The role of awards-show host is largely defined by the opening, and by that measure, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler look destined to finish their three-year Golden Globes stint on a high. Deftly capturing some of the inside-baseball quirks of the event while still playing beyond the room, their introductory bit cleverly hit on obvious targets – from “The Interview” to Bill Cosby – while addressing the talent in attendance and Hollywood foibles without sounding either mean-spirited or (worse) fawning. They even nailed the relative importance of TV at the Globes, starting to discuss it – then running out of time.
Fey and Poehler began with “The Interview,” blaming the assault on the movie for “forcing us all to pretend that we wanted to see it.” They then pointed out the ostensible absurdity of George Clooney receiving a career-achievement award whilst sitting alongside his accomplished humanitarian wife, in the way those outside the industry have traditionally been reduced to “non-pro” status in trade wedding announcements.
The various potshots at stars were playful without drawing blood, and most went along (see Emma Stone) with appropriate reaction shots. Even their “Would you rather” game, choosing which actors each of them would prefer, came across surprisingly well, when it could have easily gone off the rails, just as they skated close to the edge with their Cosby-“Sleeping Beauty” barb.
Fey and Poehler have said they won’t be hosting again – a fact “Today’s” Matt Lauer seemed inordinately enamored with during the red-carpet arrivals.
“What are they gonna do, fire us?” they said in unison during the pre-show interview, with Fey adding, “We barely even work for the network anymore.”
Hosting any awards show can be a thankless task. But Poehler and Fey appear to have captured the Globes vibe — neither taking themselves, nor the event, too seriously. So for starters, at least, give them both a gold star.