Tina Fey and Amy Poehler knocked it out of the park — comedically speaking — when they collaborated on an uproarious monologue to open the “70th Annual Golden Globe Awards” Sunday night on NBC.
The two co-hosts — both NBC sitcom stars and also close friends — took aim at about a dozen Hollywood luminaries who were seated in the audience.
But none of the barbs were sharp enough to really draw blood, in the way that Ricky Gervais did when he hosted the three previous “Globes” telecasts.
The closest Tina and Amy came to offending anyone was when Poehler delivered the joke that earned the heartiest laugh of the entire night — at the expense of “Titanic” and “Avatar” director James Cameron, whose ex-wife, director Kathryn Bigelow, was a Golden Globe nominee for her current movie “Zero Dark Thirty.” She was in the audience; Cameron was not, or so it seemed (no camera showed his reaction to Poehler’s joke, so we assumed he wasn’t there).
“It was a great year for women in film,” Poehler said. “Kathryn Bigelow [is] nominated tonight. I haven’t really been following the controversy over ‘Zero Dark Thirty’,” she said, referring to the debate over the authenticity of the movie’s torture scenes. “But when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron!” And you could tell from the laughs that the audience loved this joke.
Watch Golden Globes Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Hilarious Opening:
Tina and Amy noted that they had no intention of following in the footsteps of Gervais, whose barbed comedy at the expense of stars such as Madonna and Johnny Depp won new viewers and higher ratings for the “Globes” when he hosted in 2010, 2011 and 2012. “Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight,” Fey said, “because he’s no longer technically in show business!”
To which Poehler added: “We want to assure you that we have no intention of being edgy or offensive tonight because as Ricky learned the hard way, when you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show two more times!”
Besides Gervais and Cameron — who weren’t there — Fey and Poehler recognized a number of luminaries in the audience, including Lena Dunham of HBO’s “Girls,” Ben Affleck, director and star of “Argo,” and Daniel Day-Lewis, star of “Lincoln.”
“Tonight we honor the television shows that have entertained us all year,” Fey said, “as well as the films that have been in theaters for two days!”
Added Poehler: “That’s what makes tonight so special. Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television!”
After their monologue, Fey and Poehler reappeared throughout the night, adding just the right level of levity at just the right moments. At one point, Fey even turned up in the audience costumed as Johnny Depp — a nice surprise, and a nice touch too.