Ricky Gervais got himself bleeped Sunday night at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards — but then again, so did Meryl Streep.
Gervais, returning as host of the show for the third time, largely avoided the personal insults that caused so much controversy at last year’s show, but he still got off quite a few good jabs here and there, including at the Hollywood Foreign Press, which puts on the Globes, and NBC, which airs them.
“The Globes are just like the Oscars, except without all that ‘esteem,’” he joked. He added that the Globes were to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton: “a bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker and more easily bought — allegedly.”
Biting hard on the hand that fed him, Gervais later said, talking about “Boardwalk Empire,” “It’s about a load of immigrants who came to America about a hundred years ago, and they got involved in bribery and corruption and worked their way up into high society. But enough about the Hollywood Foreign Press.”
As for NBC, he called it “America’s third-biggest network,” and then corrected himself: “It’s fourth.” When he said the Hollywood Foreign Press was non-profit, he added, “like NBC.”
In a jab against the glitz and glamour of the event and the assembled stars, his parting words were, “I hope you enjoyed the goodie bags, the champagne and the gold — I hope it took your minds off the recession for a little while.”
The bleep came when Gervais, introducing Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, said he was sure they were very interesting people but he “can’t understand a f***ing word they say!”
But much more interesting was Meryl Streep’s bleep, which came after she was named Best Actress in a Drama for “The Iron Lady.” As she started her speech, she suddenly said, “S**t, I forgot my glasses!” and proceeded to try to remember all the people she had to thank without reading it off a piece of paper. An attempt was made to pass her glasses up to her onstage but they didn’t make it.
Two of the evening’s funniest lines, however, didn’t come from Gervais at all. Presenting an award with sexy Kate Beckinsale, Seth Rogen took the podium and said, “I’m Seth Rogen, currently trying to conceal a massive erection.”
When Gervais introduced Madonna as being “still just ‘Like a Virgin,’” she replied, “If I’m still just ‘Like a Virgin,’ Ricky, why don’t you come over here and do something about it? I haven’t kissed a girl in a few years…on TV.” Madonna also won the second Golden Globe of her career for Best Original Song for “Masterpiece,” the number which closes her new directorial effort “W.E.” She beat out Elton John and Mary J. Blige, among others, for the award.
As many predicted, the black and white silent film “The Artist” was named Best Comedy or Musical, and its star, Jean Dujardin, was named Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. It also won the award for Best Original Score, despite the fact that parts of that score were lifted from Bernard Hermann’s classic score for “Vertigo.” The composer, Ludovic Bource, thanked Hermann in his speech.
“The Descendants” was named Best Drama, while its star George Clooney nabbed the Best Actor in a Drama Award. Octavia Spencer’s star-making turn as a feisty maid in “The Help” won her, her first Globe as Best Supporting Actress, while veteran actor Christopher Plummer won Best Supporting Actor for “Beginners.”
Three movie giants also took home awards: Woody Allen won Best Screenplay for “Midnight in Paris,” Martin Scorsese won Best Director for “Hugo,” and Morgan Freeman was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.
As for the rest of the winners, the Globes spread the love.
Best TV Drama went to newcomer “Homeland,” while Best TV Comedy went to recent favorite “Modern Family.” Both Claire Danes, who won her first Globe when she was 15, and Laura Dern, who was Miss Golden Globe back in 1982, took home awards — Danes for “Homeland,” and Dern for her series “Enlightened.”
Michelle Williams won Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for playing Marilyn Monroe in the film “My Week with Marilyn.” Monroe, herself, won the same award in 1959 for “Some Like it Hot.”
Williams thanked her daughter Matilda — whose father was the late Heath Ledger — by saying, “Thank you for suffering through six months of bedtime stories where all the princesses were read aloud in a Marilyn Monroe voice!”
Matt LeBlanc, who never won a Golden Globe back when he was on “Friends,” finally earned one for his Showtime series “Episodes.” Kelsey Grammer, who’d previously won for “Frasier,” picked up Best Actor in a Drama Series for his new show, “Boss.” Jessica Lange, also a previous winner, picked up an award for her work in “American Horror Story.”
Peter Dinklage, who won an Emmy last year for his role as Tyrion Lannister in “Game of Thrones,” won his first Golden Globe for the same role Sunday night. He inspired millions to fire up their browsers when he said during his speech that he was thinking about a man in England named Martin Henderson and added, “Google him.”
Turns out Henderson is an aspiring actor and also a dwarf, like Dinklage. Last year, he was badly injured when he was picked up and thrown to the ground outside a pub in Somerset, England, soon after members of England’s rugby team attended a much-publicized “dwarf-tossing event” in New Zealand.