Before receiving the coveted Pudding Pot from the Hasty Pudding Theatricals last week (Feb. 17), Man of the Year Tim Robbins proved his movie star mettle by demonstrating his hula hoop prowess, appeasing a gaggle of “protesters” in drag, and donning a lopsided wig and prison-striped bra.
“I’m deeply honored,” said the Oscar winner after grumbling that the wig made him look like a tramp and he had hoped for a better-endowed bra. “Seeing these young college students onstage here tonight makes me believe that perhaps if George Bush had been president 20 years ago and there were abstinence programs in place …,” he continued, before denying their impact. “Aw, you know they don’t work. You’d have the same people here.”
Although Robbins has earned wide respect and notoriety as an actor, writer, or director of such films as “Bull Durham,” “Shawshank Redemption,” “Dead Man Walking,” and “Mystic River” (for which he won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as the troubled Dave Boyle), Hasty Pudding co-producers Romina Garber ’06 and Charles Worthington ’06 focused instead on his less memorable works.
Facing a parole board – literally, a piece of plywood with the word “parole” painted on it – Robbins gamely defended his participation in the 1986 sci-fi dud “Howard the Duck.”
“I was poor, I was starving,” he protested. “It was George Lucas – he had just done ‘Star Wars.'” Later, he sang a litany of his forgettable filmography to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Asked to name the Pudding’s sexiest Woman of the Year, Robbins quickly identified his long-time partner, Susan Sarandon, who took home the Pudding Pot in 1996. Wrong, said his tormentors; it was 1953 winner Mamie Eisenhower.
“I forgot how hot she was!” said Robbins, clutching a photo of the former first lady.
His hosts poked fun at Robbins’ outspoken leftist politics as well, forcing him to explain a Bush-Cheney ’04 sign found in his possession. “You can’t understand your enemy until you walk a mile in his shoes,” Robbins quipped.
At a press conference following Robbins’ onstage antics, he said that despite his political passions and his convincing portrayal of a senatorial candidate in “Bob Roberts,” he wouldn’t run for office. “I think we should do the jobs we’re best at,” he said. “I don’t think I’d be very good at that.”
In prepping him for his day at Harvard, he said, Sarandon focused on the parade down Massachusetts Avenue – an honor bestowed only upon the Woman of the Year. “I was a little disappointed,” said Robbins, suggesting that perhaps following the Hasty Pudding Theatricals opening night performance of “Terms of Frontierment” he would find a convertible and stage his own parade through Harvard Square.
His brass Pudding Pot, he told reporters, would share a shelf with “the Oscar and all the other stuff.” Then, lifting the bulbous pot to his chest in the spirit of his earlier roasting, he said, “together with Susan’s, maybe it could be a costume.”