At the recent “Night of Too Many Stars” autism fundraiser, two women shelled out $36,000 each just to spend an evening in the company of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
For the Golden Globes, both the BevHilton crowd and millions around the world will hang with the gal pals for free. In an inspired bit of casting, the two friends will host the Jan. 13 live telecast on NBC.
Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. president Aida Takla O’Reilly and Doug Vaughan, senior VP of special programs and alternative at the Peacock, secured the two as hosts. Although NBC declined to comment on how specifically they would use the kudocast to promote the actresses’ respective NBC Thursday-comedy series, the spotlight should boost the profile of Poehler’s “Park and Recreation” and the final season of Fey’s “30 Rock.”
“Obviously, NBC has a relationship with them both and led the charge,” says Allen Shapiro, CEO of Dick Clark Prods. and the telecast’s co-exec producer. “They really know each other and collaborated for a long time, and you’ll feel that on the show.”
O’Reilly says she and Vaughan originally signed Fey to solo anchor the presentation, but chatted about possibly pairing her with another host.
“I admire these two ladies very much and was charmed by their humor,” says O’Reilly. “I was fine with Tina (being solo), but then we talked about pairing her with someone and both Doug and I thought immediately about Amy.”
O’Reilly says it “was about time” to bring women on as Golden Globe hosts. While women have co-hosted the Golden Globes, such as Joan Collins and Wayne Rogers in 1983 and Raquel Welch and Michael York in 1985, none have done it as a solo gig.
O’Reilly says Fey was immediately receptive to the hosting job, even though she reportedly had turned down requests to host other awards shows, including the Emmys.
“It wasn’t a hard sell at all. They were amazingly lovely,” O’Reilly says. “We had booked Tina and then when we (suggested Amy), they both loved it. It took no convincing from me.”
And critics and fans have been vocal in their praise of the casting coup.
“This is the most excited I’ve been about the Golden Globes in a long time. It was a brilliant decision to have them co-host,” says St. Louis Post-Dispatch TV critic Gail Pennington. “The Emmy and Golden Globe highlights in the past couple of years have been either Tina or Amy presenting, or some funny bit they came up with that wasn’t a planned part of the show.”
During the 2011 Emmy Awards, Poehler engineered the show-stopping stunt of having all of her fellow nominees come on stage in a mock beauty pageant moment. At the 2012 Emmys, Poehler and lead actress comedy winner Julia-Louis Dreyfus did an impromptu bit about an acceptance speech switch-up.
When the two friends teamed in 2008 to present an Emmy category, certainly award producers realized this duo could spike even the most stilted awards dialogue.
Barry Adelman, Dick Clark Prods. exec VP of television, says Fey and Poehler will bring glamour and fun to the show.
“This is not a forced marriage,” says Adelman. “They work well together and are great ad-libbers and writers. Every word will be their own.”
Poehler says the two haven’t decided exactly what they will be doing for the show but will make sure it is topical.
“We are used to ‘Saturday Night Live’-style, working a little closer to the date,” Poehler says. “Certainly, we’ve seen each other and talked about how excited we are, but haven’t planned anything yet.”
Poehler pals with her Fey accompli | Global journos struggle like all scribes on beat | HFPA, Dick Clark Prods. still have unresolved issues | Globes’ glow impacts pic’s Oscar placement | New television perfs unearthed