The 49th Annual Primetime awards hosted by Bryant Gumbel were more tired than usual

By Tricia Laine
Updated September 26, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

The paparazzi caught a break last week. For one night, celebs temporarily halted their crusade against prying photographers so they could rage against another Hollywood hazard: the butt-numbing awards show. As TV’s finest entered the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for the Emmys, they looked positively glum (or does Gillian Anderson always look that way?), dabbed their brows (as Noah Wyle did), and steeled themselves for the evening ahead (see page 62 for a postshow analysis). Asked if he was looking forward to the festivities, Conan O’Brien replied, ”Three hours of Bryant Gumbel? Yes…I feel giddy like a schoolgirl.” Alas, Gumbel proved he is no Chris Rock — not that it mattered. With so many repeat winners, Krazy Glue couldn’t have kept the stars in their seats. ”If you win, you don’t have to see the rest of the show,” bragged winner Tracey Ullman. ”You go backstage, have a drink, and go to the toilet without waiting.” 3rd Rock From the Sun winner Kristen Johnston used her trip to the podium to steal a smoke off stage. Demi Moore, who got a nod for exec-producing HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk, also sneaked a cigarette. Perhaps next year everyone should follow Martha Stewart’s lead. She brought along a book titled The Story of Mount Desert Island, about her rumored new digs in Maine. All we can say is, as Martha goes… (Additional reporting by Anna Holmes)