7 Strange-But-True Facts to Know About the Golden Globe Awards Show

Golden Globes 2020
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The nominations are out for the 79th Golden Globe Awards. You may disagree with some (or many) of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) choices, but there’s broad agreement that the show itself is traditionally one of the booziest — and so breeziest — nights of the awards season.

Golden Globes 2021: The Complete List of NomineesSee Also

Golden Globes 2021: The Complete List of Nominees

'The Crown,' 'Hamilton,' 'Schitt's Creek,' and more make the cut.

But how much do you really know about the Globes? Here, 10 things you should know about the show’s history.

TV Was Snubbed

The awards show, first held in 1944 — and first televised in the mid-60s — was all about film. It took until 1956 to include even a whiff of television, and then only in some offbeat categories, such as the Trailblazer Award, given to Walt Disney (American story-telling), and an American comedy award given to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

In 1957, five TV shows received Golden Globes: Cheyenne (best American western); Mickey Mouse Club (best American children’s show); Matinee Theatre (best American daytime theatre); Playhouse 90 (best nighttime theatre); This Is Your Life (best audience participation show).

Everett Collection

The Globe Wasn’t, at First, a Globe

The awards given out at that 1944 ceremony, held in the 20th Century Fox studios, were actually scrolls. In 1945, the first globe on a cylindrical pedestal, meant to represent the world, was presented. Its look evolved, including a major overhaul in 2019, when its square marble base was replaced with a cylindrical metal one. Film and TV winners each get an all-gold (plated) globe.

There Are Very Few Voters

The non-profit association, launched in 1943, is made up of some 90 journalists (yes, it’s that small a group!) representing 55 countries. In simple terms, which is how we like it, members are sent a ballot with a list of eligible films, and members are tasked with selecting nominees for each category, ranking them 1 to 5. The Ernst & Young accounting firm total and prepare the results for the official announcement.

It’s Had Some Big ‘Firsts’

The lack of representation and diversity in the entertainment world is a long-running issue, with award shows such as the Golden Globes believed to be part of the problem. However, milestone moments at the Globes have helped nudge the needle a little bit forward, including a win for Julia‘s Diahann Carroll in 1968 for Best Actress in a Television Series.

Carl Betz with Diahann Carroll and their 1969 Golden Globe Awards

It’s Most-Awarded Star Is…

OK, this one is not exactly strange — it’s Meryl Streep. She holds the record with 33 Golden Globes nominations and nine wins, if you count her 2017 Cecil B. DeMille award. The first came in 1980 for Kramer vs. Kramer. Yes, one could argue Streep was snubbed twice this year for her performances on HBO Max’s Let Them All Talk and Netflix’s The Prom, but the movies weren’t all that. Plus, we doubt she’s all that bothered.

The Host(s)

The Golden Globe Awards did have a host for its first 51 installments! In 1995, Night Court’s John Larroquette and Northern Exposure’s Janine Turner led the festivities, and then the HFPA went back to the original format from 1996 to 2010, at which point Ricky Gervais took the reins, and ruffled feathers, for three years. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler brought in some more good-natured comedy when hosting from 2012 to 2014. They return in 2021 for the first bicoastal, virtual ceremony. Fey broadcasts from the Rainbow Room in Manhattan while Poehler sets up shop at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Maybe It’s the Booze, But…Things Get Funny

Below, some of the show’s funniest acceptance speeches.

78th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Sunday, February 28, 8 pm ET/5 pm PT, NBC