If you were keeping score at home, the correct answer was nine minutes. That’s how long it took host Ricky Gervais to make his first Cats joke during his searing monologue at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards. It landed after brutally hilarious cuts at Felicity Huffman, Joe Pesci and Leonardo DiCaprio. “We got to see James Corden as a fat pussy,” Gervais sniped. Beat. “He was also in Cats, but no one saw that.” Of course, a poke at the much-maligned epic musical fail was as inevitable as a Meryl Streep reaction shot. But the Golden Globes doesn’t do stuffy and predictable. And Cats double-entendres aside, the 77th edition was no exception.
Surely this is the only awards show in which celebrity royalty Beyonce and Jay-Z must tuck themselves inside a roundtable in a hotel ballroom like everyone else. Fellow 21st century legend like Taylor Swift was assigned to present the ho-hum Best Animated Movie category with Amy Poehler — about five years after the Saturday Night Live alum and Tina Fey playfully jabbed her dating life during their own hosting gig. (“Taylor Swift, you stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son!”). And . . . wait, yes, this is confirmed: songwriter Bernie Taupin was on stage two more times than the great Martin Scorsese. Before tonight, I must confess I didn’t even know what he sounded like.
Beyonce, Swift and Taupin with Elton John, along with Tony-winner Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) and the Frozen 2 team, were all nominees in the Best Original Song category — which arrived midway through the broadcast but given the ultra-stacked lineup, could have easily been saved to the end. With no obvious runaway like last year’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, we had actual suspense on our hands. The winner? “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” which plays over the closing credits of the John biopic Rocketman. A rare John and Taupin co-write and win, they both accepted the award with their hearts wide open just a few minutes after they introduced Rocketman for Best Comedy/Musical to a standing ovation. “[The song] deals with our relationship . . . and a 52-year-old marriage . . . which doesn’t happen very much in this town,” said a visibly moved Taupin.
Beyonce and Swift will strike their gold in due time; it was never going to happen for a meh Lion King remake and Cats, respectively. Let the original diva reign supreme.