Since the Kevin Hart debacle, when it became clear that the Oscars will have no host this year, ABC and The Academy zeroed in on securing a big-name musical act and A-list comedians to open the ceremony. They got them with Queen, which was ABC’s top choice to kick off the night, and the dream comedy team of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler & Maya Rudolph.
The three Saturday Night Live alums are awards show pros in different configurations — Fey and Poehler drew high marks for their three times hosting the Golden Globes, while Poehler and Rudolph were a highlight of these year’s Globes with their presenter gig.
Making it clear that “we are not your hosts,” they brought their self-deprecating humor to the the show, “the one millionth Academy Awards,’ skewering all the mishaps that plagued this year’s Oscars, from going hostless after the Hart fiasco, to reversing two new high-profile initiatives after backlash: adding a Popular Movie category and awarding four statuettes during the commercial breaks. They also managed to squeeze in a doze of politics with a mention of the “Build a Wall” controversy.
“Just a quick update for those who are confused: there is no host tonight, there will be no Popular Movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” Rudolph said to a big applause.
Added Poehler, “That’s right, and we won’t give out awards during the commercials but will be presenting commercials during the awards”
The trio went on to do an abbreviated traditional Oscar opening that pokes fun at nominees.
“Again we are not your hosts this year but if we had hosted, it would’ve gone like this,” Fey said, followed by a series of zingers.
“I’m Freddie Mercury,” Rudolph said, doing her best impersonation of the late Queen frontman.
“Well Im alive,” Poehler countered.
“Buster Scruggs, I barely know her,” Fey said, a reference to the latest Coen brothers Western that failed to make a major impression.
Two more one-liners:
Rudolph: “Hey Chadwick Boseman, wakanda plans do you have later?”
Poehler: “These Spanx are so tight, they entered my Spider-verse.”
Fey: “Roma is on Netflix, what is next, my microwave makes a movie?!
Watch the video above.