Golden Globes: 10 Most Memorable Moments

A declawed Ricky Gervais, a near-sweep of the TV awards by cable programs, and a general spreading of the wealth among winners both big- and small-screen was the order of the day at Sunday’s 69th Golden Globe Awards. But before we turn the page on the annual kudos-fest, let’s take a look at the 10 Most Memorable Moments of a telecast that, in the words of its host, is “just like the Oscars…without all of that esteem.”

RICKY GERVAIS PUTS JOHNNY DEPP ON THE SPOT | Gervais proved a surprisingly tepid presence for the majority of the telecast, but his opening monologue kicked things off with an acidic bang, and he followed up with a hilariously inappropriate question — “Have you seen The Tourist yet?” — for the night’s first presenter, “the man who will wear literally anything Tim Burton tells him to.”

Golden Globes 2012: And the Winners Are….

MICHELLE WILLIAMS’ MOTHER OF AN ACCEPTANCE SPEECH | “I consider myself a mother first and an actress second. So the person I most want to thank is my daughter, my little girl, whose bravery and exuberance is the example that I take with me in my work and in my life,” said the My Week With Marilyn star, collecting the win for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. Williams then credited her child “for suffering through six months of bedtime stories where all the princesses were read aloud in a Marilyn Monroe-sounding voice.” (Added bonus: A shout-out to Williams’ one-time Dawson’s Creek costar Busy Philipps, whose presence at Williams’ table could be interpreted as Bill Lawrence’s best Cougar Town cameo plant ever, noted TVLine live-blog reader Andrew.)

FELICITY HUFFMAN AND WILLIAM H. MACY MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC TOGETHER | The husband -and-wife team displayed perfect harmony and comedic timing in a little ditty introducing the nominees for Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Movie or Miniseries Category. “These actresses did stunning work, heartbreaking true and bold/ Though four will go home empty-handed, one will take home gold/ Don’t be humiliated ’cause you all did a terrific job/ It’s an honor to be nominated, blah-blah blah-blah, blah-blah, blah.

Golden Globes 2012: We’re Live-Blogging ‘Em!

SETH ROGEN TAKES THE LOW, LOW ROAD | After walking to the podium with sexy Underworld star Kate Beckinsale to present the nominees for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, Rogen offered this terse, unwelcome bit of intel: “Hello, my name is Seth Rogen, and I am currently trying to conceal a massive erection.” Um, can we file a complaint to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s HR department on Beckinsale’s behalf?

OCTAVIA SPENCER SHOWS OFF HER HEART (AND HER SENSE OF HUMOR) | The night’s most emotional speech came from the winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her work as a put-upon domestic worker in The Help. Spencer honored her character and all the real-world women like her by quoting Martin Luther King Jr. — “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance” — then cheerfully admitted she was overwhelmed by the moment: “Oh my God, I’m gonna fall off of these high-heeled shoes!”

MODERN FAMILY MAN STEVE LEVITAN TAKES SOME LIBERTIES WITH SOFIA VERGARA | As his voluptuous Colombian star accepted her show’s win for Best Comedy Series with an enthusiastic Spanish-language rant, show-runner Levitan provided a hilariously dubious translation declaring the sexiness of the Modern Family writing staff. “Film actresses, do yourselves a favor at the parties tonight and give them your phone numbers,” went Levitan’s Spanish-to-English interpretation. “They may look pasty and nervous and out-of-shape, but they’re the greatest lovers I’ve ever had. Seriously.”

MERYL STREEP LOSES FOCUS | Streep, who seemed shocked by her win for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for The Iron Lady, was forced to wing it when she got to the podium and realized she’d forgotten her glasses. As inebriated audience members tried to relay the spectacles to her, Streep gave a fun, freewheeling speech that was preceded by an enthusiastic smooch for presenter Colin Firth, began with a faux recollection of stepping in to play Margaret Thatcher after “Ricky Gervais’ deal fell through,” paused to thank “my agent Kevin Huvane, and God Harvey Weinstein,” and included an apology to “the British people” for allowing her to trample all over their history.

MADONNA NOT-SO-SUBTLY REMINDS US OF HER FILM FAME | “[The movies] that made me believe I could dream and think outside the box were foreign films, made by the likes of Fellini, Visconti, Truffaut, Godard, Resnais, just to name a few,” said the star of Shanghai Surprise, Body of Evidence, and The Next Best Thing. “So there’s nothing foreign to me about a foreign film!” [Insert your own eye roll or Who’s That Girl From Michigan With the clipped European accent punch line here.]

A DANCING DOG STEALS THE SPOTLIGHT | As the cast and crew of The Artist took to the stage to celebrate their win for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, all eyes (and the cameras) turned to the film’s canine star, who did a jaunty little jig on his hind legs and totally upstaged an otherwise touching speech from producer Thomas Langmann about how his late father couldn’t even afford to fly to the U.S. to collect his Best Short Film Oscar back in 1966. Rated A…for Adorable!

