Ken Tucker thanks the Golden Globes folks for putting the kibosh on 'Patch Adams' mania

By Josh Wolk
Updated January 26, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST
Anne Fishbein

Foreign Affairs

This year, I’m watching awards shows primarily in the hope that Bill Murray will win. Why? Because the star of “Rushmore” is just about the funniest guy on the planet when he’s speaking extemporaneously, and I want to hear any acceptance speech he gives. So it was a big disappointment when Murray didn’t win a Golden Globe Sunday night — they cut to his bemused, hangdog face just before Ed Harris (of “The Truman Show”) beat him as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, and I chuckled — lordy, I hope Murray’s nominated for and wins an Oscar.

As for the rest of the Globes — well, they didn’t quite live up to the anything-can-happen hype that NBC had been laying on so thickly in its promotions for the show, but they were fun. The key was the mixture of young bloods and old pros. Watching “Dharma & Greg”‘s Jenna Elfman literally scamper up on stage to clutch her trophy, her hair done up in what looked like chopsticks, was a kick, but even kickier was Michael Caine’s speech, in which the current costar of “Little Voice” stared out at the crowd and deadpanned, “My career must be slipping — this is the first time I’ve ever been available to pick up an award.”

If the joke of the Golden Globes is that the much-invoked “foreign press” that bestows the awards are mostly a bunch of overseas nobodies, the reality is that, increasingly, the Globes are viewed as harbingers for Oscar nominations and winners. With that in mind, the wins for smaller movies like “Shakespeare in Love,” “God and Monsters,” and “Little Voice” bode well for preventing a complete Oscar sweep for “Saving Private Ryan.”

The Globes, broadcast from a Merv Griffin-owned hotel in L.A., array the famous guests at dinner tables (clearly, the power table was the Miramax one, where ex-New Yorker editor Tina Brown sat with uber-producer Harvey Weinstein, to whom many winners paid awed fealty). The stars eat, drink, and are consequently more merry than most of the luminaries on Oscar telecasts. Plus, Robin Williams didn’t win anything for “Patch Adams” — you gotta love an awards show that keeps the lid on “Patch” mania.