I am not at all surprised Jerrod Carmichael turned out to be a good host for the Golden Globes, I have insisted all along he is too good for this show. What did surprise me is just how HARD he went at EVERYTHING. 


I expected his monologue to focus on the HFPA and their various controversies over the last couple years, and indeed, the HFPA was his primary target. But Jerrod did not adjust his energy, he brought his typical laid-back delivery and low-key style to the Globes’ stage (it is not “low energy”, internet, he’s just not screaming every punchline), and then he made them eat sh-t for seven minutes straight. 

Some people like those Ricky Gervais roast monologues, but when you’re hosting the comeback awards show of an embattled organization called out for a lack of racial diversity and you are a prominent Black artist known for pushing envelopes, this is basically the only way to go. Jerrod just straight up admitting he did it for the money, that he didn’t even care to hear about their new initiatives and attempts to diversify—he just assumed they DIDN’T change, and I believe him! I do not think Jerrod Carmichael wastes his time on these machinations!—set the tone for the night. It’s like he admitted he was just there for the money, and everyone went, Oh sh-t, we can just own that we’re here for self-serving purposes.


But he did not stop there! I don’t think any of his callouts qualify as “roasts”, but he definitely took some shots from stage. The best joke of the night, in terms of set up and punchline, is Jerrod’s Scientology joke involving Tom Cruise’s returned trophies.

The punchline is that this bit came right before Glen Powell and Jay Ellis, two of the “young guns” from Top Gun: Maverick, came out to talk about Tom Cruise. I MEAN. THE TIMING. As the host, of course Jerrod knew the lineup of presenters, so that joke was TARGETED and like Rooster firing blind, Jerrod blew that sh-t up. 


But the best LINE of the night was Jerrod’s joke about The Fabelmans and noted antisemite Kanye West. Steven Spielberg took it well, because he wasn’t the butt of the joke, but just the line “The Fabelmans changed Kanye’s mind” is fantastic. It is literally word perfect. Not even one wasted syllable. It is the leanest, meanest version of itself, absolute perfection.

The most controversial line of the night goes to Jerrod’s joke about the Beverly Hilton, site of the Globes, being “the hotel that killed Whitney Houston”. Social Media Is Not Happy about that joke, but it was a shoutout forced on him by the HFPA. He started the show by shoveling their own sh-t into their mouths, and he ended it by making them regret forcing a line on him. You don’t have to laugh at the joke but damn, Jerrod was not there to play their game, and the one time they made him, they paid for it. 


But like I said, Jerrod’s give-no-f-cks tone freed up others to follow suit. Eddie Murphy ended on a Will Smith joke in his acceptance speech for the Cecile B. DeMille Award:

We are bound to hear a lot of “The Slap” jokes over the next couple months, but really, no one else should try it. Eddie Murphy did it well enough, he has the stature to pull it off—he’s not punching down but a lateral right hook—and the delivery. Everyone else should toss their Slap jokes and spare us. 

And finally, Regina Hall accepted Best Actor in a Drama Series on behalf of Yellowstone star Kevin Costner, who couldn’t make it because of the catastrophic flooding in California right now.

Hall took heat on social media for mocking victims of the flooding, but that is not what she is doing. She is very specifically mocking sheltering in place in Santa Barbara, one of the wealthiest cities in the country. She starts by laughing at the line, “He so much wanted to be here,” acknowledging none of them really WANT to be there, which again, Jerrod teed up at the top of the show with his “I’m just here for the money” line. And then she laughs at Santa Barbara, because let’s face it, Kevin Costner dealing with the flooding from his mansion is not the same as people being washed out of their homes. She literally says it: “He’s stuck in Santa Barbara, let’s pray everyone.” She knows, Costner will come out of whatever damage his property takes on better than the average Joe and Jane. 


One thing that did come through from Jerrod, though, is his sincere love for art and artists. He never tried to sell us on the HFPA or the Globes themselves as anything meaningful, but he clearly respects the people in the room who make the movies and shows we watch and love. And he shouted out Rihanna, nominated for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever song “Lift Me Up”.

A lot of people said hi to Rihanna. Niecy Nash told Riri she dressed as her for Halloween, while Billy Porter said later that if he “believed” in Halloween, he would dress as Rihanna, too. I have some questions about that. Does he not believe in Halloween on religious grounds (not uncommon), or is it that he thinks every day is for dressing up? Billy Porter elaborate!

All around, it was a great job by Jerrod Carmichael. He took the Golden Globes exactly as unseriously as they should be taken, while still acknowledging his admiration for the creatives in the room. He set a free-wheeling tone that the more extemporaneously gifted of the presenters were able to run with, and he landed a couple platinum jokes mid-show, a real challenge. Notably, he did no bits, he just delivered solid intros and GREAT style all night. Let Jerrod Carmichael host anything he wants from here on out.