CLOONEY PRAISES MICHAEL FASSBENDER’S, UM, FASS-MEMBER | Giving props to his fellow nominees as he accepted the trophy for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, George Clooney paid special attention to the endowment his rival showed off in Shame. “I’d like to thank Michael Fassbender for taking over the frontal-nudity responsibility that I had,” said Clooney, who then made the suggestive suggestion that Fassbender could “play golf with both hands tied behind his back.” (Side note: Expect to see some portion of that quote in any/all upcoming ads for Michael Fassbender movies.)

What did you think were the best, worst, and most all-around unforgettable moments of the 2012 Golden Globes telecast? Sound off in the comments, and for all my award-show live-blogs and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kim R says:

    I find it disappointing that cable shows are pitted against network TV shows. Especially in the drama category. Apples and oranges. :(

    • Genevieve says:

      Hush! We have enough with the TV Shows being seperated into comedy and Drama. That’s apples and oranges! :(

    • Saracen Riggins says:

      UGH. I know! I get SO frustrated that network TV has little-to-no chance of winning anymore because they’re up against cable (and most of them pay channels) every season.

    • Guy says:

      I 100% agree. I have been saying it for years now. Split Cable and Network shows up. Cable wins nearly everything these days and there is nothing for the hard work done on the networks. Its time we have split categories. Who cares if it adds an extra 30 minutes to the ceremony. I am sick to death of network shows not getting the recognition they deserve because of cable…i am talking to you Mad Men!!!

      • Kim R says:

        I really miss the days when the Emmy’s or Golden Globes were kind of exciting to see which one of your favorite network TV shows would win against the other. Which favorite TV actor or actress would take home the award. Cable has so much more freedom & I really think it is unfair to have them all in the same category. Just my opinion. :)

    • Sam says:

      I think the real problem is that the movies are split into comedy and drama, seemingly arbitrarily. My Week With Marilyn’s Michelle Williams was in the Comedy/Musical category? Did they SEE the film?

    • Tonya says:

      It’s the brilliant material and writing that makes the cable shows win. Putting them in to two separate categories would just reward mediocrity. If the network shows want to win the awards and compete with the cable shows – they need to up their game. Plain and simple.

      • ska says:

        I completely agree with this. I also think that the networks want to
        win ratings rather than awards.

      • aleksa says:

        My sentiments exactly. While I’ll admit that the cable shows have more freedom by having fewer restrictions on things like language or violence, the fact is that many of these shows are just flat-out better quality than the shows on network.

  2. TV Gord says:

    I have the feeling Ricky was brought back just so he could be muzzled and rendered boring.

    Felicity and Bill were the only highlight of a long, long drab night. I miss the Golden Globes when people truly drank too much and the production quality was so low, it felt as though we were eavesdropping.

    • baz says:

      @Tv Gord I must admit i got that feeling to, I do believe he was brought back so they could prove to the world they have him under control

  3. DW says:

    I’m trying to figure out what was going on with NBC’s “Red Carpet” show that preceeded the telecast of the awards. In the first ten minutes, they had an interview with the pregnant Natalie portman talking about her nomination for “Black Swan”, and then they spoke with Mark Wahlberg about “The Fighter”. After the commercial, they began talking to current nominess. Was there a glitch, or did I miss something?

  4. Captain says:

    The highlight of the show for me was Jessica Lange winning for AHS. The most deserved win in years.

  5. nyla says:

    How is Tina Fey’s photobomb (screenbomb?) on Amy not on this list?!

  6. Ilona says:

    In Canada all programming is cable. Makes no difference. Quality is what will win and should win. It’s method of arriving in your home does not affect what shows I prefer. The show itself does!

    • Kim R says:

      In Canada all is not cable in the context of my earlier post. I am Canadian. I still have “cable” programs or network TV programming. The TV networks do not have the freedom that the “cable” programs do & to compare them and have them compete seems a little lopsided to me. Apples & oranges.

  7. s says:

    no Tina photobombing Amy??? invalidated.

  8. Marc says:

    There were TEN memorable moments? I didn’t realize that there was even one memorable moment. Maybe they aired them after the award show put me to sleep.

  9. RichieOnTV says:

    The most memorable moment was definitely Dustin Hoffman’s “My Generation, Madeleine Stowe, Revenge” comment. Madeleine is totally creating a roadmap to REVENGE right now.

  10. Ana Muller says:

    I’m sorry but I think this was the best moment of the entire night: Tina Fey is a genius lol

  11. Marc says:

    P.S. When Seth Rogan is on your top 10 memorable moments list, you’re either in trouble or in 2006.

  12. Kendal says:

    Boring show. Ricky needs to go. Glad to see Jessica Lange win though. Very well deserved and I wasn’t expecting it.

  13. SoS says:

    What exactly is a ‘European accent’ supposed to sound like?! I wasn’t aware all of Europe spoke the same language all of a sudden…

    • kjess says:

      I think this was exactly the point. European accent = not real, just like Madonna’s accent.

