Isn't it comforting to know that nobody — not even the high-falutin' Hollywood Foreign Press Association — can throw a party without a guest winding up wearing a lampshade? "Renée Zellweger is drunk, ladies and gentlemen," reported poker-faced presenter Hugh Grant last night when at first the actress couldn't be located to accept her Golden Globe. It turned out, she wasn't under her table, but had pulled a Christine Lahti and ducked out to go to the john. "I had lipstick on my teeth," she laughed, red-faced, after making her way to the stage — past Lahti, ironically. And she was far from the only celebrity to be embarrassed during the broadcast. That's why TV Guide Online compiled this list of the other stars who dubiously distinguished themselves. And the winners... uh, losers were: Tom Cruise. Without announcing the nominees for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie, the man with the million-watt smile dimly started to tear open the envelope containing the name of the trophy's recipient. On realizing his faux pas, he chuckled, "I'm not very good at this." Handing out the last accolade of the night, for Best Picture, Dame Elizabeth Taylor — looking altogether dazed and confused, the poor dear — made the same mistake, but didn't catch on until bystanders called out to her. Even then, executive producer Dick Clark felt the need to hustle out on-stage and set her straight. "I'm new at this," she protested good-naturedly. "I usually like to get these [awards rather than give them out]." Julia Roberts. After reading off the nominees for Best Director — among them Steven Soderbergh for Erin Brockovich — she excitedly said, "There's so much personal pressure here"... then couldn't help but look crushed when she was forced to tell Ang Lee, not Soderbergh, to come on down. Where's that award-caliber acting ability when she needs it? (Later, jubilantly saying thanks for her own statuette, she made her agents ashen by revealing that she didn't need big bucks to make movies. "I would go just to get the free food!") Kevin Spacey. Talking up this year's lifetime achievement award winner, he beseeched the disengaged crowd to "Say it with me... Pacino" in a bit that fell so flat, it made David Letterman's "Uma... Oprah" misfire seem like a triumph. Al Pacino. By the time he was done expressing his gratitude for his lifetime achievement award, even he seemed to have figured out that his speech had pretty much lasted a lifetime. "I hope I'm still on TV," he said, flashing a disarming grin. Traffic supporting actor Benicio Del Toro. In making his acceptance speech, he talked so much with his hands that he looked like he was also conducting the orchestra. Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Charlize Theron. Mrs. Ryan Phillippe appeared to be trying to disguise a department store anti-theft device as a corsage that Wednesday Addams might wear; the Sex and the City leading lady — who, en route to claim her statuette, grabbed her breasts, as if to make sure they were still where she had left them — seemed to have a Barbie doll hanging from her gown like an action-movie heroine; and the vamp from The Cider House Rules arrived at the dais in an outfit that could only have been intended for Lara Croft. (Um, honey, it's too late — Angelina Jolie got that part.) Dick Clark. Before tossing to commercials, the backstage commentator repeatedly reminded viewers that at the Globes anything can happen, and that the victors' punchlines aren't scripted which did nothing so much as diminish the natural spontaneity of the show. Still, some wits were so sharp, they couldn't be dulled — after Clark asked George Clooney what he thought were his chances of beating the likes of Robert De Niro and Jim Carrey, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? contender cracked, "I could probably take 'em at basketball." The live audience. The same evening that the script for the drug war drama Traffic was lauded, the beautiful people gave a standing ovation to America's favorite addict, Robert Downey Jr. Altogether now, kids — it's, "Just say no."
Ah, celebrities... you can't take 'em anywhere.