2020 Critics' Choice Awards: The best and biggest moments of the night


The 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards aired Sunday, and the star-studded ceremony shook up the awards season with some surprising wins, heartfelt speeches and a few truly funny moments.

Hosted once again by Taye Diggs, this year's show - held at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California - celebrated the best of film and TV with over 42 different categories (not all of which were actually presented during the ceremony, because the already-lengthy 3-hour show would have been twice as long).

While there were the expected awkward moments - like presenters trying to be funny but unable to read a teleprompter or a whole slew of celebs not showing up to accept their awards - the show also featured some truly delightful and inspirational bursts of joy and humor.

Here's a look at some of the night's biggest and best standout moments.

Taye Diggs Opens the Show With a Little Song and Dance

Taye Diggs at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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After Ricky Gervais' controversial and polarizing Golden Globes monologue (which was essentially a roast), Diggs decided to go a different route and he kicked things off with a very simple, pleasantly brief song and dance number that proved just how charming and charismatic he truly is, and set to tone for a fun, upbeat and congratulatory night of honoring Hollywood's biggest talents.

Alex Borstein Thanks Her Parents With Realness

Alex Borstein at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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When the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star won the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, she made sure to thank the "harshest critics" in her life, which happen to be her mom and dad. And it was one of the sweetest, funniest speeches of the night.

"My parents were able to, in a single breath, tell me that they loved me and that I was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but also that I ate too much bread, and that I should stop eating so much bread," Borstein said, as the camera cut to her father who was seated at her table in the audience. "You made me funny. You made me indefatigable. You made me have children, which cracked me open and made me find my heart, which turned out to be you guys."

Eddie Murphy Pokes Fun at His Own Career

Eddie Murphy at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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The celebrated comic was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and he playfully poked fun at one of his own less-than-critically-acclaimed comedies in his hilarious acceptance speech.

"I've played everything, I've been a cop and a robber and a doctor and a professor, I've played different ethnicities, I've been animals, I've been a donkey. I even played a spaceship once," Murphy said with a laugh, referring to his critically panned 2008 comedy Meet Dave. "That's the one thing when young actors come up to me on the street and they say, 'Do you have any advice?' I say, 'Never play a spaceship.'"

Kelly Clarkson Loves Schitt's Creek

Kelly Clarkson at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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The country singer and daytime talk show host was keeping it real at this year's show when she was she was presenting the award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, and she couldn't help but give a shout-out to the man she was rooting for. "I personally love Eugene Levy. I love you, so just want to say that. Schitt's Creek is the jam," Clarkson said, before announcing the actual winner.

"Everything else is great too. I just have a lot of kids and I don't get to watch a lot of television…" Clarkson sheepishly added, before revealing the real winner: Bill Hader for Barry, who wasn't actually at the show to accept the trophy.

Kristen Bell Inspires With #SeeHer Speech

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Kristen Bell at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards

The Good Place star was honored with the fourth ever #SeeHer award and delivered in inspiring speech about womanhood and self acceptance. "To me, being a woman isn't about being strong or being brave or being powerful. It isn't about being anything specific. It is just about giving yourself permission to be the things you already are… For me, the idea of womanhood is someone who sheds the perfect little box and owns their complexity."

"I’ve been really lucky to be able to play some really complex women," she continued, giving shout outs specifically to Veronica Mars, Frozen's Princess Anna, Eleanor Shellstrop of The Good Place and even Sarah Marshall. "What I've learned from all that is that nobody is just one thing. We are all all of the things."

Bradley Whitford and Sara Gilbert Get Snarky

Bradley Whitford and Sara Gilbert at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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The Perfect Harmony actor and The Conners stars were hilariously bitter while presenting the awards for Best Actress and Best Actor in a Limited Series. Gilbert kicked things off with some acidic banter, telling Whitford "Congratulations on not being honored tonight."

"Right back at ya, Sarah," Whitford replied. "The real honor is just to be overlooked… you know what I'm sick of? The success of others! Here are the nominees…"

After Gilbert read the envelope and revealed Michelle Williams had won the award for her role in Fosse/Verdon, the pair politely clapped until they were told that the actress wasn't able to make it to the show.

"Unfortunately, Michelle didn't care enough to show up tonight," Whitford joked, cracking Gilbert up. "So, we'll get it to her, I guess."

Norman Lear Is Still In His Prime

Norman Lear at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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The legendary TV writer and producer accepted the award for Best Comedy Special -- for Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons special - and he proved his razor whit is as sharp as ever with his incredible acceptance speech.

"Somebody earlier, in this room, asked me how it feels to be an old man," Lear shared. "I said, 'I'm only 97. When I run into an old man, I'll ask him.'" Lear's speech was met with a standing ovation, and the icon declared as he exited the stage, "I may not stop."

Bong Joon-Ho Is Delightfully Surprised by His Best Director Win

Sharon Choi and Bong Joon-Ho at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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The Parasite director enjoyed one of the biggest surprise upsets of the night when he tied with 1917 director Sam Mendes for Best Director. Mendes was unable to attend, and during Bong's acceptance speech, the South Korean filmmaker said - via his translator - "I definitely did not expect to win this award, so I did not prepare a speech."

"Today I was just enjoying the vegan burger and trying to enjoy the ceremony," Bong added, referring to the plant-based menu offered at this Critics' Choice Awards, mirroring the meal served at the Golden Globes earlier this month. After sharing his thanks for those who helped him make Parasite, Bong concluded, "Thank you so much and I will go down and finish my half-eaten vegan burger."

Jharrel Jerome Is Just the Best

Jharrel Jerome at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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The young star took home the award for Best Actor in a Limited Series -- for his performance in When They See Us -- and excitedly owned the stage when he came up to accept the honor. Jerome thanked his sister, his mom and his family, and had special praise for "graceful queen" Ava DuVernay, who directed the project. However, Jerome never lost sight of what he felt was the most important dedication of all. "This is for the Exonerated Five, no matter what," Jerome shared, holding the award up triumphantly. "This is for Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson."

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood Wins Big

Julia Butters at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
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For reasons that are not entirely clear, none of the major stars of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood were able to attend the Critics' Choice Awards, leaving director Quentin Tarantino and 10-year-old actress Julia Butters -- as well as a few of the film's producers -- to rep the movie when it won the big award of the night, Best Picture.

Earlier in the night, Brad Pitt had won the award for Best Supporting Actor but wasn't at the ceremony. Tarantino tried to convince Butters to accept the award on his behalf, but the young girl declined, and Tarantino took the stage on his own. So, when the movie itself won, Butters said she felt obligated to speak, at least for a minute.

"Since I didn't fill in for Brad like Quentin wanted me to, he told me that I had better go up and do this one," Butters said. "So I'm just gonna say this: We're very lucky and.. Um, hello!" After producers Shannon McIntosh and David Heyman delivered the bulk of the acceptance speech, Tarantino made sure to get in the last word and thanked actor Harvey Keitel, whom Tarantino credited for essentially giving him a chance and starting his career. It was an unexpectedly sweet and humble conclusion to the night's proceedings.