Kelsey Gets Honor, Oprah Gets Laughs
Besides having played Frasier Crane for the past 19 years -- first on "Cheers" and then for the past nine years on the still-going-strong "Frasier" -- the actor, 47, said he will soon play America's first president, George Washington, in an upcoming TV movie titled "Benedict Arnold."
"Oh, he's a laugh riot!" Grammer joked of George, though he did add, seriously, that Washington "is somebody I have great, deep respect for. As I muse through his history, I identify with the challenges that he faced and I have almost limitless admiration for the commitments he made."
Then, sounding a great deal like the high-falutin' Dr. Frasier Crane, he added: "I did my best to honor the history without making him inaccessible. You know ... let George Washington borrow my flesh for the time being and fill the monument."
As for another star honoree, "Oprah Winfrey is far more than a force of television. She is a force of nature," newsman Sam Donaldson, 68, said in his introduction. "She transformed the talk show into a national event."
In accepting the accolade, Oprah, 48, said it was "an amazing grace that has brought me from a little town in Mississippi where we had no television. There was no television. We had no indoor plumbing and for the first six years of my life, I had never seen a TV. And when I did finally see a TV there was nobody on television who looked like me ... nobody, but Buckwheat!"
After getting a laugh from the audience with her reference to the Little Rascal, she added, "And nobody wanted to be like Buckwheat, so it is amazing grace that has brought me thus far. It is amazing to me that I started out with no vision or dream whatsoever or imagining that I could ever be on television, and now in the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. I thank you so much for this honor tonight."