The Hollywood elite want Oscars and Emmys for their trophy cases, of course. But when it comes time to actually attend an award show, celebrities eagerly depart for just one: the Golden Globes. And, truth be told, it's also the only black-tie back-slap that we really look forward to watching. As NBC's live broadcast of the 60th annual kudofest reminded us last night, the Foreign Press Association's free-wheeling to-do isn't merely a celebration of the best in film and television, it's a celebration, period — and we all know what that means. Serious actors. Hard liquor. Good times. On the off chance that you had a prior commitment and were forced to tune out, please allow TV Guide Online to fill you in on everything you missed. (Hangover not included.)

Meryl Streep skipped from the loo. Well, it sure seemed that way. When the flustered Adaptation scene stealer finally made it to the dais after pausing midpalpitation to find her center, we could have sworn she was dragging black taffeta t.p. from the back of her pantsuit. What's more, while the A-list audience gave her a standing O, she busied herself adjusting one breast, then the other. Her explanation for her ill-preparedness: "I've just been nominated 789 times. I was getting settled in [at my table] for a long winter's nap."

Several leading men hit the bottle. Of peroxide, that is. Michael Douglas went so blond that he ran the risk of being misidentified in paparazzi photos as wife Catherine Zeta-Jones's Chicago co-star, Renée Zellweger. Having offset golden streaks with shades and a beatnik goatee, Tim Allen might have gone unrecognized altogether, had he not let fly a zinger about the discomfort he was experiencing as he broke in a new thong. However, the most stunning head case was that of Chris Cooper: Could he have been so shocked by his win that it turned his hair white?

Sharon Stone pulled a Liz Taylor. Apparently unaware that the metal stick in front of her was a microphone, the fast-fading supervixen, clad in a cowgirl outfit from planet Mars, shouted the names of the nominees in the best actor, musical/comedy, category, then shrieked for her Intersection "husband" Richard Gere to come on down. Seconds later, as he tried to get his bearings (and, we reckon, regain his hearing), she interrupted him — repeatedly — at one point handing him a tux-rental receipt that she said he had dropped. Sheesh. Talk about high on, um, life. Maybe next year, Stone will wisely opt to join Jack Nicholson in a pre-cocktail-hour Valium.

The winners got great workouts along with their statuettes. For the first half of the telecast, victors appeared to travel such long and winding roads from their seats to the stage that we half expected them to pull out maps. In fact, Uma Thurman did stop en route to ask directions, the Friends music cue had run out before Jennifer Aniston, still hobbling along with a cane, reached the finish line, and Monk gumshoe Tony Shalhoub got the equivalent of a 10-minute StairMaster session making a run for his moment of glory.

Stars said the darndest things. Rather than rally the crowd to join him in applauding the president of the Foreign Press Association, an adorably tongue-tied Brendan Fraser accidentally made this request: "Ladies and gentleman, please salute me." (Cuter still, he remained by Madame President's side throughout her speech, struggling valiantly to ward off the giggles.) Later on, humbled by the honor bestowed upon him, Michael Chiklis cracked wise about how lonely it had been at the bottom. "A year and a half ago, I was like Tom Hanks in Cast Away," he said. "'Wilson, I'm sorry!'" And, in his acceptance speech, Donald Sutherland remembered the little people, in particular the one who'd helped him tease up his silver locks to new heights. "I would like to thank Don King," he joked, "for my hairdresser."

Famous folks put our minds in the gutter. And then, damn if they didn't keep 'em there. "You have no idea how many men I've had to sleep with to get this award," winked Sex and the City vamp Kim Cattrall. Curb Your Enthusiasm funnyman Larry David dryly remarked that if he wanted to see any action from his missus, he had to score first at the ceremony. "I suspect," he said, clutching his Golden Globe, "[that] the wife will be a little forthcoming tonight." Jamie Lee Curtis got off the best one-liner of the evening. "Look what I got in my gift bag," she teased, eyeing hunky young co-presenter Paul Walker. "I'm having an Anne Bancroft moment." Yet it was U2 frontman Bono whose opening remark surely cost a network censor his job: His success, he crowed unbleeped, was "really, really f---ing brilliant!" Who produced this saucy circus? Ozzy?

Top talent bared their claws. Sort of. While deifying Chicago producer Harvey Weinstein, Richard Gere took The New Yorker to task for its negative article on the reputed Tinseltown bully. The Buddhist even growled — literally — twice. (Whatever would the Dalai Lama think?) Shortly thereafter, co-star Zellweger took a good-natured jab at a longtime naysayer. "I don't believe this," she said of her Golden Globe. "[But] probably not as much as my brother [a notorious critic of her crooning] doesn't believe it!" Nicole Kidman made an impassioned request on behalf of unemployed actresses everywhere. "I say to the writers, 'Please keep writing for us,'" she begged, "'because we're really interesting.'" Finally, Edie Falco displayed spot-on comic timing, deploying a killer glare to silence the laughter that erupted when laryngitis left her with no option but to whisper her acceptance speech.

The line at the exchange counter just grew and grew. "I cannot begin to tell you how much I wanted to be nominated," said a straight-faced Shalhoub, the tube's best actor in a musical or comedy. "In the dramatic-actor category. You know, in film." Mellow Nicholson seemed even more bemused when Kidman pronounced the About Schmidt thesp the best actor in a dramatic feature. "I don't know whether to be happy or ashamed," he said with a grin, "because I thought we made a comedy. [Dermot Mulroney's] haircut alone should have let you know [that]." Ah, well. Better luck next time.