PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA, THE: PALEY AFTER DARK: A SALUTE TO THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS {LOS ANGELES} {LONG VERSION}

Summary

One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media’s Paley After Dark series. This evening pays tribute to the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual televised tribute to some of the most influential people in entertainment and the arts. Craig Hitchcock (executive director, The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles) offers opening remarks before introducing the evening’s moderator, Mary Hart (host, "Entertainment Tonight.") She recalls her twenty-nine years at "Entertainment Tonight" and contrasts it with the thirty-two year history of the Kennedy Center Honors.

Hart then introduces the panelists: writer, producer, director, and creator of the Kennedy Center Honors George Stevens, Jr.; composer and music producer Quincy Jones; symphony and opera conductor Zubin Mehta; and comedienne and actress Carol Burnett.

The panelist discuss topics which include: why Stevens created the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978; the effect of the first Kennedy Center Honors ceremony on its audience; President Bill Clinton's role in achieving Jones's status as an honoree; Mehta’s part in feting Leontyne Price in the 1980 Kennedy Center Honors; Mehta's reaction to being one of the few non-Americans to become an honoree; why recipients never know in advance which celebrities will perform for them; Burnett’s joy at receiving an honor that required no speaking, only attendance; the camaraderie among honorees during "their weekend"; how Stevens and his committee select each year’s recipients; why Katharine Hepburn turned down Stevens' request three times before becoming an honoree; if the ceremony has an effect on recipients’ careers; Jon Stewart’s unique speech to honoree Bruce Springsteen; what happens for the honorees immediately after the televised ceremony; and what tradition became a Kennedy Center Honors "law" at Cary Grant's behest.

Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following: the honorees’ reactions upon seeing the guests chosen for their personal tribute; a near-snafu that occurred as Gregory Peck began paying homage to Bob Dylan at the ceremony; how the apolitical nature of the evening played out when Barbra Streisand and George W. Bush shared the presidential box; the effect of the Kennedy Center building on the awards ceremony; Burnett being awestruck when meeting celebrities like Meryl Streep; the honorees' lack of input in their own ceremonies; and what Stevens considers the most emotional moment connected with the tributes' history.

Clips interspersed throughout the program include: a compilation tape of past Kennedy Center honorees; selections from the 2001 ceremony honoring Jones; selections from the 2006 ceremony honoring Mehta; and selections from the 2003 ceremony honoring Burnett.

Details

  • NETWORK:
  • DATE: December 16, 2009 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:18:19
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 100491
  • GENRE: Seminars
  • SUBJECT HEADING:
  • SERIES RUN:
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Craig Hitchcock … Host
    • Mary Hart … Moderator
    • George Stevens, Jr. … Panelist
    • Quincy Jones … Panelist
    • Zubin Mehta … Panelist
    • Carol Burnett … Panelist
    • George W. Bush
    • Bill Clinton
    • Bob Dylan
    • Cary Grant
    • Katharine Hepburn
    • Gregory Peck
    • Leontyne Price
    • Bruce Springsteen
    • Jon Stewart
    • Meryl Streep
    • Barbra Streisand