Did you really win if the award you received wasn't named after you? Carol Burnett's full speech at the Golden Globes — a speech that celebrated Carol Burnett's unique achievements in the tradition of Carol Burnett — proved that no. You didn't.
You've of course heard of the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievements in film (what has he done lately?), and the introduction of Burnett's special achievement in television award will function to atone for the years in which Cheers and Frasier ate up all the regular awards, and remind Golden Globes audiences for every year now in the future that one of the kings of comedy is a woman, as the montage that aired so helpfully drove home. The now-85-year-old Burnett was the star of The Carol Burnett Show, a variety-slash sketch show, for over a decade starting in 1967, during which time the show won a slew of Golden Globes and many, many Emmy awards, and the consensus from a distance of 41 years is that everyone agrees she is a great comedian and good egg, very much worthy of a namesake award tradition.
On stage at the Globes, male comedian Steve Carell presented the award by announcing, "and the nominees are... Christian Bale" and listing a bunch of random actors in jest, then accrediting her as creator of the "comedy gold standard."
Clearly chuffed, she accepted the award saying, "Steve Carell, all I can say is he's as nice as he is talented."
"My thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," she continued, "I'm really gobsmacked by this. Does this mean I get to accept it every year?" The audience, which had actors like Juliette Roberts, Debra Messing, Isla Fisher, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Rachel Brosnahan on their feet, cheered themselves silly.
"Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about being young again and doing it all over and then I bring myself up short when I realize how incredibly fortunate I was to be there at the right time. What we did then couldn't be done today."
Burnett noted that the investment that went into the show — a full orchestra, an average of 65 costumes a week, two guest stars — would not be possible in the current climate.
"Networks... just wouldn't send the money, and because there are so many competitors, they wouldn't take the chance. So here's to reruns and to YouTube," she joked.
"I'm so grateful for the chemistry we had," she said, noting the chemistry behind the scenes also, and describing the crew as a happy family for 11 years.
To finish, she turned her attention to younger peers in the industry. "We've been granted a gift, a canvas to paint with our talent."
"This award, oh my gosh, so generously given to me ... is devoted to all those out there who share my love for television."
"I am so glad we have this time together," she finished, signing off with her trademark ear-tug, a symbol originally devised to let her grandmother, Nanny, who raised her, know "Hi Nanny. I'm fine. I love you. Your check's on the way," as Good Housekeeping has reported.
Christian Bale never had a chance.