Aaron Sorkin cracks up critics

You just know that before Sorkin took the stage in front of a room filled with close to 200 critics, his handlers laid down a few rules that started out with “no drug talk” and ended with “really, no drug talk.”

Sorkin was at the summer TV critics press tour to talk about his new series, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” a fictionalized look at the backstage works at “Saturday Night Live.” The large ensemble cast includes Bradley Whitford and Timothy Busfield from “The West Wing” and Matthew Perry from a little sitcom called “Friends.”

The critical darling’s acclaimed work includes the film “A Few Good Men” and series “Sports Night” and “The West Wing.” But he became a late-night talk show punch line after his much-publicized arrest at the Burbank airport for possession of cocaine, mushrooms and marijuana in 2001.

In the first few moments of “Studio 60” opens with a “Network” rant by the producer about how bad television has become, and cites shows that resemble such NBC fare as “Fear Factor” and Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.”

So Sorkin was asked about using this show and how he felt about the state of network TV.

“I do think that television is terribly influential part of this country and when things that are very mean-spirited and voyeuristic go on TV,” Sorkin said. “I think it’s bad crack in the schoolyard.” Sorkin immediately tried to turn into the incredible shrinking man, going through a wide array of crimson tones.

“Why did I use that word?” he said.

Later, Perry was asked what it was like playing a character that is based on both Sorkin and his creative partner Thomas Schlamme.

“I think it’s more like bad Vicodin in the schoolyard,” quipped Perry, who had a little scandal in 1997 about being in the early stages of dependency on Vicodin.

The stage, and audience, erupted into laughter as Sorkin tried slinking even lower in the chair, rubbing his forehead like a magic lantern that might transport him elsewhere.

“I never wished I had a drug problem,” said Whitford, who plays Perry’s character’s partner on the show.

Until now, perhaps.

Finally, when cast member Steven Weber started talking about aspirin and cloth diapers on the schoolyard, it was more than Sorkin could take.

“I’ll pay $100 to everyone in the room if I can just get that quote out of the papers tomorrow,” Sorkin begged.

No such luck.

The comment form is closed.

Warning: include(/home/l43szz25h9np/domains/suetube.org/html/cgi-bin/footer.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/l43szz25h9np/domains/suetube.org/html/wp-content/themes/almost-spring/footer.php on line 25

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/l43szz25h9np/domains/suetube.org/html/cgi-bin/footer.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/alt/php73/usr/share/pear') in /home/l43szz25h9np/domains/suetube.org/html/wp-content/themes/almost-spring/footer.php on line 25