Jerrod Carmichael at the 2023 Golden Globes

Jerrod Carmichael at the 2023 Golden Globes.
Photo: Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images

NBC’s clip of Jerrod Carmichael’s opening monologue at the Golden Globes begins several seconds with the standard “Welcome to the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards,” but by the time the first time the cameras went live in the living room at 8pm ET and Carmichael walked out. , his first words were “Organize! Stay, settle down. People in the background. Let’s all be quiet here. He strode across the stage like a seasoned high school teacher, trying to regain control of the first class after the lunch break, waiting for the rowdy group to drop to their energy levels instead of trying to to talk about them. But a teacher in that position knows they have time: They will eventually have long-term relationships with these students and can win their attention through quiet influence. The problem for Carmichael is that the Globes will never give him time.

Carmichael’s opening seven-minute monologue was the closest the Globes came to the attitude the stand-up seemed to want. It was a straightforward way of introducing, which aimed to create a sense of intimacy with the audience, quickly naming all the elephants in the room but especially refusing to turn them into easy and humiliating lines. “I’ll tell you why I came here. I’m here because I’m Black,” he said. “The Golden Globes didn’t come out last year, because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – which, I wouldn’t say they’re a racist organization, but they didn’t have black members until George Floyd died. .” Somewhere in the room, there were voices shaking with laughter, and they were the first steps towards Carmichael achieving something interesting: a deep sadness not covered by familiar patters. At the end, when Carmichael suddenly sat down on the steps and began to recount his involvement in the show, he reached the tone that seemed most interested in trying to get out. For a moment as Carmichael stood between the lines, the room fell silent.

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For award show hosts and most short comedy sets, silence is the enemy. Silence is the absence of obedience. Silence is a suspended rhythm, a dead room, the energy level dropping to an irretrievable low. The deliberate silence of the actors is the point of view of the single show and the reflection of the long comedy special, and you know what is not historical about the award show of the famous booze-drenched Golden Globes? The deep inspection caused by the feeling of everyone in a quiet room being held captive by someone’s insistence on stepping on the brakes. But as Carmichael has shown over and over in his work, he appreciates the recognition that he’s ultimately interested in what happens when people hoping for comedy aren’t given easy access to relief. Carmichael fans have already turned to the Globes already knowing he did 8especially those that intentionally break the audience’s laughter, and recently Rotanielwhich begins at the beginning, creates a moment for its viewers to ask themselves what the joke is even is. But the worse (and the better, because Carmichael wanted those silences), a large portion of the Globes audience in the room and viewers at home were unprepared for their complete disinterest in the standard awards monologue format.

He described his process for agreeing to host the show: the “moral and racial complexities” of doing so, how much he was paid (reportedly half a million dollars, which a lot more than Wanda Sykes told Jimmy Kimmel she was hired at the Oscars in 2022), and her refusal to sit down with the HFPA president. “Or what? Are they going to kick me out?” said Carmichael. “They didn’t have a black host for 79 years. Will they release the first one? I can’t be folded.” The crowd laughed a little, but it wasn’t a peaceful laugh. In the short space of those opening seven minutes, Carmichael has created the awards show he seems to be aiming for: an intimate, understated and funny show, and one that, at its core, focuses on a special presence for him. host. It’s amazing how Carmichael managed to juggle one of those chaotic parties where he was purposely off balance and completely focused.

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But then, like Cinderella in the middle of the night or an unlit employee who suddenly remembers he has to do his job, Carmichael has to go back to hosting an awards show. “I look around this room, and I see a lot of talented people – like people I admire, people I want to be like,” he said. “This is an evening to celebrate, and I think this industry deserves an evening like this.” It was a seamless transition, a sudden appeal to sophistication that suggested everyone should be happy not because of the HFPA but in spite of it. Don’t forget that for the rest of the night the HFPA will be thanking the winners for their consideration and no one has suggested canceling the entire awards ceremony because of this. Carmichael managed to stop the show for a while but couldn’t help but finally accept the old and most disgusting fallacy that the show must go on.

If this were the sum of Carmichael’s contributions, the pleasant differences between the two factors might have balanced each other. Except that Carmichael has to come back from time to time to bring in new presenters, people on Twitter are scolding him for being angry that pianist Chloe Flower interrupted his acceptance speech, and he changes into a nice new outfit every holiday. a few commercial. Several times he seemed confused or a little annoyed that the room was not paying enough attention to him, so he asked the audience to sit down or take their seats. In one return from a commercial break, Carmichael sat in the middle of the room looking sideways at a security guard who seemed eager to help him keep up with the ever-increasing noise. He seemed to want to return to the room when he left it: silent, uncertain, carried away with him, unable to resist him. The Globes had no patience for this and never did. The memories of the joy of winning an award are too powerful, and the mechanics of congratulation are too powerful — especially when driven by a room full of people who just want to be legit and a bottle of Moët support.

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As the show went on, Carmichael did better when he got in some sharper shots — like a joke about missing Scientologist Shelly Miscavige. It may have been an unusual target, but Carmichael was working from the playbook of a more traditional Globes host: Show up, make an obvious joke, step away. The audience gasped, but it was pleasant anger, not quiet caution. In the end, whatever weird Carmichael magic he had built up in that opening came off and it always became the Golden Globes: an awards show – nothing less, nothing more.


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