Which So-Called ‘Canceled’ Comic Will Win the First Golden Globe for Best Stand-Up Performance?

This January’s Golden Globe Awards will feature the first-ever category exclusively for stand-up comedy
Which So-Called ‘Canceled’ Comic Will Win the First Golden Globe for Best Stand-Up Performance?

On Tuesday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association officially added a category to their annual Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance in Stand-Up Comedy on Television, which means that it’s only a matter of time until Dave Chappelle adds another trophy to his collection of awards won while complaining about being silenced.

This upcoming January’s ceremony will be the first year in which comedians will compete in the new category, and any comedy special released on television or streaming during 2023 will be eligible to receive the award. In addition to the stand-up honors, this will also be the first year in which one film will win the Golden Globe for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement, a category reserved for blockbuster films for which the producers felt that hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue was not enough recognition. 

In recent memory, major awards organizations have favored so-called “controversial” comedians in handing out yearly accolades, with five of the last six Grammys for Best Comedy Album going to comics who are constantly cited as examples of “cancel culture going too far.” If history is any teacher, this year’s Golden Globes will feature a bloodbath between Louis C.K. and Shane Gillis — though don’t count out a surprise Bill Cosby special coming in as a dark horse candidate before year’s end.

As the medium of stand-up continues to evolve, the Golden Globes specify that only specials released on “broadcast, basic and premium cable, streaming and pay-per-view cable will be considered.” Golden Globes president Helen Hoenhe told Variety, “The Golden Globes has a rich history of supporting and celebrating the work of comedians,” and the expansion will add another source or prestige for the stand-up world’s A-listers, many of whom have come back from scandals large and small to bravely continue selling out Madison Square Garden.

The Golden Globes themselves have battled controversy stemming from the past exclusion of Black members from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The most eloquent of these criticisms came from this past year’s host, Jerrod Carmichael, who took numerous shots at his bosses during the ceremony, saying of the HFPA, “I won’t say they were a racist organization, but they didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died, so do with that information what you will.”

With the critical success of Carmichael’s performance at the beginning of 2023, maybe the Golden Globes will just give themselves their new stand-up award in January.

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