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.”
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.“
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!