    • Tracey says:

      Just like ‘American accent’ is used to identify those from 50 different states? Obviously New Yorkers don’t sound like Texans. It’s still applicable.

  14. Diane says:

    Loved the Amy Poehler/Tina Fey moment, loved the Modern Family “whatever” moment, and truly loved the Modern Family Spanish to English translation. Huh. All network TV… :)

  15. Jen says:

    Yeah, Tina photobombing Amy should definitely be on this list. Also, her dancing to pass the time it took for LeBlanc to get onstage.

    Actually, anyone who managed to put some personality into their presenting should be on this list! Most of them were so dull!

  16. kikay says:


  17. Roma says:

    LOVED the fact that once again it was proved that TV people are way more fun than movie people. (Actually not TV people, but NETWORK TV people).

    Tina Fey’s photobomb should’ve been on your list.

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s “Whatever…” too.

    I was also laughing so hard at the internet taking Leo DiCaprio’s lack of ability to win an award as a punchline. On a serious note though, when is he gonna get properly recognized?

  18. Josh says:

    On one hand I don’t mind the cable vs. network shows being against each other in the hopes that network tv will step it up. But, cable shows are allowed certain freedoms network tv isn’t, so it’s pretty unfair from the start. Of course that hardly matters-the HFPA gets it wrong so often it’s hardly the biggest issue.

  19. Fan says:

    Seth Rogen’s comment about his erection was an insult to his wife, who must have been sitting in the audience somewhere. Also, right after he made the comment, the camera flashed to Jody Foster’s two young sons. Totally crass on Rogen’s part.

  20. Carmen says:

    Felicity Huffman and Bill Macy were the highlight of the night! Great list. :)

  21. Maggie says:

    The most memorable moment was Irdis Elba winning best actor in a mini series of tv movie for Luther.

  22. aMIr says:

    Best Moment Was When Madonna Called Iran’s Asghar Farhadi Name …

  23. Sarah says:

    You didn’t mention Morgan Freeman’s wonderful speech with perfect amounts of both heartfelt sentimentality and humour!

  24. Vanessa says:

    I would love to be at Amy and tinas table am so mad one of them didn’t win the TV best comedy actress so tierd of people/movie winning best comedy when they don’t even make you laugh one bit.

  25. Aina says:

    SOFÍA VERGARA FOR THE WINNER, I am so proud to speak spanish, a beautiful language, maybe Ricky Gervais should learn it so we, talking spanish people, could make funny jokes because he speaks the language so bad.

    • Mitt Romney's Mexican Cousin says:

      I think you’re at the wrong site. Univision’s coverage of the Golden Globes is over to the right on your browser.

  26. luis says:

    ummm I was just watching a few videos of jim carrey accepting/presenting on the golden gloves, the oscars, mtv etc. and I saw how funny that guy is when he is presenting or accepting something. I think they should give it a try with him next year as a host. THAT WOULD BE REALLY FUNNY.although MR. gervais did a good job,Jim is a master in my oppinion ;)

  27. Lynne says:

    While I was pleased with some of the winners, as far as good television goes, the Golden Globes was a three hour snooze fest! A declawed Ricky Gervais is not funny.

  28. Carol says:

    Not all viewers have premium channels, so for us, all those pricey HBO wins were losers for us because we have never seen these shows. Basic cable show are fair competition, on the other hand.

  29. Bob says:

    I think Ricky Gervais was making a supreme effort to NOT be invited back next year. He even admitted the only reason he came back this year was because everyone was saying the HFPA wouldn’t have him back. I’m guessing new host next year.

  30. sally says:

    Jesse was just copying Tina. It was still funny tho. But the Tina & Amy thing was the best moment of the whole show =)

  31. Amber says:

    I found Ricky Gervais to be his usual funny self. I didn’t feel like he was holding back, but whatevs. Guess I am outvoted. My best moment was Homeland winning best drama and Claire Danes winning best actress. I am addicted to that show. My worst moment was all things Madonna. And I think it is totally fair to compare network shows to cable shows. If networks really wanted to put on high quality shows like Community and Modern Family and Parenthood, they could obviously do it. Or they could choose to put on shows like Two and a Half Men and Whitney and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s their choice. Being bound by the rules of Standards and Pratices does not mean that quality is automatically sacrificed. Some of my favorite shows on cable are my favorite shows not because they have bad language and nudity, but because those have really well written stories and 3-dimensional characters. Network shows can have that too if they only put some effort into it.

  32. sally says:

    Jesse was just copying Tina. It was still funny, but the Amy & Tina was the best part of the Golden Globes by far!

  33. Dee says:

    Hey, Michael, I would hardly call Sofia’s speech “a rant”.

    She was very gracious in her acceptance of the award and the writer was doing a good job of translating…in the begining only.

    Boring show overall though.