Television

Hey! That Awards Show Wasn’t Half Bad!

The most chaotic, and lovely, moments at last night’s Golden Globes.

Three stars holding Golden Globes.
Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Coolidge, and Ke Huy Quan at the Golden Globes. Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images.

Following a year of controversy that resulted in a skipped television broadcast in 2022, the Golden Globe awards made a comeback this week, with NBC/Peacock airing the awards’ 80th annual ceremony Tuesday night. This year’s ceremony, hosted by Rothaniel comedian Jerrod Carmichael, was a lot more entertaining than anticipated, offering a little bit of everything that makes an awards show watchable: authentic emotion and absolute mess. Here are the top five most off-the-rails, and most heartwarming, moments from the 2023 Golden Globes.

Most Chaotic

Jerrod Carmichael’s Shelly Miscavige Joke

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Shelly Miscavige is the wife of David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, of which Tom Cruise is notably a high-ranking member. Shelly Miscavige has reportedly not been seen in public since 2007, a fact that has stirred up plenty of speculation. Carmichael making this joke right before introducing two members of the Tom Cruise–led blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick on stage to present was a fearless, and undeniably chaotic, move.

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Every Time Jennifer Coolidge Got on Stage to Speak

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Jennifer Coolidge, national treasure, made it on stage twice: first to present an award, and then to receive one. Every time Coolidge was at the podium she gave unwieldy and mundane speeches, often going on multiple hilarious tangents about how she was hired for the gig of presenter and how her experience building a career in Hollywood led her to The White Lotus (a show whose plot she also absolutely spoiled).

Michelle Yeoh Saying “I Can Beat You Up”

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When Michelle Yeoh went to accept her award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), her speech ran on a little long, causing the producers to play her off the stage. The martial arts film legend responded with a simple, “Shut up, please. I can beat you up, okay? And that’s serious.”

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Regina Hall Realizing Why Kevin Costner Was Absent

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Regina Hall presented the award for Best Actor in a Television Drama, which Yellowstone star Kevin Costner won. Hall first laughed about reading the generic verbiage the producers suggest presenters use for stars who can’t make it to the ceremony (“He so much wanted to be here”), then realized that this was no joke: Costner wasn’t in attendance because he had to shelter in place due to the fatal California floods. Hall hilariously stumbled through a message of well wishes to all of those experiencing the storms and flooding. She pulled it off! But it was cringe for a minute, there!

The Confusion Around the Pianist and the “Playing Off” Music

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Plenty of the acceptance speeches ran pretty long, causing the producers to play the celebrities off with tinkling piano music that got louder as they stayed on stage. And plenty of the celebrities this year (see: Michelle Yeoh) vocally disapproved of this practice. Fine, but the awards also made a note to showcase and televise a pianist, Chloe Flower, who played on the floor of the ceremony among the celebrities dining, drinking, and schmoozing. Plenty of people on Twitter thought it was Flower who was playing people off the stage, leading them to make some rather uncouth tweets and jokes about her involvement. But Chloe Flower said she wasn’t the one who was responsible for the “get off the stage” music—she was only playing when you see her on camera. A whole lot of you owe poor Chloe Flower an apology!

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Honorable Mentions: Mike White being drunk on stage (he admitted it!); House of the Dragon’s Milly Alcock being drunk on stage (the evidence is strong!); everything about Colin Farrell’s acceptance speech, from his words to Ana de Armas to him chiding Barry Keoghan for eating his Crunchy Nut Cornflakes; Austin Butler thanking Denzel for some unknown reason; Austin Butler still sounding like Elvis (no, I’m not over it); every time a celebrity was thirsty for Brad Pitt.

Most Heartwarming

Ke Huy Quan’s Win (and Speech)

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The Everything Everywhere All At Once star won for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and gave an emotional speech. He shouted out Stephen Spielberg, who gave him his first acting role in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, before Quan’s career took a 20-year-long involuntary hiatus due to lack of opportunities, leading him to believe that he might “never surpass what he achieved as a kid.” Luckily, that belief turned out to be wrong!

Michelle Yeoh’s Win (and Everyone Crying)

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Yeoh, who won her first Golden Globe last night at the age of 60 for her work in Everything Everywhere All At Once , deserves to be a globally beloved phenomenon, and it’s high time we all wise up to that fact. If you’re like me or Yeoh’s Everything Everywhere All At Once co-star Stephanie Hsu, you got something in your eye when she came on stage to accept her award.

Eddie Murphy Giving Tyler James Williams a Standing Ovation

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Tyler James Williams, who won a Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his portrayal of Gregory Eddie in the sitcom Abbott Elementary, was showered with praise by many of his peers last night, including veteran comedian Eddie Murphy, who was at the show being honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Courtney B. Vance Being All of Us When Angela Bassett Won 

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Angela Bassett won her second Golden Globe, Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, for her performance as Queen Ramonda in Wakanda Forever. Her husband, fellow actor Courtney B. Vance, couldn’t resist being his most Auntie-With-An-iPad self and filming her on his phone, in most memeable fashion.

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez Finally Getting Her Standing O

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During Ryan Murphy’s acceptance speech for the Carol Burnett Award, he explained that Pose’s Rodriguez (formerly “MJ Rodriguez”) made history in 2022 as the first trans actor to win a Golden Globe (for Actress in a Drama TV Series), but wasn’t able to receive her award in person due to the canceled broadcast of the ceremony. So, Murphy took some time out of his acceptance speech to orchestrate a much-deserved belated standing ovation for Rodriguez.

Honorable Mentions: Spielberg winning; Rihanna existing; celebs witnessing Rihanna’s existence; everything about Colin Farrell’s speech; Colin Farrell escorting Jennifer Coolidge to the stage; Colman Domingo (enough said).

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