Golden Globe Awards co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler opened Sunday's ceremony promising they wouldn't be as snarky as former host Ricky Gervais, but they managed to get off a few zingers.
"Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business," Fey said.
Gervais, James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino and James Franco took the sharpest arrows from the real-life besties, who kept the surprises coming by "ceremony bombing" throughout the show. When the nominees for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries were announced, for example, Poehler--in fake teeth and a red wig--was introduced as Darcy St. Fudge, star of "Dog President." (Fey appeared as Damian Francisco, the mustachioed actor in "Dog President.")
The Second City and "SNL" alums were never overshadowed by boring speeches, bad presenters or big surprises. After a surprise appearance by President Bill Clinton, who introduced Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," the co-hosts stormed the stage.
"Wow! What an exciting special guest," Poehler said. "That was Hillary Clinton's husband."
"Bill Rodham Clinton!" Fey added.
Their banter hit another high point after they lost the Best Actress in a Comedy award to "Girls" star Lena Dunham. "30 Rock" star Fey and "Parks and Recreation" star Poehler appeared on stage, both swigging drinks.
"Well, the show is really taking a turn," Poehler said. "Everybody's getting a little loose now that we're all losers."
"Congratulations Lena. I'm glad we got you through middle school. Middle school?" Fey said, referencing Dunham's speech. After claiming Glenn Close was drunk, she warned Taylor Swift, "You stay away from Michael J. Fox's son."
Zing! Here are more of the hosts' best lines from the opening:
- Poehler, to Kathryn Bigelow, director of "Zero Dark Thirty": "I haven't really been following the controversy over 'Zero Dark Thirty,' but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron."
- Fey, to Anne Hathaway on her 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, to "Django Unchained" director/writer Quentin Tarantino: "Quentin Tarantino is here, the star of all my sexual nightmares."
- Poehler, on Meryl Streep being absent from the ceremony: "She has the flu. And I hear she's amazing in it."
Fey and Poehler handled the hosting duties like pros, but they did get help from some fun presenters, like Robert Downey Jr.'s introduction of Jodie Foster and Kristen Wiig/Will Ferrell getting all the movies wrong as they introduced the best actress in a comedy category.
Jennifer Lawrence, winner of best actress in a comedy for "Silver Linings Playbook," gave what was probably the most fun acceptance speech, saying "What does this say? I beat Meryl" when she grabbed her award. She went on to thank many folks, including producer Harvey Weinstein, "Harvey, thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today."
After winning best original song for her "Skyfall" theme--and getting a nasty glare from nominee Taylor Swift--Adele charmed the audience with an exuberant speech that thanked everyone for allowing her to the party. Her speech acknowledged Fey and Poehler--"We've been pissing ourselves laughing over here"--Daniel Craig's take on James Bond and her "lovely son."
But Fey and Poehler, as ringleaders of the night, never got swallowed up by the big show and were sorely missed during a long stretch of awards in the middle of the show. Seth MacFarlane, first-time host of the Feb. 24 Academy Awards ceremony on ABC, is going to have a difficult time topping Fey and Poehler.
Read the entire opening from Fey and Poehler after the video of their mid-show drink fest below.
Tina: For those of you at home, I wish you could feel the excitement in this room.
Amy: You can smell the pills from here.
Tina: Tonight we honor the television shows that have entertained us all year as well as the films that have only been in theaters for two days.
Amy: That's what makes tonight so special. Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television. Speaking of, Tina and I are also both nominees tonight. And Tina I just want to say, I very much hope that I win.
Tina (rubbing Amy's face): Thank you. You're my nemesis.
Tina: Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business.
Amy: 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 the show two more times.
Tina: My gosh, it was a great year for women in television. Lena Dunham is a double nominee tonight. Lena, we love your show.
Amy: We are such fans.
Tina: But if they are forcing you to do all that nudity, you have to tell us. Just give us some kind of signal and we will call Child Services. Wink? Something?