Golden Globes: Jimmy Fallon Braves Teleprompter Failure, Opens With Musical Number

Jimmy Fallon must have thought he had wandered onto the Saturday Night Live soundstage at the top of the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards. That’s because the teleprompter failed as soon as the Tonight Show host stepped up to the microphone, forcing him to go off book and vamp for a bit while he waited for a functioning monitor to arrive.

“I can do impressions,” he joked, before remembering something else that always used to work for him at SNL: “Cut to Justin Timberlake, please. He’ll just wink at me or something.” He continued to stall for time by borrowing a bit from founding Not Ready for Primetime Player Chevy Chase’s old playbook by pretending to trip onstage. At least he recognized the significance of this snafu: “You already have your Golden Globes moment!” And, after the commercial break, he came up with a convincing explanation: “I just got off the phone with Mariah Carey, and she thinks Dick Clark Productions sabotaged my monologue.”

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Eventually, his prescripted gags returned and several of them carried a surprisingly savage political bite. During the election, of course, Fallon was widely criticized for his hair-tussling encounter with Donald Trump. This time he had sharper words for the president-elect, first with a reference to the Golden Globes being “one of the few places left where America honors the popular vote.”

Later, he pondered what Westeros might look like if Game of Thrones’s dearly departed despot, King Joffrey, had lived. “In 12 days, we’re going to find out.” And what’s the accounting agency responsible for keeping the integrity of the Golden Globe vote? “Ernst & Young & Putin,” of course! Fallon might want to take extra care checking his Twitter mentions tomorrow…

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Game of Thrones also played a memorable role in the premonologue festivities, which required Fallon to slip on his dancing shoes for an extended homage to the old-fashioned song-and-dance musical, La La Land, which dominated the nominations across the movie categories. The opening sequence from the Damien Chazelle-directed hit finds ordinary Angelenos turning an L.A. freeway into a stage for a lavish musical number.

So Fallon went and did the same thing for the Globes’ red carpet, aided by such celebrity guest stars as Nicole Kidman, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jon Snow himself. Kit Harington, who plays the recently resurrected Night’s Watch commander, was glimpsed sitting in the backseat of a limo apparently dead to the world — that is, until he reawoke with a giant gasp.

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That wasn’t the only welcome resurrection we witnessed during the opening dance number. The Stranger Things kids showed up to promise us all that “Barb is still alive,” at which point the glasses-wearing dynamo emerged Esther Williams-style from a pool.

Does that count as a Season 2 spoiler? If so, we don’t care. Welcome back, Barb!