Why so serious? Golden Globes and Oscars love dramatic men

The Golden Globes have given separate awards for dramas and musicals/comedies since the 1950s, but when it comes to repeating at the Oscars, actors have better luck going for tears than for laughs.

Why do funnyman winners at Golden Globes seldom repeat at Oscars?

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In the past 64 years, 49 Golden Globe winners for Best Actor went on to win Oscar, and a whopping 41 of those were dramatic performances. In the last 10 years, the categories have matched seven times, but in that same period, only two Best Musical/Comedy Actor winners took home Oscar.

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Dramatic performances have also dominated the Oscar nominees in recent years. In the past decade, 64% of Golden Globe nominees for Best Drama Actor went on to receive Oscar nominations (32 out of 50). Meanwhile, Best Musical/Comedy Actor overlapped with Oscar’s Best Actor lineup only 18% of the time (nine out of 51).

Another 18% of Oscar nominees had no Golden Globe nomination at all. That means, for the last 10 years, a Musical/Comedy Actor nomination has had no statistical Oscar advantage over a complete Golden Globes snub.

The Oscars, it turns out, are a serious business – or rather, the business of seriousness.

Among the top contenders for Best Drama Actor this year, most of them play biographical roles. They include Benedict Cumberbatch as World War II code-breaker Alan Turning in “The Imitation Game” and Steve Carell as eccentric billionaire and Olympic enthusiast John du Pont in “Foxcatcher.” Both actors have been recognized at the Globes for their TV work – Cumberbatch was a nominee for “Sherlock” and Carell won for “The Office” – but have yet to contend for film.

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Bradley Cooper has two previous Golden Globe nominations and could return for the third year in a row as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.”

Eddie Redmayne is jockeying for his first ever Golden Globe nod as physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” Also aiming for first-time nominations are Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner“), David Oyelowo (“Selma“), Jack OConnell (“Unbroken“), and Channing Tatum (“Foxcatcher“), all of whom also play biographical roles.

Fellow Globe rookies Miles Teller (“Whiplash“) and Ellar Coltrane (“Boyhood“) play fictional characters, as do past-nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler“) and past-winners Ben Affleck (“Gone Girl“), Brad Pitt (“Fury“), and Matthew McConaughey (“Interstellar“).

Who do you think will win? And will the result match Oscar yet again? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to predict Best Drama Actor:

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