Returning co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler kicked off the 78th annual Golden Globes with a funny and topical opening monologue, addressing COVID-19 and the lack of diverse representation within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
The duo took the stage from opposite coasts for the first time in Golden Globes history, with Fey hosting live from the Rainbow Room in New York City and Poehler from inside the Beverly Hilton, where the awards show normally takes place.
But that wasn’t the only difference at the 2021 Golden Globes. Instead of your typical audience of Hollywood luminaries, first responders and other essential workers filled the Beverly Hilton ballroom and the Rainbow Room — with seating arranged to meet social distancing guidelines.
Toward the end of their opening monologue, the women addressed the fact that many talented Black actors and Black-led projects were left out of the nominations this year. “Inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press,” Fey said. “But you’ve gotta change that. So, here’s to changing it.”
Before welcoming the first presenter of the evening, Laura Dern, to the stage, Poehler announced that HFPA, MRC and NBC are donating $2 million to Feeding America’s COVID-19 response fund. “And that is awesome,” she said.
Read the full transcript below.
Tina Fey: Hello. Good evening world! I’m Tina Fey coming to you from the beautiful Rainbow Room in New York City, where indoor dining and outdoor muggings are back!
Amy Poehler: Yes! And I am Amy Poehler, here at the Beverly Hilton, District Seven, New Angeles, and this is the 78th annual Hunger Games!
Fey: Golden Globes.
Poehler: Now, Tina and I are hosting from two different cities tonight, but the technology is so great. You are never going to be able to tell the difference. It’s gonna be smooth sailing.
Fey: You won’t even notice. [Fey’s arm appears to cross the split screen between the hosts to stroke Poehler’s shoulder.] Ugh, I’ve missed you my love. I always knew my career would end with me wandering around the Rainbow Room, pretending to talk to Amy. I just thought it would be later. Ugh. But what an exciting night. All the big blockbuster movies that came out of this year are nominated: Parts of a Lady, Irish Good Night, Mauricio’s Dell.
Poehler: Day Planner, Gronk, Ali G Goes to Chicago.
Fey: And we’ll be honoring all the fantastic TV shows you binge-watched this year, the American Office, old Columbos, very one-sided news programs.
Poehler: The Zoom town halls about your schools staying closed, and, of course, the cranberry-juice-skateboard guy. He’s gonna skateboard to all the nominated songs tonight. How exciting!
Fey: Now, normally this room is full of celebrities, but tonight, our audience, on both coasts, is made up of smoking hot first responders and essential workers. We are so grateful for the work that you do, so the celebrities can stay safely at home.
Poehler: Yes! Thank you so much. We know that you’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff in your job this year, but you have not seen the kind of stuff that we’ve seen at previous Golden Globes. This front table right here usually houses the biggest stars in the world
Fey: It’s usually like Meryl Streep just hammered, can’t even remember what movie she’s there for.
Poehler: Brad Pitt’s always waving at me like, “Amy, Amy,” and I’m like, “Dude, I’m working.” I’m out.
Fey: Oprah Winfrey just writing her name all over the table cloth in pen.
Poehler: Quentin Tarantino crawling under the table just touching people’s feet. The point is, do whatever you want, ‘cause they do!
Fey: Those bitches are messy.
Poehler: Yeah, they’re messy. Anyways, since you guys aren’t usually here, let us explain what this even is. The Golden Globes are awards given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Fey: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no Black journalists, who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life. We say around 90 because a couple of them might be ghosts, and it’s rumored that the German member is just a sausage that somebody drew a little face on.
Poehler: Aw. At the Golden Globes, we give out awards for movies and TV, but, I mean, it’s hard to tell them apart this year because movie theaters were closed, and we watched everything on our phone.
Fey: So, you may be confused which nominees count as movies and which are considered TV.
Poehler: TV is the one that I watch five hours straight, but a movie is the one that I don’t turn on because it’s two hours. I don’t wanna be in front of my TV for two hours. I wanna be in front of the TV for one hour, five times.
