Jo Koy had one of the worst opening monologues not only in Golden Globes history but among all awards shows.
Poor Things isn’t only one of the nominees for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy at this year’s Golden Globes awards. It can also be used to describe the show itself.
Things started poorly right off the bat. First-time host Jo Koy’s opening monologue would’ve been notable if it was merely unfunny and unamusing, but it was much worse: a cringe fest of awkward and tone deaf jokes, sex-oriented asides with a particular obsession with the male genitalia, and some sexism.
“Oppenheimer is based on the 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project,” Jo Koy, the first solo Globes host who’s part Asian, began one of the jokes that reverberated the most and not in a good way. “And Barbie is about a plastic doll with big boobies.”
It’s exactly the kind of misogyny that the critically acclaimed blockbuster movie rallied against. This was totally lost on Koy, who went on to say, “The key moment in Barbie is when she goes from perfect beauty to bad breath, cellulite and flat feet — or what casting directors call character acting.”
It was one of the worst opening monologues not only in Golden Globes history but among all awards shows. Unfortunately, the 52-year-old comedian isn’t seasoned or clever enough to make lemonade out of this big lemon that his celebrity audience in the venue gave him the way former Globes host Ricky Gervais might have.
“Yo, I got the gig ten days ago, you want a perfect monologue?” he clapped back half-seriously after some members of the celebrity crowd jeered and booed his Barbie barb. “Yo, shut up. You’re kidding me, right. Slow down. I wrote some of these, and they’re the ones you’re laughing at.” It only made things worse.
To be fair, there were indeed some bits that landed, but maybe they did partly because of how lame most of the rest were. And even those few hits weren’t strong enough to overcome the stinky ones.
The upside was, since the monologue was already the pits, there was no way for the show to go but up. Or so you would think. The show kept on Lame Street for most of the night with more similarly unsuccessful attempts at humor via the spiels delivered by award presenters. The effort was evident but the result so off the mark you would think the Hollywood writers went back on strike, forcing the Globes to hire students or hacks to do the job.
To Koy’s credit, he had no hand in any of that. Only one was a genuine hit that got the crowd in stitches — a bit of physical comedy from Saturday Night Live alums Will Ferrel and Kristen Wiig.
But by that point, Koy’s fate as a total flop had long been sealed. It came via a jab at Taylor Swift, who was in attendance as nominee for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement for her concert film The Eras Tour.
“The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL?,” the Filipino-American stand-up comedian and actor rhetorically asked. “On the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift,” he offered, alluding to the pop superstar’s high-profile appearances in some NFL games to watch current boyfriend Travis Kelce.
Unfortunately for Koy, Taylor did not play along the way Meryl Streep graciously did earlier—or maybe she felt compelled to save the host from any more embarrassment, bless her!—despite the joke being a non-event about Wakanda Forever, which was so 2022 and had no place in an awards show honoring movies of 2023. In fact, Swift was clearly unamused with the diss, giving Koy an icy look.
The acceptance speeches didn’t help make the show more savory either. There was nothing truly memorable in the vein of Michelle Yeoh’s “I’ll kick your ass” moment or Key Huy Quan’s tearful victory in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories in the 2022 edition. This was a bummer as the Golden Globes, being the first big show of the awards season, usually gets at least a handful of those every time.
Neither were there any big surprises in the winners’ list except in the Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy category which Barbie was expected to rule. The winner? The year’s other Barbie movie, Poor Things. How fitting for the show.
If there were any thrills from watching the show they mostly came from the portions that weren’t seen on TV, only on Lionsgate Play. As the live stream did not have any gaps in the broadcast, it showed viewers what happened during commercial breaks—the celebrities hobnobbing with each other, table-hopping, chatting, exchanging numbers, drinking.
After years of only reading and hearing about the Globes being a party, viewers finally got a glimpse of it. And we finally understand a bit more why it remains alive and kicking in Hollywood after 80 colorful years dotted with major controversies and constant criticism. It’s not just a party: it’s a major platform for networking for industry players, especially those campaigning for Oscar gold.
That’s why the Globes will always be golden. And why it will surely survive this Jo Koy debacle. It may even benefit from it.
Full list of winners:
Best Motion Picture — Drama: Oppenheimer
Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy: Poor Things
Best Motion Picture — Animated: The Boy and the Heron
Best Motion Picture — Non-English Language: Anatomy of a Fall (France)
Cinematic and Box Office Achievement: Barbie
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy: Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy: Emma Stone, Poor Things
Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Robert Downey, Jr., Oppenheimer
Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers