Golden Globes Hosts Tina Fey, Amy Poehler Deliver Monologue to "Smoking Hot First Responders and Essential Workers"

Tina Fey Amy Poehler
Cindy Ord/NBC; Todd Williamson/NBC

The 78th annual award ceremony took place semi-virtually on Sunday night.

Taking the stage at the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards, co-host Tina Fey declared that she is "coming to you from the beautiful Rainbow Room in New York City, where indoor dining and outdoor muggings are back!"

Co-host Amy Poehler introduced herself from "the Beverly Hilton, District Seven, New Angeles, and this is the 78th annual Hunger Games!" It was another early reference to the pandemic.

"The technology is so great. You are never going to be able to tell the difference. It’s going to be smooth sailing," Poehler said as Fey's hand appeared to come across the split-screen and stroke Poehler's hair.

"Normally this room is full of celebrities," said Fey, but tonight the [socially distanced] rooms are full of "smoking hot first responders and essential workers." The hosts invited everyone to do what "messy" celebrities do at awards shows: whatever they want.

Later in their monologue, Fey and Poehler joked about how the line had blurred between movies or TV this year, as most watched content on their phones during the pandemic. "If you’re like, 'Mario Lopez is surprisingly good in this,' it’s TV," said Fey. "If it’s a play that has been turned into a movie, but you watch it on TV, it’s called a pluvie," joked Poehler.

Later, the hosts attempted to explain to the audience what the HFPA, the organization that selects the winners, is. Per Fey, it comprises "90 international, no Black journalists, who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life."

"Everyone is, understandably, upset at the HFPA and their choices," added Poehler, noting that a number of Black actors and projects were overlooked this year.

Kicking off the show, Fey emphasized, "There are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. … You've gotta change that. Here's to changing it."

After a few awards had been given out, Poehler noted that the Globes usually includes "at least one messy speech." She then introduced Kenan Thompson and Maya Rudolph, who took the stage in character as "Beverly Jackfruit and François Jean-Rudy," surprised winners of "least original song in a dramedy, telefilm or comma." "You look so beautiful, so perky," Rudolph said to Poehler as she briefly touched her chest, adding that she had just had a "vodka epidural." As Jackfruit and Jean-Rudy spoke, Poehler asked, "Are you guys siblings or a couple?" As the duo was being played offstage, Rudolph — continuing her bit — translated the "French" spoken by her partner, who issued a slew of conspiratorial statements including "COVID-19 is a hoax" and "space lasers control the weather."

During the evening, the hosts introduced Norman Lear, who was handed the Carol Burnett award for lifetime achievement. "Norman Lear is admired by anyone who writes and produces TV," said Poehler. They also introduced Jane Fonda, who was given the Cecil B. Demille honor. "I found Jane to be so much more than a movie star," said Fey.

Their monologue was topical with its several references to inclusivity and racial injustice, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, they also took time to joke about a few of the nominees. "Mank is short for Mankiewicz, the name of the screenwriter of Citizen Kane, and that’s the only thing they shortened," said Poehler. "Nomadland is a movie where Frances McDormand plays a lady who travels across the desert in her van and poops in a bucket," said Fey. "And my kids were like, 'Could we do that for spring break? Could we do anything?'"

Of The Trial of the Chicago 7, Fey said, "The thing I love about Aaron Sorkin's writing is he can have seven men talking, but it feels like 100 men talking."

Fey and Poehler hosted from separate locations — with Fey in New York's Rainbow Room and Poehler in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton hotel — due to the ongoing coronavirus requiring that the traditional show be adapted into a new format.

This is the fourth time the comedic pair have hosted the ceremony, having started the trend in 2013. Amid the different format this year, winners across 25 categories, spanning film and television, are set to appear from locations around the world.

The Golden Globe Awards ceremony was broadcast live on NBC at 5 p.m. PT, with a 90-minute preshow live stream hosted by actress and recording artist Sofia Carson and NBC/Access Hollywood entertainment reporter Zuri Hall airing beforehand. 

The awards show 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.