EGOT is a ridiculously goofy word to describe a ridiculously prestigious accomplishment. Even if it sounds like something you’d cough from the back of your throat, an EGOT is essentially the highest honor any actor, performer, or creator could receive.
Only 12 people in history have been crowned with these laurels. This year, Lin Manuel Miranda, the 21st Century bard who somehow made history class sexy with his hit show Hamilton, has a chance to join their ranks. So, if the Moana song “How Far I’ll Go” wins in the Best Original Song category, Miranda will come home with an Academy Award — and EGOT.
In fact, this Sunday, Miranda is up for something even better than EGOT. But before we break out the fireworks to celebrate Lin’s victory over life, the universe, and Hollywood, let’s get down to the basics: what is an EGOT?
The Ultimate Hollywood Award
The grand slam of honors technically stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony — or, the top awards in television, music, film, and theater, respectively. Consequently, such a distinction is only achievable by the most multi-talented members of showbiz.
Funnily enough, we have someone who’s never actually won an EGOT to blame for the silly acronym. In 1985, Miami Vice actor Philip Michael Thomas told the Associated Press that he hoped to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony within the next five years. He didn’t, but a few other people managed to pull off the feat.
America's Most Exclusive Club
Forget Skull and Bones, people. This is the society you want to be a part of. As of today, only twelve people have received an EGOT. The list, ranging from actors to musicians to writers, consists of: Richard Rodgers (1962), Helen Hayes (1977), Rita Moreno (1977), John Gielgud (1991), Audrey Hepburn (1994), Marvin Hamlisch (1995), Jonathan Tunick (1997), Mel Brooks (2001), Mike Nichols (2001), Whoopi Goldberg (2002), Scott Rudin (2012), and Robert Lopez (2014).
Other stars, like Barbara Streisand and James Earl Jones, received EGOTs in non-competitive categories, but they have the award as well. Only Hayes and Moreno received the extra special Triple Crown of Acting award, meaning their Tony, Emmy, and Oscar derived from acting roles.
Right now, over 70 people are one award from joining the club. Most notably, though, is our friend Lin, because he might one-up the EGOT.
What’s Better Than An EGOT?
A MacPEGOT, that is. Because if Miranda wins his fourth award this Friday, his Oscar will join more than just three other awards.
First, let’s cover his past awards. Miranda won Tonys and Grammys for both In the Heights and Hamilton. Then, in a musical theater twist of fate, he won an Emmy for the song he wrote for the Tony’s opening act.
What more, you ask, could a person win? If you’re asking that question, you clearly haven’t met Lin Manuel Miranda.
In 2015, Miranda, alongside 23 other individuals, was named a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. In the ceremony, he was recognized for "reimagining American musical theater in works that fuse traditional storytelling with contemporary musical styles and voices.” That's where the Mac comes from.
Then, in 2016, Miranda won a Pulitzer Prize for Hamilton, hence the “P.”
While 12 people have received the incredible distinction of EGOT, Lin Manuel Miranda would be the only MacPEGOT-ter of all time. How far he’ll go, more like it.