No matter how far apart they may be, nothing can keep us from laughing along with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler!
The former "Saturday Night Live" castmates, friends and frequent comedy duo hosted the 78th Annual Golden Globes awards Sunday night for the fourth time, but this was the first time they were doing it from opposite coasts: Poehler in the Beverly Hilton in California, and Fey in the Rainbow Room in New York City.
And for those who wondered: Yep, they were funny!
While standing in front of a sparse, masked audience of well-dressed first responders and essential workers, both comedians launched into some shtick. Fey welcomed everyone to New York, "where indoor dining and outdoor muggings are back," while Poehler said this was "the 78th annual Hunger Games" before correcting herself.
"It's going to be smooth sailing," said Poehler, as Fey's arm reached off-screen to stroke her hair, an awkwardly obvious setup that was funnier for being so ham-handed.
"You won't even notice," said Fey.
But the laughs weren't all sight gags; the organization behind the Globes — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — got a real roasting. The HFPA, which has fewer than 100 members, has come under fire in the past few days for having absolutely no Black members, something the comedians made sure to mention.
"Everyone is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices," said Poehler. "A lot of flashy garbage got nominated, but that happens."
Noted Fey, "There's no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realize HFPA maybe you didn't get the memo, because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald's, but you gotta change that."
Of course, the real focus of the opening segment was to alert their audiences — in the room and on the other side of the TV screen — about what's been nominated. Poehler introduced us to the invented word "pluvies," plays that were turned into movies you watched on TV, and they ran through a few of the titles up for awards during the evening.
"Nomadland," Fey noted, was a "movie where Frances McDormand plays a lady who travels across the desert in her van and poops in a bucket. My kids were like, 'Can we do that for spring break? Could we do anything?'"
"The Trial of the Chicago 7," Poehler thought was great, though not as good as "Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow."
"The thing I love about Aaron Sorkin's writing is he can have seven men talking but it feels like a hundred men talking," quipped Fey.
"'The Undoing' was a sexy and dramatic mystery where Nicole Kidman's coat is suspected of murdering a wig," said Poehler.
Several times during the discussion of the films, the camera cut away to show nominees like Kidman, with husband Keith Urban and their kids, all dressed up and on their sofa for the night.
After summarizing "Soul's" twist in which a Black man's soul gets knocked into a cat, Fey also noted that it worked for the HFPA because they do have five feline members.
You get the drift.
It's hard to imagine anyone being quite this pointed about the Oscars, during the actual award ceremony itself, but the questions being raised about the HFPA do seem relevant — and worthy of some jabs.
"Could this whole night have been an email?" Fey wondered at the end of the opening. The answer is, of course, "yes." But then we'd miss so many great, unscripted, bizarro moments (like first winner of the night Daniel Kaluuya's microphone being off for his acceptance speech).
We wouldn't change a thing!