Pudding Royally Roasts Jackson

`Pulp Fiction' actor crowned Man of the Year

Instead of just talking about a royale with cheese as he did in "Pulp Fiction," Samuel Jackson, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Man of the Year, last night strapped two of them across his chest.

In a ceremony filled with sarcasm and humor, Jackson received his award of a Pudding Pot before a sold-out theater.

While the cameras flashed and the crowd cheered, Jackson donned a blond wig and a bra made of two foam hamburgers topped with sparkling fake cheese slices--a reference to his "Pulp Fiction" role--to receive his Pudding Pot.

The first African-American male to receive the award since Bill Cosby took his Pudding Pot home in 1969, Jackson said the award showed the power of dreams.

"As a product of segregation, I never imagined I'd be where I am today," he said. "This speaks volumes for where you can go if you believe in yourself and others believe in you."


Jackson entered the theater with his wife and daughter, dressed in a monochromatic color scheme: a black three-piece suit, a matching black shirt, a black tie and a backwards Kangol hat.

As he walked down the aisle, the audience erupted into applause and gave the actor a standing ovation.

After taking a seat, Jackson seemed surprised when beckoned to the stage by Carolyn A. Cassidy '99 and Jerald M. Korn '00-'99, the co-producers of this year's pudding show, "I Get No Kick From Campaign."

Jackson feigned hostility when Cassidy and Korn told him he would have to earn his Pudding Pot by "proving he was a nice guy," glaring at both the presenters and the audience.

In the traditional roast, Cassidy joked she was afraid to be alone on stage with Jackson because so many of the characters he has played have carried guns.

She and Korn then attempted to frisk Jackson, who towered over them. He responded by turning his back to the audience and spreading his arms and legs.

The audience laughed and clapped when the pair found a black gun on Jackson.

Cassidy and Korn then chided Jackson for the "cussing" he did in his movies and asked him to wash his mouth out with soap and a toothbrush. Jackson willingly complied before spitting the mixture into Korn's tuxedo pocket.

In the final round of his "test" to earn thePudding Pot, Jackson read a passage of the Biblethree times: in the voices of a Shakespeareanactor, as Yoda from "Star Wars," and as a bedtimestory to Korn, who sat on Jackson's lap.

After posing with two Theatricals actorswearing drag, Jackson addressed the audience,still sporting the wig and the bra.

"It has been a long week, and this has been theperfect way to cap it all off," Jackson said. "I'mso pleased that some-one has seen that I've donesomething with my life."

Jackson said he hoped to continue to make hiswife and daughter proud and to "keep making youall happy, and do work that really affectsaudiences."

In a press conference following the ceremony,Jackson praised the members of the Theatricals.

"The kids have been so warm and open," he said."We spoke as equals about the world of theater andwhere they want to go and how I got where I am."

He also spoke about his roles in "Pulp Fiction"and "Jackie Brown," and about working withdirector Quentin Tarantino.

"Fortunately, [Tarantino's] films come from avoice that speaks honestly, respectfully anddoesn't always say the same thing," he said. "Ithink that people like to be mystified and not beable to predict what is coming next in a film."

Regarding his Pudding Pot, Jackson said he wasnot sure where it would go in his house, leavingthat decision up to his wife.

"I no longer dream of an Academy Award, and nowI have my Pudding Pot," he quipped.

Jackson is beginning work on a new film withTommy Lee Jones '69, a military courtroom dramacalled "Rules of Engagement." Jackson plays amarine colonel who is being court-marshaled formurder.

Jackson's award comes one week after theTheatricals' Woman of the Year ceremony, whichthis year honored Goldie Hawn