Tony Clip 4: Robert Goulet and Tom Eyen (1982)
Presenters make mistakes all the time, of course, but sometimes a flub is so uncanny, so inexplicable, so jaw-droppingly weird that it seems to exit the realm of error entirely to inhabit a rarefied world of perfect absurdist art. So it is with Robert Goulet's deadpan accidental Dada at the 1982 Tony Awards. Marvel at the 0:30 mark as Goulet awards Best Book not to Dreamgirls but to—wait for it!—"Dreamfingers." That's right: "Dreamfingers." No one, but no one, outflubs Robert Goulet.
Since you're watching anyhow, enjoy Tom Eyen's charmingly hyperactive acceptance speech. Eyen's mainstream success with Dreamgirls was a far cry from the two decades he had previously as the prolific author of subversive Off-Off Broadway camp fests for the likes of Divine, with titles like The Dirtiest Show in Town, Lana Got Laid in Lebanon and Areatha in the Ice Palace; Or, The Fully Guaranteed Fuck-Me Doll.
(Note also that this portion of the awards ceremony was not included in the CBS telecast. Excluding supposedly "minor" categories like Best Book from the national broadcast is not so new a phenomenon as Tony revisionists may have you believe.)—Adam Feldman