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EGOT: What awards rely? What does the EGOT even imply, anyway?


Feb 5, 2024
EGOT: What awards rely? What does the EGOT even imply, anyway?

People are humorous little creatures. We love making lists, collaborating in oddball competitions, and creating weirdly particular metrics to be pleased with — all quirks that be part of collectively within the annual EGOT watch, when followers and document keepers alike obsess over who would be the subsequent creator to snag not one, not two, however all 4 of the leisure trade’s most prestigious awards: the Emmy, the Grammy, the Oscar, and the Tony.

To EGOT (as a result of this acronym might be each a noun and a verb) is a genuinely uncommon accomplishment and in addition a curious one. In any case, loads of of us have the Emmy and the Oscar, however together with the Grammy and the Tony makes issues actually fascinating. It’s the distinctive entertainer who’s booked and busy, not simply on screens massive and small, however within the music studio and onstage. In different phrases, it actually is, as 30 Rock put it, “a very good objective for a gifted loopy individual!”

Regardless of the lengthy odds, no fewer than 19 gifted creators have pulled it off — 25 should you rely “honorary” awards (although whether or not these ought to rely is a topic of heated debate). The newest entry into the clubhouse? Elton John, who snagged the EGOT title in January after garnering an Emmy for his glitzy farewell live performance. Speak about going out on high!

EGOT watchers and betting rings are already paying detailed consideration to who’s up subsequent within the EGOT lineup. 2024’s finest shot in all probability goes to the songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who may nab a few Emmys this fall. The upcoming Grammy awards received’t see any winners crossing the EGOT threshold, however the infamously lengthy record of nominees may push a number of entertainers one award nearer to the coup.

The following actual shot anybody has at snagging the EGOT arrives in June, when hip-hop artist Frequent may win a producer Tony for this season’s revival of The Wiz — although if that occurs, it received’t be with out ruffling the feathers of those that suppose producer credit shouldn’t rely towards the EGOT.

Why a lot drama over an acronym? Can we actually connect goal that means and worth to successful 4 pretty disparate awards? And why is the EGOT discipline so crowded with musical theater composers?

We’re glad you requested! Learn on — we’ve acquired solutions to all this and extra.

How do you pronounce “EGOT”?

This isn’t essentially the most urgent concern, however the basic consensus is that it’s “E-Received.” That’s additionally the pronunciation used within the 30 Rock episodes that popularized the entire notion.

Nonetheless, we’d be remiss to not level out the alternate and way more appropriate pronunciation, “ego,” with the appropriately pretentious silent “T.” That’s “ego,” as within the factor that expands proportionately with every ticked merchandise on the EGOT guidelines. Clearly, that is the truest pronunciation, and we won’t be taking questions presently.

Who got here up with the thought of the EGOT?

Miami Vice star Philip Michael Thomas will get credited with the unique thought, because of his willpower to win all 4 awards, manifested in a gold necklace he wore, engraved with the letters “EGOT.”

Nevertheless it’s actually Tracy Morgan’s 30 Rock character Tracy Jordan, and his hilarious quest to attain the EGOT for himself all through the fourth and fifth seasons of the present, that put the idea on the cultural panorama beginning in 2009. Tracy sees Thomas’s necklace sooner or later in a jewellery retailer, and when he learns what the acronym means, he makes it his mission to tug off the feat. His quest leads him to do all the things from juicing up a script for Garfield to starring in a North Korean propaganda film reverse Kim Jong-Il.

As for Thomas, whereas he snagged a Golden Globe nomination for Miami Vice, he by no means achieved any of the 4 coveted wins. He as soon as informed Folks that the acronym actually stood for “vitality, progress, alternative, and expertise,” and far later informed Vox sister website Thrillist, “There’s issues a lot extra fascinating than this, what you’re speaking about,” when questioned about his response to the time period’s legacy.

And he’s not fallacious!

Who’re some well-known EGOT winners?

One fascinating factor concerning the EGOT sweep is that whereas the acronym seems skewed towards actors over musicians, extra EGOTs have gone to musical theater composers than to anybody else. A take a look at the lists of names among the many EGOT and “EGOT-minus-one” winners gives one a broad swath of musical theater historical past, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Pasek and Paul.

