Alec Baldwin's Emmy absence excuse: Tony Bennett's birthday party

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After he pulled out of the opening skit for the 2011 Emmy Awards, Alec Baldwin's notable absence from the entire broadcast had many thinking he was still bitter. Not so.

People reports Baldwin, nominated for his work on "30 Rock," had a perfectly reasonable excuse for missing the awards: Tony Bennett's 85th birthday party in New York.

"I didn't skip the Emmys because of that," Baldwin says of his NewsCorp-mocking joke that was cut from the bit. "I skipped the Emmys because of this - because I wanted to be here." 

The 53-year-old actor was set to play the president of all television, a role taken over by Leonard Nimoy, but he walked when Fox nixed a joke about its parent company's current phone-hacking scandal.

"[Fox] had asked me to do a sketch for them," Baldwin says. "I flew out there. I did the sketch, and it was shot. They cut out something that I thought was the funniest part. I guess it was offensive to them."

On Twitter, he announced that he thought the joke would have "made them look better." He also announced that he's pulling for Chynna Phillips on "Dancing With the Stars."

And that's your day in Baldwin.
Photo/Video credit: Breakfast Safari