The 'Man on the Dock' Interviews'
by Sarah B.
Author's note: These pieces were written before and after the 1999 Emmys aired.
With all of the critics weighing in with their choices for this weekend's
Emmy awards, at least one major publication has put forth the opinion that,
although the winner will most likely be CBS' 'Joan of Arc', the statuette
should go to A&E's 'Horatio Hornblower'. The following comments regarding
this situation are derived from our special 'man on the dock' interviews:
Question: What do you think of the fact that many people agree that 'Horatio Hornblower' should win, but probably will lose to 'Joan of Arc'?
H. Hornblower: I say this contest is not ended until the last cannon is fired, nor is it decided until the final Englishman has laid down his life for his country. Let no man stand on the decks of the Indefatigable today that has not the spirit to fight the Frogs to the death for this highest of television honors.
Interviewer: Um, thanks. Next -
H. Hornblower: Wait, I'm not finished yet -
Interviewer: Oh, yes you are! I see that sheaf of papers in your hand.
HH: Well, it is merely that this is a righteous cause and I believe that -
Interviewer: I know what you believe, you've already given it to us in those lovely round English tones. Now step aside please, we have other people waiting.
HH: (pause) Can I just skip to paragraph 47? I quote from Shakespeare...
Interviewer: No! Next?
Captain Sir Edward Pellew:I firmly believe that nothing can withstand the might of the British Navy!
Interviewer: Why is he yelling?
Pellew: 'Joan of Arc' off the starboard bow! AFTER HER DAMMIT! AFTER HEEEEERRRRRRRRR!
Interviewer: O.....kay. Next? What do you think of the Hornblower/Joan of Arc contest?
A. Kennedy: I'm very nervous about it.
Interviewer: Um...yes, you do look a little pale.
Kennedy: Excuse me, I'm just going to hyperventilate into this paper bag for a while.
Interviewer: Sure, go ahead. Hey, what about you? What you think of Hornblower's Emmy chances?
Styles: Emmy chances, eh? Is she a lass?
Interviewer: Well -
Styles: She's got a better chance with me, I'll tell you that! I know how to treat a lady right, if you know what I mean!
Interviewer: Ah, well actually this question is about Hornblower's chances against Joan of Arc.
Styles: Oh, a Frog wench, eh? Well, all the same! I haven't <nudge nudge wink wink> in six bloody months!
Interviewer: Oh, cry me a river! I'm not getting paid enough for this job. Okay, time for one more. How about you, sir? What do you think of the discrepancy between quality and awards shows?
Lt. Chad: Good God, you mean I actually have a line?!
Chad: No, no, this is great! All this time I thought I was a mute!
Interviewer: No kidding.
Chad: No kidding! I spent most of 'The Duel' working on my model airplanes, I was so bored. That's why I'm here, I needed more glue. Say, where'd I put that bag from the hobby store...
Interviewer: I think Kennedy's breathing into it.
Kennedy: (stumbles over with psychedelic pinwheels spinning around his head) Oh, wow...
HH: I'll save you, Archie! (grabs for the bag)
Kennedy: (gives him a push) No way, man, this is a groovy head trip...
Styles: (to interviewer) So this Emmy bird...you got her number, eh?
Pellew: (observing Horatio chasing Archie down the docks. Archie weaves about unsteadily, then falls into the Thames) Sometimes I despair, I really do.
Interviewer: You're not the only one. Okay, I think this about wraps up our man on the dock interview...
HH: (approaches again, dragging the dripping Archie behind him) Would you like to hear my Shakespeare now?
Archie: (to Horatio) I love you, man.
Interviewer: Oh shut up.
As everyone knows, the A&E miniseries 'Horatio Hornblower' succeeded
in triumphing over Emmy forecaster's gloomy predictions and captured the
coveted award for outstanding miniseries. Our interviewer is on the Portsmouth
docks right now with reactions to this astounding piece of news.
Interviewer: Yes, I'm here with the man of the hour, Horatio Hornblower, who is obviously quite happily clutching his Emmy for outstanding miniseries. Mr. Hornblower, any thoughts?
