While addressing the incremental changes
the HFPA has made (they announced they were adding 21 new members to reflect their new commitment to “diversity”
), Carmichael showed extreme disinterest. “I heard they got six new Black members, congrats to them, whatever. … But it’s not why I’m here,” he said. “I look out into this room and I see a lot of talented people, people that I admire, people that I would like to be like, people that I’m jealous of, and people that are actually really incredible artists. And regardless of whatever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s past may be, this is an evening where we get to celebrate, and I think this industry deserves evenings like these,” Carmichael concluded his monologue sincerely. The intimacy of his delivery, and the low-key nature of his comedic timing (everyone complaining about his energy clearly hasn’t seen Carmichael’s HBO standup special Rothaniel
, or, you know, anything he’s ever done) brought a realness that is rare for awards shows. These nights are supposed to be the time when everybody gets drunk and forgets about the transgressions of their peers in favor of a self-congratulatory lovefest (see: everyone shouting out Brad Pitt, who allegedly abused
his ex-wife Angelina Jolie and their children). But Carmichael wouldn’t let the HFPA, or the celebs in the room, off the hook. He made people uncomfortable, as they absolutely should have been.