Let us just start by saying this: Last night's 12-12-12 benefit at Madison Square Garden was a good thing. Superstorm Sandy was devastating, and there is still a huge amount of work to be done to get things back to normal in New Jersey, Staten Island, and The Rockaways, to name a few. Nearly two months after Sandy hit, people are still out of their homes, and in desperate need of volunteers and financial aid. The show raised $30 million in ticket sales alone, not to mention the money from call and text donations during the event, which is pretty amazing, no matter how you slice it. That said, 12-12-12 was also one of the more baffling mixtures of heart-melting and brain-melting moments we've seen on TV, with a bizarre mix of nostalgia, unintentional comedy, and truly great performances that only arise once every thousand years or so. Whenever you mix live TV with massive audiences and unscripted celebrities, odd faux pas and sheer instances of genius arise (often, you know, at the same time). Here's our breakdown of the night's best and worst moments:
Steve Buscemi getting tackled by "greybeards." The Boardwalk Empire star held his own surrounded by loads of intoxicated retired firemen and police officers, who helped pitch in at The Rockwaways. Then they started hugging him, yelling, and generally giving him a hard time. He took it relatively well, all things considered, and it was generally hilarious.
Brian Williams hosting the telethon. While we love BriWi as much as the next gal, the constant stream of #DadJokes coming from the NBC anchor was a bit much. "You can't swing a dead cat in here without hitting a celebrity," was a particularly bad whiff.
Kanye's Givenchy kilt. The Internet may have freaked out about Yeezy rocking a leather-pleated skirt, but more power to him. Kanye's been wearing that ensemble for most of the Watch the Throne tour, and that the boomer audience was so fazed says a lot more about them than it does about 'Ye. It's 2012; let the dude do his thing.
Paul McCartney and Nirvana's new song, "Cut Me Some Slack." Aside from the fact that Nirvana fans were up in arms about Paul replacing Kurt (which, c'mon guys, it's for charity ), the actual music itself sounded like what it was: a grunge song written in a week, with Paul McCartney attempting "heavy" vocals. No slack shall be cut here.
- 1 of 3