Friday, June 5, 2009

My Trip to the Webby Awards

My Trip to the Webby Awards; Or, You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

The 13th Annual Webby Awards ceremony will be held this coming Monday. Because of this, and since the blog version of The Gallery of the Absurd has been around for a little over a year, I thought I'd share with you my experiences at the Webby Awards.

Yep, I won a Webby Award, and in the first year they gave out the awards, no less! The first week of March 1997 I went to San Francisco to attend the ceremonies, and I walked away with a Webby, that coveted hunk of black marble and colorful hand-blown glass (at least that's what the award looked like in 1997...I have no clue what it looks like now). In fact, The Gallery of the Absurd swept the entire "Weird" category, winning both the Critics' Choice and the People's Choice votes. I felt highly honored, especially because I was up against some very good weird sites (take a look at them on the Webby's past winners page). I even beat The Onion, if you can believe that. But keep in mind that this was in the fairly early days of common Internet use. Now look where The Onion is...and look where the Gallery is. Oh well, I still enjoy doing this.

My time at the 1997 Webby Awards was great fun! How much fun, you ask? Well, see the pictures below and you'll get a sense of what happened there. Special thanks to my good friend, Randy Crain, for taking most of these pictures.

Here we are before the ceremony, me with my friends Randy and Kelli. Randy is looking at an issue of The Web magazine that they gave out free to all guests. I have no idea why I have that expression on my face. Perhaps I sat on something.

Below, that's me on the right up on stage accepting the award. The metallic babe to the left was the funky mistress of ceremonies, Cintra Wilson. Nothing against Cintra, but I had no idea who she was. Now the Webby Awards are such a big deal that they have some pretty big names who attend. This year Seth Meyers will be the master of ceremonies, and guests will include Jimmy Fallon, Lisa Kidrow, and Sarah Silverman.

Here I am right after having won. Despite appearances to the contrary, I'm not hopped up on goof balls. I'm just happy to have won the Webby Award.

After the ceremony, the event organizers asked all winners to go into the VIP lounge so that we could talk with the media. In the photo below, I believe this trendy dude with the microphone is from PBS. There were a lot of interviews that night, and they all seemed to flow together. But I do remember this guy being a little too happy and excited for his own good.

Below is a quick shot of my reaction after my award broke--that's right broke--and half of it fell to the ground. Luckily, nothing cracked or shattered. When I got back home, I fixed it with a little epoxy. However, a Webby Awards producer standing near me got on my case for holding the award "incorrectly" (as if the award came with special instructions). It was kind of funny, in a way. When the marble base fell off and onto the floor, all of the media cameras immediately pointed in that direction. I guess that's what you get when you try to use a hot glue gun to attach two heavy pieces of non-porous material (marble and glass)...which is what the Webby people apparently did. I hope their awards this year are more sturdy.

The broken award.

The VIP lounge is where all of the celebrities in attendance mingled with the winners. Here's an off-centered shot of me shaking hands with the San Francisco major at the time, Willie Brown. I have no idea what he's doing with his tongue, but it frightens me even now just looking at the picture.

Here I am with a much more enjoyable celebrity, this time web star Danni Ashe, the beautiful webmistress of one of the earliest Internet porn site, Danni's Hard Drive. She really is a friendly and unassuming person.

Another one with me and Danni.

The black and white picture below was taken by a retro-looking guy going for the Jimmy Olson look and with a nice old camera. This is me with my friends Lisa, Kelli, and Randy.

After a full evening of schmoozing, boozing, and not losing, here I am standing outside of Bimbo's 365 Club (where the ceremony was held) with my broken award, one piece in each hand. I have no idea what that red splotch is down at the bottom of the picture. Perhaps the aura of webmaster joy? Pride? Late night indigestion?

So there you go, my experiences at the 1997 Webby Awards. More fun than humans should be allowed to have.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good memories--I remember this visit. I know you were on to something big!

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