Hands Down, The Most Popular Presenter in Music Awards History

Shoulda heard the Granada crowd go wild for Burton Gilliam last night, as he presented a handful of Dallas Observer Music Awards to a grateful nation. We've tried for years to get the actor -- who, as a fanatical heckler reminded the crowd, first appeared in Paper Moon before co-starring in the likes of Blazing Saddles, Fletch and Honeymoon in Vegas -- to present at the DOMAs; finally, the Big Score. And on the eve of his 70th birthday -- doesn't look it, not at all -- Gilliam was backstage sharing tales of growing up in Dallas, among them the year ("1941, '42, somethin' like that") his father was the night watchman at Fair Park. "And we lived right on the fairgrounds," he said, "but they wouldn't let us roam free." And why is it we haven't done a cover story on this guy? --Robert Wilonsky

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