Where does EGOT come from?
The acronym EGOT was coined by Miami Vice actor Philip Michael Thomas in 1984–85 when describing his ambitions for attaining what the industry calls the grand slam of entertainment awards. In an interview with Playboy, for instance, he said, "EGOT, which stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony—I want to win or be nominated for each award in the next five years."
Thomas gained attention for later wearing a necklace he aspirationally inscribed with EGOT. His dreams were not realized, though 12 people have joined the exclusive club whose named he popularized.
Catapulting EGOT into popular culture was the sitcom 30 Rock in 2009 in an episode where a character muses over trying to complete the collection of awards. The ostentatious necklace Thomas was known for is even parodied in the episode.
EGOT gained further popularity in 2014 when songwriter Robert Lopez accomplished an EGOT, clinched with his Oscar for his hit song "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. EGOT rose to more prominence when Lopez completed his second EGOT in 2018, a so-called Double EGOT.
Composer Richard Rodgers was the first person to earn an EGOT in 1962, though the term was yet to have any currency. Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, and Whoopi Goldberg also won EGOTs.
Who uses EGOT?
The acronym EGOT enters heavy rotation from September to March, the "awards season" when the majority of the top entertainment awards ceremonies take place. Popular media and followers of the ceremonies often speculate who may get the EGOT next when awards nominations are released. Actors and artists also use the term; actor Kate Winslet and musician Cyndi Lauper, for instance, have used the acronym in interviews.
EGOT can be used in a variety of forms, from its most common use as a noun (e.g., she won the/an EGOT) to a title (e.g., she's an EGOT) to a verb (e.g., she might EGOT this year). EGOT is also sometimes used as a pun, (e.g., EGOT [you got] to be kidding me) used to display surprise and delight when a nominee lands the elusive prize.
As we saw with Philip Michael Thomas, EGOT is sometimes also referred to as a grand slam, drawing from the term variously used in sports.
Rita Moreno: Still EGOT it. #Oscars
@normwilner, March, 2018
He started on the EGOT journey in 2004 Tony for Best Original Score for raunchy puppet comedy ‘Avenue Q.’
Brent Lang, The Wrap, August, 2014
Anyone throwing out “Meryl did” can call back when Meryl is an EGOT. I love Meryl, but nah. Not here for that.
@EssayAye, March, 2018