Fey: I think the rule is: If their fake teeth look real, that’s a movie, and if their real teeth look fake, that’s TV.
Poehler: If the British actors are playing British people, it’s TV. If they’re playing Americans, it’s a movie.
Fey: If you’re like, “Mario Lopez is surprisingly good in this,” that’s TV.
Poehler: And if it stars Matthew McConaughey as a poetic drifter, it’s a car commercial.
Fey: We watch TV and movies differently. Like in movies, it’s called “human trafficking,” but on TV, it’s called 90-Day Fiance.
Poehler: And if it’s a play that has been turned into a movie, but you watch it on a TV, it’s called a “pluvie.” And there are at least four of them nominated tonight.
Fey: Congratulations to all the pluvies! So, let’s see what these European weirdos nominated this year. Nomadland is a movie where Frances McDormand plays a lady who travels across the desert in her van and poops in a bucket. And my kids were like, “Could we do that for spring break? Could we do anything?”
Poehler: Mank is short for Mankiewicz, the name of the screenwriter of Citizen Kane, and that is the only thing they shortened.
Fey: The Queen’s Gambit is whatever James Corden was up to in The Prom, I guess. The Prom came out at the perfect time because this year so many teenagers didn’t get to go to their prom, so they can watch James Corden and Meryl Streep go to it instead, and that’s still fun, right, guys?
Poehler: The Trial of the Chicago 7, I think, is the best of all the Trial of Chicago movies, but it’s still not as good as Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow. Who’s with me?
Fey: The thing I love about Aaron Sorkin’s writing is he can have seven men talking, but it feels like 100 men talking.
Poehler: The Undoing was a sexy and dramatic mystery where Nicole Kidman’s coat is suspected of murdering her wig.
Fey: Soul is a beautiful Pixar animated movie where a middle-aged Black man’s soul accidentally gets knocked out of his body and into a cat. The HFPA really responded to this because they do have five cat members.
Poehler: Normal People is an emotional show about two young lovers in Ireland and is best viewed in bed with your hot laptop right on your crotch.
Fey: One Night in Miami is a fictionalized version of a meeting that took place between Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, where I assume the topic of discussion was, “How the hell do we get out of Florida?”
Poehler: Speaking of One Night in Miami, there are great directors nominated tonight. Regina King for One Night in Miami, Chloé Zhao for Nomadland, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, and two other people, but we’re out of time!
Fey: Emily in Paris is nominated for best TV series, musical or comedy, and I, for one, can’t wait to find out which it is. French Exit is what I did after watching the first episode of Emily in Paris.
Poehler: Maria Bakalova is nominated tonight, which is huge for the Bulgarian community. Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco are nominees tonight, which is huge for the Bazinga community
Fey: What else? Oh, Sia’s controversial film, Music, is nominated for best international flopperooni. I don’t wanna get into it, guys, but it’s real problematic, and Twitter is saying it’s the most offensive casting since Kate Hudson was the Weight Watchers spokesperson.
Poehler: This is probably something we should’ve told you guys earlier. Everybody is, understandably, upset at the HFPA and their choices. Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated, but that happens, OK? That’s, like, their thing, but a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.
Fey: We all know that award shows are stupid.
Poehler: They’re all a scam invented by Big Red Carpet to sell more carpet. We know that.
Fey: But the point is, even with stupid things, inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realized, HFPA, maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you’ve gotta change that. So, here’s to changing it.
Poehler: Yes, and looking forward to that change. We do have some good news: We are raising money tonight. Together, the HFPA, MRC and NBC are donating $2 million to Feeding America’s COVID-19 response fund, and that is awesome.
Fey: Here we go, guys. Are you ready? Could this whole night have been an email? Yes! But then we wouldn’t get the chance to see our beautiful first presenter. Like a child’s skeleton pajamas, she simply glows, last year’s Golden Globe winner, Ms. Laura Dern.
The Golden Globe Awards ceremony is produced by Dick Clark Productions, a division of MRC, which is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.