Let’s be honest: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler could walk onstage and fart into the mic and everyone would be pressing forward to get a whiff. These are two of the funniest — and most ridiculously likable — women (people) in comedy. So it’s really no big surprise that they had the audience eating out of the palms of their hands from word one. (Granted, the Globes audience is one ready to be entertained — this is a far more fun awards show than, say, those stuffy old Oscars.) But these ladies give good joke.
They took to the stage to thunderous applause and greeted the audience like old friends. Hell, a lot of them are. “Welcome to the 71st annual Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’ Golden Globes,” Fey opened, while Poehler took a moment to thank the “women and gay men watching at home.” These two are deft comedians, able to put a crowd at ease because they’re at ease — and it’s obvious how much damn fun they’re having being together and being funny.
Their comedy target for the night was everyone’s favorite guy, Tom Hanks, whom Poehler called out as “Tam Honks.” “Damn, I knew I would mess that up!” she muttered as the camera cut to Hanks, who agreeably mugged annoyance for the camera. Everyone is agreeable at the Golden Globes, because most everyone is drunk. We’d like to think that includes Tam Honks. Ahem, Tom Hanks. We are drunk when we watch the Golden Globes, too.
Poehler and Fey went on to showcase their knowledge of the celebrity hierarchy, putting Robert Redford below Mr. Bean and Jean Claude Van Damme above everyone. Matt Damon, Poehler pointed out, would be a big deal on any other night, but on this occasion “you’re basically a garbage person.” Damon laughed agreeably (drunkenly).
Poehler took a moment to riff with Martin Scorsese who, despite his penchant for tough guys in movies, is obviously a big (little) old pussycat. Just look at that guy giggling helplessly along as Poehler told him that Bobby said to say hi — about 15 times. Watching celebrities like this interact in such a genuinely friendly and endearing way is like watching a dog walk on its hind legs or watching Reese Witherspoon try to take a selfie with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and get comically and dramatically rebuffed (that happened). It’s both odd and adorable.
The almost entirely delightful and spot-on monologue also included jokes about the big noms (“The original title of that movie was ‘Explosion at the Wig Factory,'” Fey joked about “American Hustle.”) and the big names in attendance (“Hisaward is for the tiniest man with the biggest glasses,” Poehler deadpanned, returning her attention to Scorsese.) Plus, there were the requisite Clooney jokes (that dashing scallywag of a silver fox): “George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his age,” Fey quipped. Both P. Diddy and Bryan Cranston dug this joke. Everybody likes a good Clooney joke.
No man was safe from the comedy barbs that fell from the mouths of these babes. “For his role in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ he lost 45 pounds — or what actresses call being in a movie,” Fey joked about Matthew McConaughey, who was looking very orange as, actually, were many of the men in attendance. We’re hoping it was a screen issue and not a new trend in fake tanning among attractive men.
Fellow funny people like Jonah Hill got their jabs, as well. “If I wanted to see Jonah Hill masturbate at a pool party, I’d go to one of Jonah Hill’s pool parties,” Poehler said in regards to “The Wolf of Wall Street,” while the crowd roared appreciatively. Not the only penis joke to be made that night, poor Tam Honks fielded more than his fair share (or maybe just enough) of comic abuse as Poehler informed the crowd that he was wearing a prosthetic penis “right now and he’s really enjoying it.” Nothing to do a time like that but laugh (and drink). Everyone continued to do a lot of both.
Finally, Poehler shouted out her alma mater, quipping, “‘Masters of Sex’ is the degree I got from Boston College,” and high-fiving Fey while the audience hooted like frat boys. Good stuff. Fey countered with the only joke of the night that fell a bit flat, saying, “And ‘The Blacklist’ is who is invited to my room later.” She still got laughs because, hey, she’s Tina Fey (see: fart, whiff) but it was the one slightly awkward moment in a damn fine opening monologue — a monologue that proved why these ladies booked a multiyear hosting gig. They’re the best.
For more coverage and a full list of winners check out our official Golden Globes recap!