The two hosts kicked off the 78th annual ceremony on Sunday night, with Fey stationed at the iconic Rainbow Room in New York City while Poehler held things down from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, which has been home to the awards show for decades.
While they weren’t in the same room, Fey and Poehler kicked off their mutual monologue by joking about being digitally stitched together via split-screen.
“The technology is so great, you are never going to be able to tell the difference, it’s going to be smooth sailing,” Poehler said as they tried to stroke each other’s hair through the screen.
The two were joined by audiences comprised of masked and “smoking hot” first responders and essential workers on both coasts, with Fey thanking them so the “celebrities could stay at home.”
After running through the year’s nominees with some cracks at the expense of “Emily In Paris” (“French Exit is what I did after watching” its first episode, Fey joked) and Sia’s “Music,” the two addressed the controversy surrounding the Globes this year.
According to an exposé published last week in The Los Angeles Times, no Black journalists are among the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who determine the nominations and winners. That led many stars, including Ellen Pompeo, Sterling K. Brown and Ava Duvernay, to speak out about the lack of diversity among the group’s ranks.
“The HFPA is made up of around 90 international — no Black — journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life,” Fey said. “So, let’s see what these European weirdos nominated this year.”
While both Fey and Poehler agreed that “all awards shows are stupid,” they called for Golden Globes behind the scenes.
“The point is, even with stupid things, inclusivity is important and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Fey said. “I realize, HFPA, you may not have gotten the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you have to change that.”
Poehler and Fey have become the universally agreed-upon best Globes hosts in the game over the past decade, previously overseeing the ceremony for three years in a row from 2013 to 2015.
The “Saturday Night Live” alums have somehow managed to make the proceedings fun, while still holding Hollywood’s feet to the fire, as opposed to five-time host Ricky Gervais who has repeatedly stirred controversy from the Globes stage by incessantly mocking attendees to their faces.
But some of the duo’s most memorable cracks have come at the expense of their celebrity friends ― be it their epic James Cameron burn about his divorce from fellow director Kathryn Bigelow, roasts of Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney over their dating history, or pointed punchlines about the double standards for women in the entertainment industry.
Ahead of the show, Fey explained that she and Poehler weren’t planning on wading into political waters during their monologue.
“We just want to make it a fun hang out for people at home — kind of a stress reliever, so I don’t think you can expect much politics at all,” Fey said on the “Rappaport to the Rescue” podcast. “It doesn’t seem like a venue for political jokes.”