The Emmys: Separating The Stars From The Not-So-Stars

Blogger Paul Davidson recaps his Emmy weekend, from pre-party to the Big Night, observing herds of B-listers in their natural habitat: wandering around the NBC/Vanity Fair Spago bash and hoovering up free food from the buffet:

With only about 500 people attending this event, it was a surprisingly casual affair — it afforded me the unique opportunity to confirm once and for all that Donald Trump’s hair actually does all connect up to somewhere on his skull, that The Wonder Years’ Danica McKellar (a.k.a. Winnie Cooper) gets asked two questions more than any other question by her fans (”Where’d your name come from?” and “How was working on The Wonder Years?”), that Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush does indeed wash his hands after going to the bathroom (thankfully), and that certain soap stars are very down to earth, very cool, and (I think) mannequins due to the perfectness of their skin…

I realized that some stars can’t get enough of the free lobster and shrimp like Scrubs‘ Donald Faison, others can’t get enough of the sweets like Law & Order’s S. Epatha Merkerson, and that people like Glenn Close and Marlon Wayans, despite their completely different careers, have entourages just as big and just as intimidating.

But at least the Saturday night pre-Emmy party afforded everyone the opportunity to become equals in a not-so-equal town. It was last night, at the Emmy’s where the true line between stars and not-so-stars suddenly became more than obvious.

Later, at the post-ceremony Governor's Ball, organizers literally stratify the guests, perching the non-stars high above their more celebrated colleagues below:

At the Governor’s Ball after the Emmy Awards (a smaller, catered dinner in another ballroom of the Shrine Auditorium) — the biggest stars are awarded the unique honor of getting to eat their dinners at tables on the main floor. But the smaller stars and those who make them stars (the creatives, the marketing/publicity, the financial and administrative personnel) are allowed to eat above them in a balcony section that looks down on the bright dinner tables below. There’s nothing more amusing (to me) than watching non-stars point out semi-stars who have been relegated to the balcony dinner tables versus the ones below. “He must not have good agents…” they say. “Well, nobody watches his show so, you know, it makes sense…”

It's crucial that Hollywood maintain its treasured caste system, but it sounds like the Emmys, basking in their lesser light, are a little more gentle about it than their big-screen brethren. At the Oscars' Governor's Ball, the second-tier guests are fattened up at troughs, then hunted and killed for sport by Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty, who have both become master marksmen with the crossbow.