Everyone seems to love George Clooney. He's a ladies' man and he's a man's man, a guy so well-liked that few people even begrudge his two victories as People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive.
Fortunately, he can take a joke, as evidenced by tonight's very funny tribute-roast, "George Clooney: An American Cinematheque Tribute" (8 p.m., AMC on basic cable).
Those who knew and loved Clooney before America discovered him in his breakthrough role of Doug Ross on "ER" come to bury him, not praise him, as he becomes the 21st recipient of the honor. He's an easy target, a guy whose good looks, sense of humor and impeccable style cry out for ridicule.
"Oh, my George, you are gorgeous," says longtime friend Bonnie Hunt, who starts out the roast by advising Clooney he is a getting a midlife achievement award and not a lifetime achievement award. "If you were a woman his age, it would be a lifetime achievement award," cracked Hunt, mindful of the double standard in Hollywood.
Hunt is followed by a long "A list" of friends that include Danny DeVito (yes, he mentions drinking with George), Richard Kind, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, "ER" co-stars Noah Wyle and Julianna Margulies, Matt Damon (via film), Salma Hayek, Ellen Barkin (who has to be bleeped) and several political friends that Clooney has met through his activist efforts.
I don't think I've laughed this much while watching any fall sit-com listening to the PG-13 jokes and seeing some old photographs of Clooney before he became the George Clooney we all know in the numerous film clips that are shown.
Wyle and Margulies were my favorite comedians, with Damon a close second. This is one well-written award show that actually doesn't seem long. Enjoy it.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars (out of 4)
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Snow job: Channel 7's Aaron Mentkowski made some history Sunday, explaining lake effect snow on a History Channel program, "Modern Marvels: Snow." Channel 7 re-aired the segment on its 6 p.m. Monday newscast.
Jack Bauer gets help on "24": Rick Schroder is the latest big name to join the cast of this season's "24." He'll play a CTU operative who helps Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) in the latest crisis. Schroder joins several new cast members, including Chad Lowe, Powers Boothe, James Cromwell and Harry Lennix.
Will Marlon Brando appear? Rich Newberg's latest Channel 4 special on local issues, "Rebirth on the Waterfront," will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday. At least you've got to love the title.
Ad wars: Time Warner reportedly is suing DirecTV, saying it has falsely claimed in ads in New York and Green Bay and other markets that cable subscribers won't be able to see their local teams without getting the NFL Network. It's hard to know who you should root for. But it is clear who the winners are in the battle between Time Warner and the NFL Network -- lawyers and the media that sell conflicting advertising from the two sides.