HOLLYWOOD—HELLO AMERICA! The sixty-ninth Annual Golden Globe Awards show started off with quite a verbal bang with British comedian-actor RICKY GERVAIS insulting everybody possible. He mentioned everybody who had been married for a few weeks and then filed for divorce. When he introduced Johnny Depp, he asked if he had seen his film “The Tourist.” The actor admitted that he had not, which of course prompted thunderous laughter and applause, since it received terrible reviews. When I was editor in chief of the Golden Globe program Book during the ’90s, I remember the real charm of this show is the “unexpected” moments. And with Gervais, it was off to a good start.

With Ricky aboard, one only had to wait until he found it necessary to give a pleasant warning to those accepting an award. “Please don’t thank the entire world,” he begged, “Just God and your agent.” Madonna locked funny horns with Ricky when she said she had not kissed a girl in over a year and invited him to come out and lay a big one on her.

Spotted: Queen Latifah and Elton John wearing rather bored expressions as if they wished to be far away from the evening’s much touted awards ceremony. However, feeling changed somewhat when Octavia Spencer (star of “The Help”) received an award for her work in that film.  Several people were seen wiping tears from their eyes when the actress mentioned the plight of domestic workers.  Sidney Poitier presenting the C.B. DeMille Life Time Achievement Award to Morgan Freeman was quite an emotional moment as well with the audience. Jane Fonda’s appearance added yet another level of nostalgia for this coveted award. There was much applause and approval for “The Descendants” which won for Best Screenplay.

Each year it seems that one really has to concentrate on the actors who make an appearance at these award shows because they are so new. They really haven’t settled into our lives long enough to garner instant recognition. This is why there was such a warm and receptive response to the appearance of such veteran actors as Sidney Poitier, Jane Fonda, George Clooney and several others who were spotlighted during the ceremony. The Oscar show isn’t much better ”“ people and faces that you really haven’t developed some kind of love or following for makes the response to their grand entrance quite lukewarm. It simply takes time for an audience to build up the kind of loyalty that a Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Henry Fonda or even a Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire had. That’s the nature of our business.

Actually, the show was very enjoyable… to a certain extent. I simply miss the dancers, singers and the crowning of a new upcoming actor or actress which made it so different from the Oscars. The exclusion of this facet of the awards show again is evidence as to how much the business has changed. Mickey Rooney, where are you when we really need you?!