The Date: June 3, 2007
The Venue: Gibson Amphitheater, Universal City, Calif.
The Crowd: Host Sarah Silverman and three stripes of celebs: the first-name-onlys (Paris, Bruce, Jack, Cameron, Samuel, even Johnny); the frat-pack comedians (Will Ferrell, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mike Myers, Robin Williams); and the Jessicas (Biel, Alba and no Simpson!)
The Drinks: A cash bar to get a good midday buzz going for all those celeb catcalls, plus a free Vitamin Water waiting in each seat
Sometimes skyline views, convenient public transportation and racking up the umpteenth Julianna Margulies or Brooke Shields sighting can seem so ... East Coast. That's when Freeloader heeds California's call and heads out west for some palm trees, fake tans and first-class celeb sightings. Where better to get all three than the MTV Movie Awards?
Live for the first time this year, the show was held in Universal City, or Tourist Town as we dubbed it upon arrival. Any city named after a studio should have been an early indication it was going to be a very brand-heavy affair. The first evidence arrived fairly early on, during the first of three in-show segments for this summer's "Transformers" movie, itself an extended General Motors tie-in. If only MTV airtime were equal to box-office receipts; then GM could bank on trouncing "Pirates" and "Spider-Man 3" when it comes out July 4.
Elsewhere, Yahoo, Orbitz and Old Navy all got shout-outs, as hostess with the mostest Sarah Silverman hilariously kept the whole thing in check. In that same "Transformers" sketch, she introduced the Middle America presenter for the next award as "a real fan of music television and its random celebration of movies," with additional jabs at Yahoo's movie spoofs and Mike Myers' tongue-in-cheek shout-out to Pontiac.
Sarah's most stinging barbs, of course, were those aimed at Paris Hilton. Freeloader was seated close enough to catch the top of her frosted-blond head wince at the male-anatomy/prison bars joke, but even we couldn't help but feel a little bit sorry for the heirhead after we saw her sad-but-privileged face up on the big screen. Dane Cook later cracked that Sarah's comments made Paris check into prison early, except it wasn't a joke a few hours later when she really did submit herself to the pokey. The show wasn't even 10 minutes old, and Freeloader had already been a witness to tabloid history.
We saw a fair amount of celebs pass our well-located seats. The first was porn star Ron Jeremy, of all people, making us wonder what the guest list must have looked like if he got in. Luckily, the spottings improved tremendously from there. Sacha "Borat" Baron Cohen and fiancee Isla "Wedding Crashers" Fisher breezed by shortly thereafter, followed by Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham.
Next was Michael Chiklis, star of "The Shield" and "Fantastic Four," who was seated one section ahead of Freeloader and was seen walking around during virtually every commercial break. Either he was drinking too much of the Vitamin Water or he was considered low enough on the MTV totem pole to be a seat filler. Freeloader worries it might have been the latter.
Best of all was a brush in the aisles with Fergie, who walked right next to Freeloader and stopped briefly to say hi to fans and shake a few hands. We were too star-struck to note we could recite all her singles in their entirety on the spot, so we instead just cheered at her mere (statuesque-in-person) presence.
Other standing O's came whenever Johnny Depp came onstage to accept an award (twice!); for Rihanna's effervescent, prop-heavy performance of "Umbrella"; and for the MTV Generation Award presented to Mike Myers, who these days looks more like "Arrested Development's" Jason Bateman up close. We also caught Cameron Diaz rockin' out to the "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene from "Wayne's World" during the Myers montage, making us want to club her and drag her out for karaoke after the show.
Speaking of after the show, Freeloader followed the throng of sun-kissed West Coasters to the after-party, thinking we could coast in based on sheer fabulousness. We had no such luck, as the soiree was a ticketed affair and we were empty-handed. Briefly, we pondered crashing to try to make up for our lost chance with Fergie. But just like Paris, we checked ourselves out early -- though the view where she is now probably trumps the scenic sight of paint-chipped condos and smoggy sky views from Freeloader's Hollywood hotel. A Kyra Sedgwick sighting in Columbus Circle sounds real good right about now.