The Golden Globes: Hollywood's first, fat fete of the year, set the tone for the awards show season that often feels about as long as the average red carpet.
They're usually free-wheeling and fun. This year was no exception, thanks to host Ricky Gervais.
The British comedian brought a bit of much needed levity to the annual Hollywood love-fest. He set the tone for the night, allowing (most) actors to laugh at themselves and take their frustrations out on a common target: NBC.
Gervais took full advantage of the Conan O'Brien/Jay Leno late night TV brouhaha to bash both Leno and the network on which his show airs -- conveniently, the same network that aired the Golden Globes.
"I will be making the most of this opportunity," he said at the top of the show. "I'm not used to these sort of viewing figures. Let's face it, neither is NBC."
Gervais went on to insult his audience:
"On a serious note, just looking at all these faces reminds me of all the great work done this year ... by cosmetic surgeons."
Then it was on to the action. MoNique scored the statue for best supporting actress for her stand out role in "Precious" and her heartfelt speech set the bar for the night.