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Why I Hate the Grammys
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Why I Hate the Grammys
Why I Hate the Grammys
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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Cohen.


And I'm Alex Chadwick.

Mr. PETER MEHLMAN (Comedy writer): The Grammys: that is one happy awards show. And why shouldn't it be? Everybody wins.

CHADWICK: And that's comedy writer and commentator Peter Mehlman who's definitely not looking forward to Sunday night's music awards.

Mr. MEHLMAN: The Grammys is the giving-est, handing outing-est award show in the history of the world. Over the last forty years, if you can name the musician, you can be pretty sure they've not only won a Grammy, they've probably won twelve.

The Grammy Awards is like summer camp: no matter what, we will find an award for you. If you can't play baseball, basketball or tennis, we'll give you the Clean Plate Award. If you can't sing, play piano or write a song, no problem.

The list of Grammy categories is staggering: best song, best record, best album, best tape, best compact disc, best herniated disc, best performance, best vocal performance, best spoken performance, best mumbled performance, best rap, best rock, best folk, best pop, best lip-sync, best humming, best new artist, best slightly used artist, most absolutely impossible CD to open. If you're nominated, you are the best at something.

This is why the Grammys is the one awards show where you'll never hear a nominee stand on the red carpet and say, Oh, it's enough just to be nominated. The fact is, it's not enough. Just being nominated for a Grammy is a slap in the face.

Not that the Oscars and Emmys are as stingy with their hardware as, say, the Nobel Prize. But - actually, this is a little off the subject but maybe the Nobel is a little bit too limited in its categories. Chemistry, literature, peace - how about a prize that actually touches our lives? A Nobel Prize for Dry cleaning would be good.

But, anyway, if the Oscars and Emmys were as liberal with their awards as the Grammys, there would be an Oscar for Best Performance by an actor in a role for which he wasn't originally one of the top ten choices for the part. There would be an Emmy for Best Comedy Written and Directed by Committee.

But no: the Oscars and Emmys at least draw the line somewhere. Not the Grammys. You know how athletes are always saying, Losing is not an option? It always makes me think, since when? Losing always seemed like a viable option to me.

But the Grammys is the one place where losing is truly not an option. It makes you wonder: when you see the winners accepting their awards, sounding so comically serious in their speeches, are they just acting - you know, like someone who's been tipped off to his own surprise party?

Well, it's probably best not to look into things too deeply. Why capsize such a joyous event? You may as well just sit back and enjoy the show. And when they give the Grammy for Best Instrumental Performance in an A Capella song, just be happy for the winner.

CHADWICK: Oh, he's bitter because he nominated this year. It's former Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman.

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