Last night in Los Angeles, you just had to feel for Ed Robertson, a founding member of the Barenaked Ladies. At the Grammy Awards Ed was apparently suffering from a crisis of personality: do I toady to these celebrities, or should I be toadied to. Ed was on the red carpet last night, not because he’d been nominated, not because he was presenting, nor was he performing. He was there as a co-host of Canadian CITY-TV’s pre-Grammy coverage.
Instead of being one of the beautiful people being paraded by handlers from interview to interview, being repeatedly asked who they are wearing and essentially being doused with buckets of false adoration, poor Ed, in his role as interviewer, was dishing up the celebrity worship. But he made a point of having a few post-interview “asides” with some of his guests. You could almost hear him saying “I really should be with you guys”. In fact he made sure to let a four-time Grammy winner know he was himself the past recipient of awards by offering to trade them all for one of his Grammys.
Much as Marlon Brando’s On the Waterfront character boxer Terry Malloy put it, Robertson could have summed up things up by wailing “I coulda’ been a contender”.
But don’t worry too much about Ed’s frustration. He’s got a great career as a musician, which does have me wondering why he took on the red carpet gig in the first place, and could probably retire very comfortably on the royalties from the Big Bang Theory theme song alone.
Next time someone asks him to do this Grammy thing he should just say no thanks. He doesn’t have to go into details, he can merely point out that it was way too hot for a Canadian lad to be wearing that getup under the California sun, while toadying up to alleged celebrities. There were a few commercial breaks where Ed couldn’t wait to get a tissue to dab the sweat from running into his eyes.
CITY-TV will have no trouble finding willing Red Carpet gushers to fill in for Ed. Hopefully Robertson’s next appearance on a Grammy show will be as interviewee.