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The award for best host goes to… Fey and Poehler

Courtney Cox | Tuesday, January 15, 2013


The matriarchs of comedy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, shined Sunday night when they hosted the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards. The duo should have been a natural choice for NBC, which houses some of the greatest comedians on television at SNL, but it wasn’t until this year that they finally got their shot. 

Unlike many hosts on the award show circuit, Poehler and Fey seemed comfortable and witty. The ever-frightening prompter didn’t trip them up and their natural banter was the highlight of the otherwise sedate show. 

Opening the show with a lengthy monologue that quelled any fears about whether or not they would flop, they acknowledged the strangeness of the Golden Globes format as Amy Poehler so poetically noted, “Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.”

The women had no fear the fate of former host Ricky Gervais might befall them when Poehler said, “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.” 

But they didn’t shy away from good-hearted jabs at some of Hollywood’s heavy hitters. 

When mentioning Kathryn Bigelow, the Golden Globe-nominated director of “Zero Dark Thirty,” they even went so far as to reference her ex-husband, “Avatar” and “Titanic” director James Cameron.

“I haven’t really been following the controversy over ‘Zero Dark Thirty,'” Poehler said, “But when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.”

Tina Fey, who is best known now for her work on “30 Rock” as the loveable but aloof Liz Lemon, used some of that “imperfect but endearing” shtick by talking about how tough it was to get into her couture gown. 

Most people consider the Golden Globes to be a warm up for the Academy Awards in February, but the setting at the Globes is distinctly more relaxed while all the nominees and presenters are dining and drinking throughout the night. Poehler and Fey were able to feed off that relaxed energy and let their chemistry run the show. 

After hosting the Globes with such ease, they made other hosts who had fallen flat in the past seem that much worse. They even had a few laughs at the expense of former Oscars host Anne Hathaway. 

“Anne Hathaway, you gave a stunning performance in ‘Les Miserables.’ I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars,” Fey said. 

As hosts, Fey and Poehler seemed casual – but not sloppy. They worked on their timing and had every joke down perfectly. Their training on “Saturday Night Live” was clearly formative in preparing them for the gig. 

Both Poehler and Fey received nominations for their roles in “Parks and Recreation” and “30 Rock” respectively, but when Lena Dunham beat them out, they ran with it and riffed off her endearing acceptance speech. 

 “Julia, Tina, Amy and Zooey have respectively gotten me through middle school, mono, a ruptured ear drum and the acute anxiety that populates my entire life,” the 26-year-old Dunham said.

The hosts responded with joking rage that the newcomer was so young that their work got her through middle school.

It wasn’t the freeform, slightly nerve-wracking style of a Ricky Gervais Golden Globes, but I’d take Tina and Amy any day. 

Contact Courtney Cox at [email protected]@nd.edu.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.