That’s undoubtedly as a result of musical composers so usually get tapped to do scores for different mediums. Musical composers additionally acquire Grammy wins extra simply than, say, actors — normally for Greatest Musical Theater Album, an award that’s modified names a number of occasions however which has been a Grammy mainstay since 1959.

Actually, Richard Rodgers, composer of Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, and lots of different beloved musicals, was the primary individual to realize all 4 EGOT awards. And of all EGOT winners, solely Rodgers and one other musical composer, Marvin Hamlisch, have received the coveted Pulitzer “PEGOT” extension. Rodgers received for South Pacific; Hamlisch for A Refrain Line.

The record of different EGOT winners contains appearing legends like Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, and Viola Davis, who exclaimed, “I simply E-GOT!” upon successful the Grammy in 2023. Mel Brooks is the one EGOT winner to this point who received a minimum of one in all his awards for writing.

The variety of people who find themselves only one award away from an EGOT makes for an equally fascinating record. Stephen Sondheim sadly missed out on the EGOT by an Oscar (although he additionally received a Pulitzer); Kate Winslet’s son desires her to win an EGOT, however she’ll have to come back to Broadway to get it. Different one-aways like Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese aren’t prone to make it to Broadway to get that last trophy, however producing may give them a manner in — although some folks, who take the EGOT recreation very significantly certainly, argue that taking such “shortcuts” taints the entire recreation.

And folks take the EGOT recreation very significantly, certainly.

Folks take very significantly the query of what does and doesn’t rely in an EGOT

Though the EGOT gained popular culture cred as a working sitcom joke, folks had been actually intrigued by the thought — sufficient in order that they battle over what “counts” as an EGOT win, what shouldn’t rely, and what does rely however shouldn’t.

For instance, many individuals have noticed that the quickest approach to an EGOT is for a Hollywood kind in any other case uninvolved with theater to signal on as last-minute producer of a Broadway musical with massive Tony prospects — not in contrast to the aforementioned Frequent with The Wiz. Many EGOT watchers contemplate this transfer “dishonest.” TheatreMania’s Zachary Stewart opined final 12 months over “brazen EGOT-hunters” who’ve crowded the Broadway producer discipline within the hope of scoring an award; in spite of everything, if anybody can win a Tony for producing, does the Tony itself imply as a lot because it used to?

“In case your expertise is the power to jot down a big test, it shouldn’t actually be thought of in the identical league,” Stewart lamented, as a win by somebody whose cultural contributions are arguably a lot bigger, like most of the musical theater composers who’ve EGOT’d over time. Nonetheless, if EGOT chasers assist get extra reveals to the Nice White Approach in a beleaguered theater panorama, I say: Right here’s your carrot, go chase it, dwell your dream.

It additionally bears noting that cultural influence varies wildly; one individual’s Richard Rodgers might be one other individual’s Frequent. Not solely that, however typically dishonest your approach to an EGOT is likely to be thought of a superbly legitimate transfer relying on who’s doing the dishonest. Prime working example: Barbra Streisand, who regardless of being inarguably the best musical theater diva of the twentieth century, has by no means really received a efficiency Tony. (She was nominated twice however misplaced each occasions; her 1964 nomination for Humorous Lady, a task for which she later received the Oscar, misplaced out to Carol Channing in Whats up, Dolly!.)

Streisand was ultimately given a particular Tony Award in 1970 for Star of the Decade, which instantly sealed her EGOT, since by that time she’d already received an Oscar, an Emmy, and a number of Grammy awards. But she’s not typically included as an “official” EGOT winner, however quite as a facet word “non-competitive EGOT winner,” together with six different performers and producers who received particular awards.

As Billboard’s Paul Grein places it, that’s as a result of “the entire level is to have received the awards in competitors.” Is that the purpose, although? Who’s gonna inform Babs she didn’t actually earn an EGOT? Who’s on the market gatekeeping dwelling legend Quincy Jones, one other “honorary” EGOT winner, simply because his 29 Grammy wins don’t stack as much as one lacking aggressive Oscar?

All of this nitpicking actually underscores how arbitrary a lot of that is, how a lot the EGOT is biased towards stage and display screen performers, and the way a lot of it appears to be about gatekeeping what’s and isn’t a “legitimate” award.

