Golden Globes: Who Really Won (Even if They Didn’t)

From Mel Gibson’s semi-redemption to Sylvester Stallone’s heartfelt acceptance speech, here’s who really has reason to celebrate

rachel bloom golden globes
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With the Golden Globe Awards behind us for another year, the recipients of the shiny trinkets are a matter of record. But who really won big at showbiz’s most loosey-goosey awards ceremony, regardless of whether they walked away with a gilded planet or not? TheWrap breaks down this year’s ceremony to determine the true champions.

The big winners of the night were underdogs. The Amazon offering “Mozart in the Jungle” scored the television comedy series award and its star, Gael Garcia Bernal, took best actor honors. The CW’s little-watched newcomer “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” was also recognized with an award for its star Rachel Bloom. The far from “Downton Abbey”-big historical drama “Wolf Hall” received acclaim. USA’s “Mr. Robot” bested heavy hitters “Empire” and “Game of Thrones” for best television drama series.

Even the little-celebrated country of Hungary received its first-ever Golden Globe this year, in the Best Foreign Language Film category for “Son of Saul.” Clearly, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was courting the wallflowers instead of the prom queens and kings this year.

Another big winner: the audience. Despite the worst efforts by some recipients to ramble on well after the play-off music struck its first note (we’re looking in your direction, Ridley Scott), the ceremony came in at a relatively tidy three hours and four minutes. Which provides some level of comfort for those of us who don’t get to sleep in on Monday morning while snuggling with our shiny new trophies.

So who else can hold their heads high this year, knowing that they came away from the Golden Globes as winners, trophy or not? Read on.

Ricky Gervais. Even for a veteran shock-meister like Gervais, keeping things sharp and scandalous for a fourth go at hosting the Golden Globes would present a challenge. But Gervais still managed some gasp-inducing lines during his opening monologue, taking digs at Caitlyn Jenner (while the gender-transitioning former Olympian has become an icon for transgender people, “she didn’t do a lot for women drivers”); the Catholic church (“Roman Polanski called it the best date movie ever,” he said of “Spotlight,” about the church’s child-molestation scandal); and this weekend’s big story, Sean Penn‘s interview with recently captured drug kingpin El Chapo. Gervais wisecracked that, after the ceremony, he was “going into hiding — not even Sean Penn will find me,” before tossing in the aside, “snitch.”

Gervais wasn’t done there. Introducing Matt Damon, the host described the “Martian” star as “the only person that Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.” Ouch. And LOL.

Jonah Hill. Is there a more thankless task than getting up onstage and handing out an award to somebody else? Yet Hill took the normally dry-as-dust presenter’s duties and ran with them, donning a goofy mask and appearing as the bear in the Leonardo DiCaprio film “The Revenant.” Potshot victims included his co-presenter and “21 Jump Street” costar Channing Tatum (“Big fan of ‘Magical Mike’”) and DiCaprio (“I would like to thank Leonard, my costar”). Hill’s apparently heavily censored speech sent at least one jaw hurtling floor-ward. Way to breathe some bawdy life into a typically dreary gig.

Rachel Bloom. Picking up a win for Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy, for the CW’s freshman offering “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Bloom coasted past heavy-duty competition such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gina Rodriguez and Lily Tomlin. She also delivered a big lift to her ratings-challenged series and brought more awards-season weight to the CW, which has now picked up a Globe two years running, after winning its first last year.

Christian Slater. Coming off of a run of short-lived TV series (“Mind Games,” “Breaking In,” “The Forgotten,” “My Own Worst Enemy”), Slater’s win for his USA Network offering “Mr. Robot” served as long-due redemption for the actor. Not bad for a guy who started out as That Jack Nicholson-Looking Guy.

Aziz Ansari. How do you successfully circumvent the whole awkward task of masking your disappointment at losing while feigning happiness for the victor? Just ask “Master of None” star Ansari, who was seen reading a book titled “Losing to Jeffrey Tambor With Dignity” as the camera panned to the nominees for Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy. In the end, the joke really was on Anzari — “Mozart in the Jungle” star Gael Garcia Bernal ultimately took the prize.

Mel Gibson. “Passion of the Christ” honcho Gibson received a well-deserved savaging by way of Gervais’ tongue at past Golden Globes ceremonies. While it’s difficult to give someone as unlikable as Gibson credit for anything, he took the jibes in stride while serving as a presenter at this year’s event. While Gervais again laid into Gibson — struggling to find something nice to say about the actor, Gervais offered, “I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby” — the “Mad Max” actor also gave some sass back, declaring, “I like seeing Ricky every three years because it reminds me to get a colonoscopy.” Doubtless he didn’t write the joke himself, but he gets an A for delivery nonetheless.

Sylvester Stallone. Sly returned to the Golden Globes for the first time in nearly 40 years to pick up his first-ever Globe in the motion picture supporting actor category for “Creed.” He also scored a standing ovation from the Globes audience. Stallone even delivered a couple of aww-inspiring moments, telling his wife that “having your love is the greatest award every day” and acknowledging his pugilistic alter-ego with the line, “I want to thank my imaginary friend Rocky Balboa for being the best friend I’ve ever had.” Yo, dat’s some pretty good awards acceptin’.