“Well, I don’t go back 75 years. Let’s make that clear,” says veteran TV producer Barry Adelman.
Adelman may not go back to the origins of the Golden Globe Awards, which turn 75 this year, but he has been associated with the show for almost three decades, and executive produced every ceremony since 2001.
As the show marks the milestone anniversary, Adelman shared some of his favorite Globes memories with The Associated Press.
THE FIRST ENCOUNTER
Adelman remembers watching the Golden Globes on TV in his hometown of Chicago before coming out to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment business. But his first personal interaction with the show was actually by accident.
“I remember the first year I was in California. My aunt and my mother came to visit me, and I was taking them around to various places,” he said. “We wound up stopping at the Beverly Hilton, and we found a place to park. We walked into the lobby and the Golden Globes were going on! And we saw all these stars walking past us. And you know, as people from Chicago, like Middle Americans, who share the same dreams and aspirations of people all over the country, it’s a very exciting thing. And it’s still exciting even today. So, yeah, it’s a long-term relationship.”
The show is still held in the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom, and these days the hotel offers special packages for visitors wanting to see stars on Golden Globes weekend.
THE EARLY DAYS
Adelman first came to the Golden Globes as a writer after working on some smaller shows for dick clark productions.
“It was exciting from the very beginning. I came in when we first came to NBC, which was, you know, that was the big year… I think that is the year that ‘Titanic’ won,” Adelman said. “And, you know, I think that was the year that Christine Lahti was locked in the bathroom — not locked there, but was in the bathroom when her award came up. And I think that was the year that Ving Rhames gave his Golden Globe to Jack Lemmon in an emotional moment that nobody was expecting. I mean, it’s hard to top that. We should check that that was all happened the same night, but in my mind, it did.”
(He’s right. That was all at the Globes show in 1998.)
THE GOLDEN HOSTS
The Golden Globes operated without a host until Ricky Gervais was offered the job in 2009, and he skewered Hollywood with such zingers that some wondered if he’d be asked back. He was, three times.
Adelman said Gervais’ approach “changed the whole climate of what these awards shows have become.”
“Now you always seem to have a host that is going to say something memorable and maybe speak truth to power in a way that hadn’t been done so often in the past. And Ricky changed all that, so I certainly remember that first night,” he said. “And I certainly remember the first night that Tina (Fey) and Amy (Poehler) came in and that was amazing. I mean, talk about hitting a home run. They just knew exactly what buttons to push. They had so many friends in the room and everybody was very comfortable with them and rooting for them, and no matter what they said, they got away with it.”
The diamond anniversary celebration will go on throughout the show, Adelman said.
“We’ll have some people along the way that will remind you that this show has a rich history. Some of the stars that we remember and still love will be joining us, and most of them are still very, very active today. Also there’s going to be a little surprise moment in the middle which I’m not allowed to talk about yet but I’m sure — I’m predicting maybe a 30-minute standing ovation. I’m sorry, 30 seconds! A 30-second standing ovation. Thirty minutes and I’ll never get off the air in time.”