us!

    June 8, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  38. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Nice to have you writing on here again. I personally enjoyed watching the Tony Awards last night. It was an amazing year on Broadway. The true talent that exists never stops wowing me. Definitely worth a trip to NYC to see some shows.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  39. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Hi Jack Welcome Back to blog
    I can't understand why you were snubbed either i mean really yoou and your sidekick Sammy the menthol smoking dog it's pure star power if you ask me.Who does Liza Minelli think she is? I'd watch Heidi and Spencer getting shot out of a cannon out into the land of obliivion where no one will here from them again -ha!

    Thanks for your funny post Jack
    You're the second best next to Anderson -ha! I

    Michelle D.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  40. Emily

    You're my hero.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  41. Proud_Lion

    Why am I consistently drawn here? Hilarity unlimited. Thanks for blogging

    June 8, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  42. Bobbie

    Thank God your blogs are back. I have been seriously missing them as they absolutely make my day! Please keep them coming.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  43. Robyn


    Thanks for the Monday morning pick me up that I so desperately needed! I might just be able to make it through the day now.... maybe.

    Wait ... if you're already at work, does that mean Sammy's smoking a menthol and drinking a martini out of your favorite Golden Girls coffee mug?

    Have a great day!

    June 8, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  44. trish

    Once again hysterical...glad i wasnt drinking my coffee when i read this!! Welcome Back!!! Starting a monday off w/ your blog is always a good thing. ~spycnsweet

    June 8, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  45. Rambling Expatriate

    It's official: I adore you Jack.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  46. Presley

    Well, let's see, Heidi was sent to the hospital after being locked in a dark room with Spencer for a whole night and she has an ulcer of some kind apparently.
    They want to sue NBC now. IDK, I would sue someone if I was forced to be on a reality show that is supposed to raise money for charity but I was still getting paid and massive exposure.
    ( I mean isn't that their job? To be media parasites? Wouldn't they be suing themselves?)
    But Spencer claims they are to famous to be on the show. Yes, more famous than Pati Blago and Lou Diamond Phillips.
    (I don't watch that crapfest, I get my updates via my favorite Gossip Blog and NBC.)
    Gilligan's Island of The Hideous is imploding, according to different sources, many are not happy with Spiedi. Jack, I implore you DO NOT WATCH THIS! Please, brain cells are precious!

    p.s. SAVE LOU DIAMOND!!!!

    June 8, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  47. Alyzabeth

    Sometimes great talent goes unrecognized.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  48. Andy

    You are so funny. Morning jack!!

    June 8, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  49. Cindy

    Jack...Good to finally have you back on the blog! I missed your crazy funny posts! Once again you didn't disappoint. You are too funny! Keep it up.

    Sorry that you didn't get a Tony but hey...it could be worse. You could be "famous" and stuck on that island with Mrs. Blago, and that Heidi and Spencer couple..who ever the heck they are! Thank your lucky stars you don't have to deal with those people. You'd really be drove insane then.


    June 8, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  50. Jennifer - Michigan

    Good Morning Jack! Glad you're back – very funny post. Hope you had a nice weekend, aside from being dissed for a Tony, ha ha. Here's to a good week for us all. It's good to have you back on the blog. Have a great day, talk to you later.

    June 8, 2009 at 9:53 am |
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