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Scenes From 50th Emmys

September 14, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ It’s curtains for ``The Larry Sanders Show,″ but star Garry Shandling went out a winner. He shared the best comedy writing award with Peter Tolan for the final episode of his HBO series.

Backstage, Shandling waved his large golden-winged statuette, his first.

``Hopefully, this will be as powerful as the presidency and I will meet someone new tonight,″ he said. ``Hopefully, the women will see this and say, `Ah, a winner.‴

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You knew the comedians couldn’t resist. Besides Shandling’s backstage comment, there were onstage references to the White House sex scandal.

Accepting his Emmy, Dennis Miller said ``I’d like to thank two people for getting this job, Vernon Jordan and Michael Fuchs.″ Jordan, an influential Washington lawyer and Clinton confidante, was asked before a grand jury about efforts to find a non-government job for Monica Lewinsky. Fuchs was fired in 1995 as chairman of HBO, which carries Miller’s comedy show.

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Actor Mark Harmon, who co-presented the award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, thought of a recent event when asked to recall his all-time memorable TV moment.

``For me, it’s last Monday night, Mark McGwire tying Roger Maris’ home run record,″ Harmon said, his voice breaking, ``lifting his son up when he crossed home plate, acknowledging the Maris family when he saw them in the stands and Roger up above, a close-up of Sammy Sosa in right field. And the guy who caught the ball saying he didn’t want anything, he wanted to give it back. Perfect at a time when we need a few heroes.″

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On a night when the Emmys recalled 50 years of television memories, the late Phil Hartman was remembered fondly for his comic roles.

Hartman, shot by his wife in a murder-suicide this summer, was nominated posthumously as best supporting actor in a comedy series for his role in ``NewsRadio.″ Winner David Hyde Pierce of ``Frasier″ mentioned Hartman in his acceptance speech and cameras showed Hartman’s mother in the audience.

``He’s been running through my head ever since he passed away,″ Hyde Pierce said backstage. ``Fortunately, he did so much damn work we’ll be able to watch him for years and remember how great he was.″

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Bob Hope’s surprise appearance in a brief segment with Milton Berle and Sid Caesar electrified the audience. As soon as his name was announced everyone stood up, applauding, and the crowd stayed on its feet throughout the segment.

Organizers went to some lengths to avoid using a wheelchair for the frail Hope.

He sat in a director’s chair between Berle and Caesar, hidden until it was time for his appearance behind a huge screen on which the audience watched the video clips that were part of the show.

The screen was raised at the start of the segment. At the end, the lights were darkened on both the stage and in the auditorium, and the audience could barely make out two people coming out to help Hope walk offstage.

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Camryn Manheim, the heavyset actress from ``The Practice″ who won for best supporting actress in a drama series, talked backstage about her struggle to succeed in Hollywood, where appearance is everything.

``I was always told I wouldn’t make it in TV,″ she said. ``I have such a strong `I’ll show you’ attitude, I think it carried me up here. I’ve always felt like such a misfit because this culture isn’t very forgiving about beauty and images.″

Dressed in black velvet, Manheim glittered in a showy diamond necklace. She pointed out her diamond stud earrings were from discount retailer Target and her shoes were from Payless.

``Sexy has to do with confidence, savvy, self-esteem, joie de vivre and living life to its fullest. You know what, I feel so sexy right now,″ she said, hoisting her Emmy toward the ceiling.

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