HH: I never doubted the certainty of our victory, it was preordained by the Almighty himself. Our morale, our disposition, the obviously superior manner in which we affixed our ponytails declared to all on heaven and earth that ours was the worthiest broadcast. (Suddenly becomes teary) Forgive me...
Interviewer: Are you OK?
HH: It's such an unexpected honor, I'm...I'm quite overwhelmed...if you don't mind, I'd like my associate to finish the interview for me.
Interviewer: Your -
(Horatio suddenly produces a puppet on his left hand. The puppet has a shaggy head of brown curls and is wearing a baggy tan suit)
HH: Yes, my associate. Pip.
Interviewer: Now wait just a -
(Horatio bobs the puppet up and down and speaks in a broad Yorkshire accent)
"Pip": Ow, this is a right honor, this is! I'm sure I shall never see it's like again, eh!
"Pip": I mean, I was sort of hopin' it would go to 'Great Expectations' but Joe said that would be prideful, and I mustn't be proud, because that's a sin.
Interviewer: Er -
"Pip": But it weren't pride at all! I wanted to win the Emmy so's I could brain Joe's crabby sister wi' it!
Interviewer: (subtly trying to move away from Horatio): Moving right along...
(Horatio starts waving the puppet about)
"Pip": 'ey, come back 'ere! I ain't done yet! ESTELLLLLAAAAAAA!!! ESTEEELLLLLAAAA!!!!
(Lord Edrington appears and calmly pulls Horatio aside) That will do, Mr. Hornblower. Go towel yourself off please.
Interviewer: Um, gee, thanks, he was starting to scare me for a moment there. What's your reaction to tonight's stunning win, um....Mr....
Edrington: Lord Edrington, charmed. Oh, I'm very pleased. Hip hip hurrah and all that.
Interviewer: You're happy? You don't look it.
Edrington: You have to look closely. The right side of my mouth has gone up an eighth of an inch.
Interviewer: Hm. Painful?
Edrington: Only slightly. Sadly, due to unfortunate gene pooling we Edringtons have a simply terrible time conveying facial expressions. It can be dreadfully trying, come Christmas we all have to take massive doses of Novocaine just to get through it.
Interviewer: Poor chap.
Edrington: Yes, but I must say this win has come as a most happy surprise. I did suspect some trouble from that Joan of Arc person, but fortunately I found a way to solve that problem.
Interviewer: You did? How's that?
Edrington: My ma-mah beat her off with her parasol. Now if you'll excuse me I must go prepare for the post-Emmy festivities. I fear I shall be called upon to smile, and that calls for at least 45 minutes of facial preparation and half a case of sodium pentathol.
Interviewer: Well, go to it then and thanks. How about you, sir? How do you feel about tonight's spectacular win?
Styles: (staggering by with a beautiful woman on one arm and a bottle of Thunderbird in the other): It's bloody fantastic, mate! I found that Emmy bird and she's got a convertible!
Interviewer: Oh - you mean the woman you're with is really named Emmy?
Styles:(playfully slugs the interviewer with the Thunderbird bottle) Hey, mate, she told me for fifty bucks I can call her whatever I want! Is this a great town or what?! Come on, baby, lemme show you some knotting tricks.
'Emmy': Hee hee hee!
Interviewer: OK, time for one more - Good Lord!
A. Kennedy: (runs up with bloody sword in hand) Did you see me? Did you see me? We carried the day! I got two nominees! Well, one at least!!
Interviewer: You got into the Emmy awards with that thing?!
Kennedy: Um...well, no, I only got as far as the catering tent. But you should have been there! You should have been there!
Interviewer: But this isn't a blood contest! You're not actually supposed to hurt people to win!
Kennedy: (pause) I'm not?
Kennedy: Oh. Um...
Interviewer: Wait a minute, that's not even blood!
Kennedy: (in a quiet voice) No, it's not. The captain took away all my sharp objects after the glue-sniffing incident. This sword is all blunty. (brightens) But I've been stabbing ketchup packets with it! Boy, was that thrilling!
Interviewer: I think you've been sniffing that glue again. Well, I've about had it, so that's the end of tonight's Man on the Dock interview...
HH: (runs back in stark naked a la 'Love in the 21st Century', holding a magazine over his 'equipment') I found another alter ego to speak for me!!
Interviewer: Oh shut up.