Take the Emmys. One other path extensively derided as a “shortcut” was the short-lived Emmy honor for Excellent Musical Efficiency in a Daytime Program, a slot that allowed a slew of Broadway performers to select up nominations and awards only for stopping by a chat present and singing a track or two.

The record of people that may quickly EGOT simply from this trick alone contains musical stars Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, and Katrina Lenk, who, as Grein identified, all acquired their Emmys only for selling their hit musicals. Ought to that rely? The Emmys in the end determined the reply was no; the award lasted simply three years earlier than it was eradicated in 2019. (Noting that Platt et al. get to maintain their awards, Grein added, “It’s not their fault that the Daytime Emmys made it too simple for them.” Too simple! You attempt performing a Broadway present eight occasions every week after which serving a facet efficiency so good it will get Emmy consideration, sir!)

Then once more, many individuals imagine that the Daytime Emmys themselves shouldn’t “rely” towards an EGOT. This was additionally an thought 30 Rock floated, in a well-known episode the place Tracy Jordan tells Whoopi Goldberg her EGOT isn’t legit as a result of she solely received her Emmy — twice — for her work in daytime tv.

In fact, when 30 Rock did it, it was a joke. The extra severe consideration given to the query appears to be based mostly on the sensation that the Daytime Emmys are much less prestigious and even much less demanding of the creatives and journalists who do daytime TV work.

Maybe there’s a kernel of fact to that; in spite of everything, Eminem, who solely has one letter to go, the “T,” received his Daytime Emmy for a Chrysler business. Nonetheless, that kind of win would appear to indict the awards system, quite than the pursuit of an EGOT itself.

That brings us to the fuzziest EGOT-related query of all: What else can we stack onto it?

What’s a PEGOT?

A “PEGOT” is an EGOT with both a Pulitzer or a Peabody award tacked on to it.

What? No person is bound which it’s?

The individuals who imagine the “P” stands for “Peabody” embrace Rita Moreno followers, who word she grew to become the primary Latina EGOT-plus-Peabody winner in 2017, and the Peabody Awards themselves, which congratulated Moreno on her PEGOT win and at one time declared the sweep “the last word showbiz coup.”

Figuring out Peabody winners as “PEGOT” contenders appears to have caught on lately, maybe partly as a result of the Peabody Awards are given to a broad number of media and inventive works. Nonetheless, it ain’t precisely simple to tug off a PEGOT by way of the Peabody: If South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone ever win an Oscar, they’ll be simply the fourth and fifth folks to have accomplished it.

That mentioned, most individuals appear to lean towards the concept that the “P” stands for the rather more prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Successful a Pulitzer alongside the EGOT is a far rarer distinction as a result of the Pulitzer rewards literary and journalistic benefit — therefore why to date solely two musical theater composers have PEGOT’d on this path. As soon as Lin-Manuel Miranda lastly wins an Oscar, he’ll develop into the third Pulitzer PEGOT winner.

Miranda, regardless of not having really EGOT’d but, additionally has the excellence of getting one other EGOT hybrid coined round him: the “MacPEGOT,” which incorporates successful a famend MacArthur Genius Grant. Miranda even has some followers going for the “MacPEGOTO” — the MacArthur fellowship, the Pulitzer, the Emmy, the Grammy, the Oscar, the Tony, and London’s Olivier Award, which Miranda has additionally received. Twice.

One needn’t let the absence of a Peabody or a Pulitzer cease their acronymic ascendence, both. Mel Brooks declared himself an “EGOTAK” winner after he received recognition from each the American Movie Institute and the Kennedy Heart Honors. Some EGOT-lytes have proposed tacking on the Golden Globes to create the “EGGOT.”

Plus, there are at all times different prestigious meta-awards you possibly can observe. There’s the Appearing Triple Crown, or books and authors which have received each the Hugo and the Nebula, or my private favourite, the decennial Sight and Sound High 10 record, which polls critics for his or her high 10 movies, then compiles and ranks the votes. Certain, it could be much less action-packed than the yearly EGOT watch, however nothing says dedication like ready a long time for another film to unseat Citizen Kane. (That lastly occurred in 2012, first with Vertigo, after which once more in 2022 with Jeanne Dielman.)

See? Everybody wants a gratuitous record of completely arbitrary standards to really feel passionately about. The EGOTs might have solely ascended within the popular culture panorama 15 years in the past, however spiritually, they’ve at all times been with us.

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