Earlier this year Jennifer Hudson won an EGOT, considered by many to be the most prestigious achievement in American entertainment. By winning an EGOT Hudson joined a club that boasts members like Whoopi Goldberg, Mel Brooks and Audrey Hepburn. An EGOT is not one award but four – it is an acronym for Emmy Grammy Oscar Tony, four of the biggest awards in entertainment. For you to achieve an EGOT you have won each of these awards. Only seventeen people have achieved this feat.
What is an EGOT?
There is no official EGOT award but rather just an idea. The term EGOT was coined by Philip Michael Thomas, best known for TV show Miami Vice, who said he wanted to win all four awards in his career (as of writing, he has won none of them). Thomas went so far as to have the letters put on a gold chain he wore around his neck; fans of 30 Rock will know that the character Tracy Jordan bought this item and started his own EGOT quest. The four awards recognise excellence in television (Emmy) music (Grammy) film (Oscar) and theatre (Tony) and for anyone to be as talented and creative to excel in all of these different categories is very impressive.
To use Mel Brooks as an example – he won as Emmy in 1967 for writing on The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coco, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special, a Best Writing Oscar in 1968 for The Producers, a Grammy in 1998 for Best Spoken Comedy Album for The 2000 Year Old Man In the Year 2000 and in 2001 a Tony for Best Musical for The Producers. In fact, Brooks has won numerous Grammys, Tonys and Emmys, but only one Oscar.
How To Get One
Observant readers may have noticed a common theme in EGOT winners – music. Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards are connected to the acting world, a Grammy for music (although they give awards for comedy albums, spoken word etc). As such most of the winners of an EGOT have a musical background, looking through the 17 EGOT winners 11 have job titles relating to music (singer, composer, lyricist). And, of course, you can win Oscars, Tonys and Emmys for being involved in music rather than acting -such as EGOT winner John Legend. He won the four awards in consecutive years (technically his first Grammy was in 2006 and the four consecutive awards is in reference to another Grammy he won in 2016), and has the most Grammy awards of any EGOT. So perhaps the most direct way to get an EGOT is write or perform music. Some people have also proposed an ESOT – with the G for Grammy replaced with an S for SAG Award, which only gives awards for acting, not music.
Future Potential EGOTs
Lady Gaga: many mocked Lady Gaga as just someone who wore odd outfits and would be a passing fad but she’s still going strong, moving into dramatic acting to critical acclaim. With plenty of Grammys and an Oscar already she’s halfway there.
Christopher Guest: the creator of This Is Spinal Tap has an Emmy and a Grammy (and quite frankly should have an Oscar for This Is Spinal Tap) and can clearly work in both acting and music which gives him ample opportunities.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker: the creators of South Park have a Tony, Emmy and Grammy already and only need that Oscar. The pair were robbed at the Oscars in 2000 when Blame Canada from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, was beaten for Best Song by You’ll Be In My Heart from Tarzan by Phil Collins.
It can take decades to complete an EGOT; it took actor Helen Hayes forty-five years to complete and Audrey Hepburn’s Grammy, her final missing award, was given posthumously. So anyone looking to win one should get started.
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