With fidgety stars corralled into the Kodak Theater for nearly four hours of Church of Hollywood sermonizing, it's no wonder that the Governor's Ball, the first and most stately of all the post-Oscars soirées, is invariably a successful event. It allows winners, also-rans, and Oscar-shaped agents alike to mingle in a fantasy-like setting, occasionally snapping retractable tongues far enough to catch a cherry-flavored bubble floating their way. (We're not even joking—watch that Making Of the Governor's Ball Desserts featurette, sure to be one of the highlights of the 2008 Oscars DVD extras.) The LAT was lucky enough to be seated at the Michael Clayton table, where Jelly Bean Clooney (not the swing-era jazz titan, but The Last Movie Star) was realistic about his poor showing:

After the subdued night in the Eastman Room, the ball delivered a frenetic, classy-as-Hollywood-can-be excitement. The music was by the charming Pink Martini. The food was an excellent steak by Hollywood's royal chef, Wolfgang Puck. [...]

Michael Clayton himself, George Clooney, soon drops over and shouts to the group: "You know what this is!? This is the losers table! Look at me! You know what I am? I am a loo-ser! All night long everyone who comes up me makes this face," he says, mimicking the hangdog expression he's been getting. The table laughs, and whatever the group might be feeling inside, it appears in fine and cheery spirits to its dinner guest.

The joke, of course, is that Clooney, despite having failed to come away with another Swardstrom statuette, is as far as from a "loo-ser" as one can possibly conceive. Besides having single-handedly restored Old Glamour to a Hollywood that has all but lost its way—to say nothing of being Mr. August in the U.N.'s 2008 12 Hunks With Heart Calendar—George is also the man who managed to locate the source of that infernal beeping at Joel Stein's house. No, Mr. Clooney: You, sir, are no loo-ser. You sir, are a King Among Nominees.