12 Most Shocking Golden Globes Moments: Ricky Gervais, ‘Mozart in the Jungle,’ and More
The Golden Globes have gleefully—and tipsily—embraced their reputation as the drunk cousin to stuffier award shows like the Oscars and the Emmys. It’s typically a delight! Surprising winners. Famous people slurring their thank yous in speeches. A looser, more ribald atmosphere that would make the Academy blush.
Who knows what will happen or how drunk Jack Nicholson will get. It’s a hoot! It’s the Golden Globes!
This year? The Globes took its reputation too seriously. Or, rather, too far.
There was Ricky Gervais needling and prodding at our shock and taste levels, predictably setting social media on fire when he’d stumble, beer glass in hand, a little too far over the line. The winners weren’t WTF in the cutesy Golden Globes way where they reward the groundbreaking, buzzy shows that the Emmys are too staid to honor. They were WTF in the literal are-these-seriously-the-winners? sense. (“Golden Globe-winning actress Lady Gaga!”)
Even the attendees at the “naughtiest awards show” took the branding too literally. Everyone from Amy Schumer to Helen Mirren to Mark Wahlberg to a very irritated Tom Hanks had to scold and chastise celebrities in the ballroom for their distracting chatter, refusal to take their seats when the show was back from commercial, and for generally being inconsiderate, misbehaving Hollywood egotists like we expect them to be.
Hi, Hollywood. When Mark Wahlberg is suggesting that maybe you’re being rude, something’s wrong.
All these transgressions combined to produce what was simultaneously one of the most shocking and dullest Golden Globes in a long time. (The sharp, smart wit of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey was sorely missed, as were winners that made even a lick of sense.) What was it that everyone most buzzed about?
Here were the night’s buzziest moments.
Ricky Gervais’s Vicious Monologue
“Shh. Shut up, you disgusting, pill-popping, sexually-deviant scum.” And with one sentence, Ricky Gervais was back… and we were over him.
Oh, he did his Ricky Gervais thing. He was hired to roast the room, to bite the hand that feeds him, and to make everyone watching at home gasp and clutch their pearls. What NBC was probably not anticipating, however, is how aggressively the celebrities in the ballroom were not having one bit of it.
Some jokes were lazy, like gags about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition and Jeffrey Tambor’s “bravery” acting in Transparent and how hard it must be to hide his balls in a dress. Ha ha? Who had money on two arguably transphobic jokes in the first three minutes? (Update: We counted at least two more the rest of the night.)
Other bits were sharper, like when he riffed on Jennifer Lawrence’s equal-pay crusade to joke that he was paid the same as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the year before. “It’s funny because it’s true.” Later, a riff on the worthlessness of the Golden Globe as award culminated with his insistence that he uses one of the trophies he has won as a sex toy: “To be clear that was a joke about me shoving a Golden Globe, that I won, up my ass. And they asked me to host four times!”
We made our own bed, people. Now we have to angry-tweet from it.
That Mel Gibson Travesty
It wasn’t a shock, per se, that Mel Gibson appeared at the Golden Globes. The homophobic, misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic actor was announced as a presenter in a press release. Perhaps it shouldn’t even be considered a shock that an organization as notoriously star- and fame-obsessed as the Hollywood Foreign Press would turn a blind eye to such behavior and give Gibson the equivalent of an acquittal for his past misdeeds: an invite to the industry’s biggest party.
No, what shocked was the tone-deaf way Gervais’s ribbing of him was laid out so that we might feel slightly bad for Gibson—and, if not, at least nod approvingly at what a good sport he was being by allowing himself to be mocked by the acerbic host. Gibson even had his chance at some redemptive one-liners. The audience didn’t know whether to laugh or run screaming.
The thing everyone will be talking about, no doubt, was the petulant giddiness with which Gervais asked Gibson, which was bleeped on live TV, “What the fuck does sugar tits even mean?” The whole thing was just gross and inexcusable.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s Revenant Bear Bit
There was a solid gimmick in Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s overlong bit that had Hill pretending to be the bear from The Revenant, seizing a big Hollywood moment after being overshadowed by Leonardo DiCaprio on the press tour.
Whatever potential there was for the bit, however, was completely lost because we couldn’t hear a single joke. Roughly every other sentence Hill said was bleeped on live TV, leaving us with the image of Jonah Hill in a bear costume mouthing words in complete silence. It was unBEARable. (Get it? Because he was a bear? I’m here all night. And arguably funnier than this bit.)
The Constant Cursing
Remember when famous people used to be classy enough to resist cursing when they were on live TV? After tonight, I don’t. Following Hill’s entirely bleeped sketch, the big punchline to Amy Schumer’s bit with Jennifer Lawrence was silenced because of profanity. Blindspot star Jamie Alexander, making her big Golden Globes debut, cursed at a faulty teleprompter: “Who’s typing this shit?”
Then, of course, there was the biggest censoring of the night: Gervais’s money line to Mel Gibson, which Gervais proudly unbleeped later on Twitter for those who couldn’t hear what he said the first time or were bad at lip reading.
The Martian and The Revenant Win Best Picture
Twitter’s 140-character comedians were having as much of a field day as Ricky Gervais, who would not let it go, with The Martian’s competing and eventually winning two awards in the Comedy or Musical races. Yes, according to the Hollywood Foreign Press, The Martian—a film about Matt Damon’s struggle to survive against all odds on Mars—was funnier than Trainwreck and Spy.
While there’s certainly no arguing The Revenant’s placement in Best Motion Picture Drama, no pundit predicted that the gorgeous, though interminable flick—a film about Leonardo DiCaprio character’s struggle to survive against all odds in the wilderness—would beat heavy favorites Spotlight and Carol for the night’s biggest award. Even director Alejandro González Iñárritu seemed shocked.
