As movie and TV fans get ready to celebrate the 78th Golden Globe awards along with the nominees and other A-list celebrities, many may be curious about the history of the award ceremony. The first Golden Globes Awards was held on Jan. 20, 1944, at the 20th Century Fox studios in California. The Best Picture winner was The Song of Bernadette, a 1943 biographical drama film about Bernadette Soubirous, a woman who reportedly experienced eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 and was later canonized in 1933.
In addition to winning Best Picture, the film took home two other Golden Globes: Best Actress in a Leading Role for Jennifer Jones and Best Director-Motion Picture for Henry King. Other films nominated that first Golden Globes year include Watch on the Rhine and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The Golden Globes were launched the same year as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which conducts the awards. The ceremonies have traditionally been held in January since the early '70s but were moved to February for 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The #GoldenGlobes are on Sunday! Whether you’re putting on your tux or your sweats, post your best red carpet-ready look by tagging @NBC with #GlobesGlam. 🤵🧖♀️ We just might share our favorite looks that night! 🌟 pic.twitter.com/MK5zasKgWC— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) February 25, 2021
The Golden Globes are one of the few awards shows that functioned mostly without a host for many of its years. For five decades, they had no official host and then brought in John Larroquette and Janine Turner to co-host in 1995. However, after that, the short returned to be host-less.
The first person to host the show solo was actor/comedian Ricky Gervais. He hosted from 2010 to 2012 and proved to be way more controversial than the Hollywood Foreign Press was comfortable with. Saturday Night Live alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were then brought in to host the show from 2013 to 2015 until Gervais returned in 2016.
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon — who was also on SNL — stepped in to host in 2017, and Late Night host Set Meyers — another SNL alum — hosted the show in 2018. When 2019 rolled around, the Hollywood Foreign Press chose to try out male and female co-hosts once more, bringing in former Grey's Anatomy star Sandra Oh and former SNL cast member Andy Samberg.
In 2020, just before the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gervais hosted one more time, and it may or may not be his last. For 2021, Fey and Poehler are back, once again hosting the show alongside each other, but this time it will be virtually and from opposite coasts. The 78th Golden Globe Awards kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. ET.