They emerged looking dazzling, Tina Fey in a sparkling sapphire dress, her co-host, Amy Poehler in a dark red 1940s-style gown cut down to her navel. And it didn’t take long before these two beautiful, funny women — and real-life best friends — made it abundantly clear why the Hollywood Foreign Press Association scored handily in convincing them to host this year’s Golden Globes.
No sooner had they put the audience at ease by poking fun at the prickly previous host for the past three years, Ricky Gervais (“[He] could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business,” Fey joked), the pair revealed that their turn at the podium wouldn’t be entirely without bite.
“I haven’t been following the controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty,” Poehler said after drawing attention to nominated director Kathryn Bigelow. “But when it comes to torture, I trust the woman who spent three years married to James Cameron.”
The line drew huge, shocked laughs from a crowd that was perhaps settling in for a kinder, gentler Globes.
The hosting pair — both nominees this year — also had fun at the HFPA’s expense, with Poehler launching into a medical warning about the group: “When left untreated, HFPA can lead to cervical cancer, but there is a vaccination –“
“Amy, that’s HPV,” Fey corrected her, later adding, “There is no known cure for the Hollywood Foreign Press.”
The two had fun mocking the compressed awards season cycle — and a show that celebrates “films that have only been in theaters for two days” — as well as the Globes’ sometimes uneasy melding of TV and film worlds: “Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television,” Poehler said.
And the knives were still out when their attention turned to Anne Hathaway.
“You gave a stunning performance in Les Miserables,” Fey said. “I have not seen someone so alone and abandoned like that since you were onstage with James Franco at the Oscars,” referencing Hathaway’s ill-fated hosting turn.
But if the temperature in the room during the monologue was any indication, Fey and Poehler both were warmly received and very much of the fold. Moments of self-deprecation helped endear them, such as when Fey said that The Hunger Games were “the six weeks it took me to get into this dress,” and Poehler followed up by saying Life of Pi are the six weeks “after this dress comes off.”
And if the director of Django Unchained seemed to bristle a little after Fey announced, “Quentin Tarantino is here, the star of all my sexual nightmares?”
Hey, it’s the Golden Globes. Have another cocktail and laugh along.