Hollywood’s impossibly handsome leading man-cum-conscience George Clooney modestly thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for keeping small films alive, in picking up the group’s Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes tonight.

“Big ones do fine; it’s the small ones that need the audience,” said Clooney, who’s known for his “one for them, one for me” approach to his career.

Geoge Clooney Golden Globes 2015Leave it to Clooney to put the trophy show in perspective. “For the record, if you’re in this room you’ve caught the brass ring,” he told the crowd. “You get to do what you’ve always dreamed to do and be celebrated for it, and it ain’t losing.”

That said, Clooney noted that awards don’t really mean much in the long run. “I don’t remember how many awards Lauren Bacall won. I remember her saying, ‘Just put your lips together and blow.’ And I have no idea what kind of hardware Robin Williams took home, but I sure remember, ‘Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.’

“So, congratulations to all of you for having a pretty good year,” he continued. “I had a pretty good year myself — and I’m not just referring to the reviews of Monuments Men,” he joked, in re his marriage to lawyer Amal Alamuddin this year.

Earlier in the evening, ceremony co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joked, “Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to [former UN Secretary General] Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected for a three-person UN commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza strip — so tonight, her husband is getting a Lifetime Achievement Award.” As the audience roared, Clooney graciously bowed from his seat in acknowledgement of the irony.

“It’s humbling thing when you find someone to love,” Clooney said onstage. “Even better when you’ve been waiting your whole life, and your whole life is 53 years. Amal, whatever alchemy there is that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”

Both Clooney and his wife came to the awards ceremony wearing Je Suis Charlie signage in support of the Parisian satirical weekly attacked last week by terrorists. Clooney referenced it in his acceptance speech:

“Today was an extraordinary day. Millions of people marched not just in Paris but all over the world. They were Christians and Jews and Muslims, they were leaders of countries all over the world. And they didn’t march in protest, they marched in support of the idea we will not walk in fear. So, Je Suis Charlie. Thank you.”

Watch Julianna Margulie and Don Cheadle introduce Clooney: