Take Annabelle Gartwick to Block
By Annabelle Gurwitch
that's how it went for the whole show - "I'll take Annabelle
Gartwack to block." "Annabelle Ginich," "Annabeth
Greenwich" -- famous enough to be invited on Hollywood Squares
but not enough of a celebrity to have my name pronounced right.
Thankfully no one called me in the game before lunch. I ate as much
red meat as I could to ground myself, and then had several cups
of espresso to get myself as "up" as possible because
we still had three more shows to go!
To warm up the after-lunch audience, Whoopi came out and was so
generous and gracious you would think she would do the same thing
even if she weren't being paid a million dollars a day. The audience
couldn't have been happier; they ate it up!
The crowd scared me. It was alive with two irresistible teases:
proximity to celebre-lites and the highly intoxicating prospect
of winning money! They danced on the stage and participated in a
little talent contest to win t-shirts and mugs. People wearing cheap,
cotton t-shirts will do anything to get more cheap, cotton t-shirts.
Why, why do people get up in front of others in sweat pants and
flip-flops? You're coming to a TV studio not a locker room. The
wearing of the jogging suit by the non-jogging public, I contend,
is the heralding of the downfall of American society. It starts
with not getting dressed up properly to be seen in public, the next
thing you know you're singing an a cappella version of "I Will
Survive" to Whoopi Goldberg to win a "My grandma went
to Hollywood Squares and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"
t-shirt! Ok, that's not a nice thing to say. I'm not a nice person.
I'm a good person but not a nice person. For instance, this summer
I helped a bleeding man across the street in New York. I called
the police, spoke with the man's wife on the phone, calmed him down,
and stayed with him until help arrived. One of the officers noticed
that I really didn't want to shake the guy's blood-covered hand
when they took him away, and he said with compassion, "You
know you really can't get AIDS that way." "Oh, no,"
I replied. "No, it's just that I'm wearing a Marc Jacobs dress
and its very expensive." A good person, not a nice person.
And game shows are a chance for every celebre-lite to be nice, and
here I was being judgmental. "What is wrong with me?"
I thought. Why couldn't I help these sweat-panted Americans win
a little extra cash so they can buy more extra large t-shirts to
I resolved right then and there to turn the second half of the day
around and tell some jokes. So when asked what was the largest indoor
entertainment arena in New York, I answered the short phrase penned
especially for me by Bruce Vilanch -- my breasts! It killed. And
so every answer for the rest of the day I answered -- my breasts!!
You know you're bombing when you see your spouse in the back of
a theatre mouthing the words "I love you" over and over.
Yes, my breasts may have been funny the first three times, but I
think people felt so sorry for me -- even Super Dave stopped chanting
"You suck." At least he had pronounced my name right.
Eventually people just stopped calling on me, they'd work any combination
to avoid my square. They hated me, and I hated them, and I hated
me for hating them, and I hated them for making me hate me.
Somehow, and not surprisingly, no one was around after the taping
to discuss my next appearance and the buckets full of cash I was
going to receive, but my husband still loved me and wanted to play
my square, and you just never know what will happen in the future.
True, I probably won't sprout wings and take flight, but I did have
a pimple once so big it really did look like I had grown a second
head. And Hollywood Squares is still on.
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