Do you know what Sunday’s Emmys could’ve used? A really good joke about phone-hacking. It would have cemented the ceremony’s place in the pantheon of legendary Emmys nights, along with the celebrated 39th Emmy Awards when Bob Newhart performed the Heimlich maneuver on Bruce Willis, saving the Moonlighting star’s life. (Don’t look for that story on the Internet – it’s a well-guarded Hollywood secret). The agonizing thing is that the Emmys had a phone-hacking joke, but Fox pulled the plug on it.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Alec Baldwin had pre-taped a sketch that included a phone-hacking joke for last night’s opening number, but later insisted his appearances be pulled from the show entirely after learning the News Corp subsidiary refused to poke fun at itself. (Something Baldwin & Co. do beautifully on 30 Rock where NBC is concerned.)
Saturday, Baldwin tweeted, “I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me NewsCorp may cut the funniest line.” The line, apparently, was about the phone-hacking scandal in the UK where journalists at newspapers owned by News Corp (which owns Fox, who broadcast last night’s Emmys) evesdropped on the voicemail boxes of crime victims and celebrities like Gordon Ramsay and Hugh Grant. Alec Baldwin demanded he be deleted from the bit entirely. He later tweeted, “Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke. Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little.”