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Richard Roeper on the Golden Globes: A bit of naughty, plenty of nice

In accepting his award for playing Dick Cheney in 'Vice,' Christian Bale spices up the show with some sardonic commentary.

In accepting his award for playing Dick Cheney in 'Vice,' Christian Bale spices up the show with some sardonic commentary. | Paul Drinkwater/NBC

“Steve Carell: he is as nice as he is talented.” – The one and only Carol Burnett, after Steve Carell introduced her as the winner/namesake of the new Carol Burnett Award at the Golden Globes.


The 2019 Golden Globes were nice in just about every sense of the word. The hosts were nice, their jokes were nice, the winners were nice and everybody looked …


Even the occasional moments of profanity and politicizing weren’t all that abrasive or in your face. Even if you disagreed with the message, odds are you’d find the messenger, well, nice.

Hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh set the tone with a monologue featuring mildly clever (at best) jokes making fun of their own niceness.

“Well if it isn’t Spike Lee, Mister ‘Do the Right Thing,’ ” said Samberg in sarcastic fashion — before saying, “Lifetime fan, can’t wait to see what you do next!”

Oh: “Bradley Cooper [is here]. You are hot! Michael B. Jordan, your name in ‘Creed’ is Adonis, and it is apt!”

Get it? No burns — just pats on the back.


Top Golden Globe Awards go to ‘Green Book,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Sandra Oh the first Asian to win TV drama lead actress Golden Globe
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: Inept Freddie Mercury bio is no pleasure cruise
Soaring ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ seldom clings to reality

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ a tender romance in a dark, all too recent reality

The edgiest the hosts got was when Oh referenced a nominated film and said, “ ‘First Man’ is also how studios look for directors. ‘First, man! Then, two men!’ ”

After Oh made a crack about “Ghost in the Shell” and “Aloha” — two films criticized for “whitewashing” the leads — “Aloha” star Emma Stone cried out, “I’m sorry!”

Very nice.

We had another nice moment when the legendary Michael Douglas won his fourth career Golden Globe for his work in “The Kominsky Method” and thanked his even more legendary father, 102-year-old Kirk Douglas.

Granted, things got a little racy when Patricia Arquette won best actress in a limited series for “Escape at Dannemora” and dropped a couple of f-bombs in her acceptance speech — but of course the show is on delay, so the delicate ears of the home audience were not bruised.

Then there was a very … enthusiastic Christian Bale, who thanked “Satan” for being the inspiration for his performance as Dick Cheney in “Vice,” and said perhaps he could corner the market on playing bleeping bleeps by portraying Mitch McConnell next.

Kudos to Arquette and Bale for injecting a little spice into the night.

Also, it was cool when “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won for best animated film — a victory that SHOULD be repeated come Oscar time if there’s any justice, so to speak.

On the local front, Highland Park’s Rachel Brosnahan was a repeat winner for her role on Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” And Wilmette’s Bill Murray had an actual golden goblet on his hand when he presented the Globe for best motion picture, musical or comedy, and said, “Oh God, the winner is ‘Green Book,’ ” indicating that MIGHT not have been his first choice.

Perhaps the most beautiful moment of the evening came when the great Carol Burnett delivered a lovely, thoughtful, wonderful speech, which of course ended with her saying, “I’m so glad we had this time together.”


(At one point during Burnett’s speech, the camera cut to Dick Van Dyke in the audience. My goodness, think of all the insanely entertaining and timeless hours of comedic television those two giants contributed to the pop culture landscape.)

There were only a few moments of social commentary.

Best supporting film actress winner Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) concluded her acceptance speech by referencing #MeToo and saying, “I’m going to use my platform right now to say, in the next two years I am making a vow to make sure everything I produce will be 50 percent women. … I challenge anyone out there in a position of power … to stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

Powerful words — and words we might well again hear when King wins the Academy Award for best supporting actress, as I believe she will and she should.

The funniest moment of the night, at least from my perspective, came when the HFPA named “Bohemian Rhapsody” as best motion picture, drama, over “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “A Star Is Born.”

Now THAT’S hilarious.

Another nice moment: Sam Elliott serving as the gravel-voiced guide through a montage of films from Jeff Bridges, who received a lifetime achievement award and gave an exuberant, heartfelt, beautiful speech in which he thanked his wife of 45 years, his siblings, his stand-in, a number of directors and collaborators — and flashed the cuff links he received from his father, who had been given those cuff links from HIS father. Then he explained how we’re all “trim tabs” on the “rudders” of “ocean-going vessels,” and you just had to go with it.

The Dude abides.