Rachel Bloom Wins Best Actress
Who is Rachel Bloom? Henceforth she will be the adorable Golden Globe winner who charmed the pants off Hollywood and America with her ebullient and emotional speech, winning Best Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical for her little-seen, critically beloved CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. One of my greatest passions is people weeping when they win an award and Bloom delivered blissfully.
It was a tough category—Bloom beat Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lily Tomlin, and last year’s winner Gina Rodriguez—and it was an even tougher road to the win than it seems. Bloom recounted how her show almost didn’t exist, with its pilot being rejected by another network, then pitched to six other channels that rejected it in one day before The CW finally picked it up. To celebrate all of it, at the end of her speech she thrust her Golden Globe in the air with all the fervor of everyone who wanted to shove it up Gervais’s ass.
Mozart in the Jungle Dominates TV Comedy Categories
Amazon’s polite little romantic dramedy about people who play in an orchestra isn’t necessarily a bad show. It is, however, the worst show of the six that were nominated for Best TV Comedy. Social media was divided between confusion—“What the hell is Mozart in the Jungle?”—and outrage when the series defeated the likes of Veep, Transparent, Silicon Valley, Casual, and Orange Is the New Black for the award.
The Golden Globes has a history of crowning the hot new thing. But this was not the hot new thing. It was barely lukewarm. Gael Garcia Bernal’s accompanying win in Best Actor was maybe more forgivable—he’s a likable star and adorable enough to win votes away from the more deserving Jeffrey Tambor. But, really, after the dual wins we were left searching the wings for Steve Harvey to come out and explain what happened.
Lady Gaga Won a Golden Globe
Maybe we were silly not to expect this from the organization that once gave an acting award to Madonna. Still, we told ourselves that Lady Gaga’s nomination was the full extent of the HFPA’s silly star-baiting, that the talented singer and competent actress who, though captivating, pretty much sleepwalks her way through a wooden performance on American Horror Story: Hotel couldn’t possibly win the award.
How wrong we were. The histrionic sobbing Gaga unleashed after her announcement was more convincing than any Horror Story performance, and you’re a psychic hero if you thought “John Patrick Shanley’s Moonstruck” was getting a name drop tonight.
Was it all worth it for this Vine of Leonardo DiCaprio looking as if he had seen the devil himself and recoil with crippling fear after Gaga brushed his neck while walking by him? Possibly. (“Watch Leonardo DiCaprio react to a woman older than 25” is the tweet of the night.) But when Kirsten Dunst, Queen Latifah, and Felicity Huffman are in this category, we’re barely putting up with this nonsense.
Eva Longoria and America Ferrara Steal the Show
I’m going to have to break ranks with my Daily Beast colleagues who ruled that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer “won the Golden Globes” and “our hearts.” In a turn of events I’d have ruled inconceivable, the celebrity BFFs miffed their presenting segment, in my opinion.
No, my #SquadGoals now are Eva Longoria and America Ferrara, who delivered the funniest, smartest presenter banter of the night in the best way: breezily, with little fanfare. “Hi I am Eva Longoria, not Eva Mendes.” “And I’m America Ferrara not Gina Rodriguez.” “And neither of us are Rosario Dawson.” “Well said, Salma.” “Thanks, Charo.” Nailed it.
It Was a Great Night for Jack and Rose
Rectifying the glaring misdeeds of the Golden Globes night of our 1998 dreams, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio finally won Golden Globe Awards on the same night. The Titanic co-stars have been heartwarmingly close over the years (thinking about Winslet’s shout-out to DiCaprio during her 2009 Revolutionary Road speech still makes me cry), and this is the first time they’ll be showing up to the after-party together with gold trophies in their hands.
Winslet was such a surprise win for her work in Steve Jobs—she’s so, so good in it and I love this film, but pundits thought it wasn’t her year—that she even appeared to whisper an apology to presumed frontrunner Alicia Vikander when her name was announced: “I’m so sorry.” And while death and taxes are the only things more inevitable that DiCaprio’s Revenant win, kudos to you if you had an inclination that you’d hear the phrase “submerged deep in nature in all of its complications and all the beauty it gave us cinematically” tonight.
Sylvester Stallone Wins an Acting Award
It was 1977 the last time Sylvester Stallone was attending the Golden Globes as an acting nominee. While in the years since he hasn’t exactly carved himself a reputation as Hollywood’s greatest thespian, there’s no arguing how deserved his Best Supporting Actor Award was for, funnily enough, playing the same character from four decades ago.
And, folks, the Rocky music playing as Stallone headed to the stage to a standing ovation was just too much for my white wine-soaked heart to take. “I want to thank my imaginary friend Rocky Balboa for being the best friend I ever had,” he said, making dads everywhere cry. Classily, when he realized he had forgotten to thank Creed director Ryan Coogler and star Michael B. Jordan, he rushed back to the microphone to rectify the situation. (Though NBC had already cut to commercial.)
We’re All Old
You read that right. It’s been almost 40 years since Rocky premiered and made a star out of Sylvester Stallone. It’s just one of the night’s brutal reminders of how old we all are. Matt Damon mentioned that his first Golden Globes was 18 years ago. Christian Slater thanked us all for sticking with him through four decades in show business during his speech for Mr. Robot (which, if that is true, we’re all goblins one strong gust of wind away from crumbling to dust and nothingness). And Jack and Rose, your favorite romantic pairing of all-time, now have three and four Golden Globe trophies, respectively, 18 years after Titanic had them competing for kudos.
Also, radiant Best Actress winner and monumental talent Brie Larson? Just turned 26. Good night, geezers!