As the Oscars struggled last month to find a host, the Golden Globes made it look easy in comparison. Pairing Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh was an unexpected choice, but one borne out of their presenter banter at the most recent Emmys — and a recognition that another solo, white male host would be a tone-deaf move in 2019.
The idea to tap Samberg as host came early in the process, and it made a lot of sense: He’s a “Saturday Night Live” alum who has hosted plenty of awards shows (including the Emmys). Plus, and this is key for Globes broadcaster NBC, his comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” moves to the Peacock this January.
“Andy is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He is so committed to comedy,” says “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” executive producer Dan Goor. “You couldn’t do better than having Andy do anything. The only thing I wouldn’t have him do is operate on my child. And even then, I might.”
Dick Clark Prods. executive vice president Barry Adelman says Samberg was always at the top of the list to host this year’s Globes, but the producers knew early on that it shouldn’t just be Samberg at the helm by himself.
“This is a year where it’s a good idea — and it’s probably always a good idea, but especially in the environment over the past couple of years, it’s a wise decision — to have a woman be part of the hosting,” he says. “We certainly did that with Tina [Fey] and Amy [Poehler] successfully for a number of years. Last year I thought Seth [Meyers], in a very difficult year, actually threaded the needle based on what was going on in the Hollywood world at that time. This year we thought from the beginning it would be good to have a female be part of our hosting team.”
Oh was immediately suggested by both NBC execs and Samberg, given their Emmy repartee in September. During their bit, before handing out the award for comedy director, Oh tore up the envelope and then jokingly shouted out wrong winners (including “La La Land” and her high school boyfriend) while Samberg pieced it back together. The moment was short, crisp and very well received.
“Andy happens to love Sandra, and I think a lot of people saw the chemistry they had [at the Emmys] and the comedy timing,” Adelman says. “She surprises a lot of people that her comedy chops are so strong. Somewhere in those conversations the idea of the two of them came up and I think it was unanimous when we heard it.”
Oh was still shooting season two of BBC America’s breakout hit “Killing Eve” when the idea came about, and it wasn’t clear if she’d be available. But “Killing Eve” wrapped in late December — and days later, Oh was in Los Angeles, working with Samberg on the Globes.
“We thought it was a long shot because she was shooting overseas in London, but a dream for us,” says NBC Entertainment co-chairman George Cheeks. “When it all came together we felt like we hit the lottery.”
Fellow NBC Entertainment co-chair Paul Telegdy says he loved the serendipity of Oh being nominated for a Globe (actress in a TV drama, for “Killing Eve”) while also hosting. “She’s an actor who has worked obviously in television on a broadcast show, and now on a show that everyone loves on cable,” he says. “It’s just so right.”
Samberg swiftly organized a writers’ room to start work on the show in December, and Goor says he and the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” writers have also pitched a few jokes to the hosts. Adelman stresses that the style will be “new” and “no one is going to know what to expect” — which, he notes, is “exactly what the Golden Globes is all about.”
With the recent discussion about the Motion Picture Academy’s struggle to find an Oscar host — and how the job has become a bit thankless for most stars — Telegdy says his recipe for a good host is that they make “everyone in the room feel comfortable, put people quickly at ease and to do so with the audience at home.
“When a host is doing the job successfully, it’s really that I’m feeling welcomed into the proceedings. I think Andy and Sandra will be very successful with that, they feel very accessible to me. They’re stars that people know and love.”