HeadScratcher No. 77: A Hasty Decision?

Scarjo_lSo what do Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball, Ella Fitzgerald, Katharine Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor have in common? They were all feted as the Woman of the Year by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, surely the oldest acting troupe in America consisting of male college students in drag. The organization says it gives out its Woman and Man of the Year Awards to performers who have made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment." These five winners certainly qualified, each having spent at least a quarter-century making her mark in entertainment when she was cited by the Pudding drag queens. (Hepburn received her Pudding pot in 1958, Bacall in 1967, Taylor in 1977, Fitzgerald in 1982, and Ball in 1988). This year’s winner, Scarlett Johansson, who picked up her trophy last Thursday at the traditional Pudding parade (pictured) in Cambridge, Mass., hasn’t even been alive for a quarter-century; whether she has already made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment" is a question I leave to you, PopWatchers.

Many of you knew the right answer, but there were some amusing wrong guesses. Reader Vanessa Bumpus took a wild guess: "All of these ladies listed Roadhouse as one of their favorite movies. Liz Taylor’s second favorite of course being GLAAADIATOR…." Skip Williams thought he had the right answer (he did), but just in case, he also floated this one: "None of them appeared in a music video as Justin Timberlake’s fire-dancing lover." Um, that’s not the answer we were looking for, but it’s certainly true.

A pot of hasty pudding for each of you who guessed correctly after the jump:

addCredit(“Hasty Pudding: Gail Oskin/WireImage.com”)

Stephen A. Assa
LaChanda Dudley
Matt LaPierre
Salli Madden
Charles Neal
Suzy Reddy
Harold Reynolds
Cliff Rives
Jason Stuckless
Danielle Sulikowski
Debbie Ubele
Kati Von Lehman
Skip Williams
Patrick A. Yearout

Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back Friday for another HeadScratcher…

Comments (41 total) Add your comment
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  • Sarah

    Scarlett’s overwhelming appeal to casting directors is somewhat of a puzzle to me; certainly she has the pillow lips, lush bosom, and husky voice that make her a very va-va-voomy piece of eye-candy, but overall, her acting skills only seem to be fair/average. (at least to me)
    You may well disagree on the status of her acting aptitude, but I think we probably all agree that an award such as this is a bit premature.

  • tuppy

    As a current Harvard student, I can tell you that the stated criterium is an anachronism. The HPT guys (many of them, surprisingly, straight) just want to get the actress with the highest combination of fame and hotness.
    Recent honorees — Catherine Zeta-Jones, Halle Berry — might be older than Scarlett, but they’re no Kate Hepburn. It’s clear how they’re being chosen, at least to everyone on campus.

  • Chris

    Oh, please. It may be easy to bag on Scarlett now that she’s all over the place, but let’s not forget:
    – Ghost World
    – Lost In Translation
    – Girl With a Pearl Earring
    – Match Point
    How many stellar performances does she have to give to get some Academy love? At least SOMEONE is noticing her talent…

  • Bill

    Scarlett is a very lucky girl. She has average looks and is followed by talented make up artists. She was naked on the cover of Vanity Fair…and showed off a sadly mediocre body. She is cast in film after film after film–and the majority flop the first week out. She’s the BABEL of actresses. Can’t figure out why she is getting attention.

  • Leo Nignalad

    The only lasting contribution Scarlett has provided is her infamous “butt” at the start of Lost in Translation. She’s got a voice like the sound of nails on a chalkboard (I apologize to all nails and chalkboards), all you need to do is hear her whine during Matchpoint to hear what I mean. Her best role was in Home Alone 3 where she said very little and just exuded attitude.

  • ShaneXtopher

    A shame, really. Having grown up near Boston I always enjoyed the annual announcement of Hasty Pudding’s choice. For years I was always pleasantly surprised. However in the past decade or so the choices have grown more and more embarrassing. These Harvard guys are showing their lack of vision, taste and respect for tradition, and have killed an always honorable, albeit superfluous, event. For shame.

  • aron

    She is deserving of being totally overrated. Chris: Scarlett has had 2 or 3 movies that were good/did well at the box office, but what about the countless others that suck?
    She needs to go away for awhile and then come back and do movies. Starring in music videos does not count…

  • Jay

    I would have to say, without a doubt, her cleavage has made a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.

  • Sally

    I saw her in 2 movies and she did not impress me. But she must have a helluva agent – or giving good sex, or have a low asking price – to get cast in picture after picture, but I feel the same way about Lindsay Lohan. Actually, come to think of it, there are no “young” Hollywood actresses that are even borderline great or show acting depth. Maybe Rachel Adams, but I can’t think of anyone.
    They all seem to be celebrities/papparazzi fodder first, media hogs second, product endorsers third and actresses last.

  • To Bill

    Can’t figure out why she is getting attention?
    There are two big reasons.

  • Caitlin

    she certainly made a lasting impression when isaac mizrahi felt her up.

  • Better would be

    A more deserving contemporary of SJ would have been recent Harvard alum Natalie Portman.

  • laura

    I disagree with all of you who think Scarlett Johansson is overrated. Maybe she did not deserve this award because she’s not a “seasoned” actress yet, but she’s been amazing in most films I’ve seen her in: Ghost World, Girl w/ a Pearl Earring and Match Point. But I first noticed her before she was truly famous in Robert Redford’s ‘The Horse Whisperer’ where she gave a heart-wrenching performance about a girl struggling to cope with a disability and the death of her friend after a riding accident. Remember all of you haters, she’s still young and has a lot of potential. I’m excited to see how her career turns out.

  • Heather

    It’s probably a little early in her career to be equaling her to the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Lucille Ball, but I think she has a lot of potential to get close to that status if she continues the way she’s going in her career.

  • Rachel

    you should say how many movies ella made

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