Like many of the best actors, Holland Taylor—and any honest accounting of the best living actors would have to include Holland Taylor—might not have a name one immediately recognizes. But see a picture of her, and the lights start flashing and bells start ringing, as the pinball machine of actor recognition starts to buzz and chirp. The Practice. Legally Blonde. The Truman Show. The L Word. The Lot. Then there are her five Emmy nominations for Two and a Half Men (her sole win, so far, was for The Practice). And, also like many of the best actors alive, she’s seemingly never not working.
So a humble hot dog journalist must point you, dear reader, in the direction of two separate Holland Taylor joints. The first is yet another entrant in the present day Stephen King adapt-a-thon, Mr. Mercedes, which began its second season on AT&T’s Audience Network this week. Mr. Mercedes is a lot of things, scary being only one of them; it’s also a character study and a thoughtful look at the way relationships can change and grow in dire circumstances. Taylor’s character, Ida (an invention for the show), is key to those last two. Her scenes with series star Brendan Gleeson are a consistent highlight of one of today’s most consistent King adaptations. She is very good at her job.
But if you think that’s something, you simply must see in her Ann. It’s a one-woman show about Ann Richards, the “silver-haired Texas activist who galvanized the 1988 Democratic National Convention with her tart keynote speech and was the state’s 45th governor until upset in 1994 by an underestimated challenger named George W. Bush,” as The New York Times described Richards in her obituary. Playwright? Holland Taylor. Star? Holland Taylor. Other stars? It’s just Holland Taylor. (Again, NYT: “If you can spy even a crack of daylight between actor and character in this performance, you’ve got better eyes than I do.”)
It’s a hell of a show, now closed—but you can watch it on BroadwayHD, and hot diggity dog, do we ever recommend that you do.
Oh right, hot dogs. Here goes.
The Takeout: Is a hot dog is a sandwich?
Holland Taylor: No.
TO: You do not consider it a sandwich?
HT: No, I consider a hot dog, a hot dog. And it’s one of my favorite things in life to eat.
HT: Oh, yeah. And the last time I was in New York I took a picture of the hot dog that I got in the park, and I put it up on Twitter with a caption that said, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”
[Important journalism note: the caption was actually “Damn!!!”]
HT (cont.): Followed by a Tastee Freez.
TO: That’s amazing.
HT: Yes, it was.