After Adam Lambert and the original band members of Queen kicked off the show with a rock-heavy medley, the trio of comedians welcomed the crowd to the ceremony, insisting again and again they were not the hosts.
“Welcome to the one millionth Academy Awards,” Fey said.
“We are not your hosts but we’re gonna stand here a little too long so that the people who get USA Today tomorrow will think we hosted,” she continued, as the group faked a pose.
The Academy announced earlier this month that the awards show would charge ahead without a host for the first time in 30 years after Kevin Hart exited over controversy regarding his old, homophobic tweets.
Fey, Poehler and Rudolph went on to poke fun at the carousel of scandals that have surrounded the awards show this past year, including the much-derided popular film category.
“There is no host tonight. There won’t be a popular movie category, and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” Rudolph joked.
The mere presence of the beloved “Saturday Night Live” trio sent Twitter into a frenzy, with many fans watching along clamoring for them to host for real.
The actresses then transitioned out of their non-hosting schtick, and went on to present the Best Supporting Actress award to Regina King for her work in “If Beale Street Could Talk.”