UPDATE, with video Tina Fey and Amy Poehler opened tonight’s Golden Globe Awards from opposite coasts, a Covid-era necessity that should probably earn the duo a battle pay bonus. Telling jokes to masked, scarcely populated live audiences, Fey and Poehler likely scored more sympathy than laughs.
Fey, appearing from New York’s Rainbow Room in 30 Rock, and Poehler, from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, entered the split-screen stage from either side, joining in the virtual middle and addressing the weird vibe almost immediately: As Fey reached toward Poehler, a disembodied arm appeared on Poehler’s half of the screen.
“The technology is so great that you’ll never be able to tell the difference,” Poehler joked. With the Beverly Hills Hotel done up in the Rainbow Room’s iconic gold-and-black Art Deco style, she was less off the mark with that comment than some of the punchlines that came after. Not helping were the stilted – if, again, necessary – remote reactions from the stay-at-home celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, dressed to the nines in their living rooms.
The monologue included a few fresh observations, including a joke about the year’s flood of TV entertainment: Reruns of the American Office, old episodes of Columbo and “the cranberry juice skateboard guy.” But for every clever quip, there was at least one or two rehashes of Globes gone by – a Meryl Streep is drunk joke, a Brad Pitt is flirting with me crack, and Matthew McConaughey makes dumb car commercials jibe.
(Best joke by far: Fey’s description of The Queen’s Gambit as “whatever James Corden was up to in The Prom.”)
Addressing the white elephant in the room, Fey and Poehler called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as “90 international no Black journalists” who “attend movie junkets in search of a better life.” The hosts barely attempted to get laughs out of their concession that the Globes nominate “a lot of flashy garbage” or that the awards “are all a scam invented by Big Red Carpet,” and went entirely serious when Fey said the HFPA has no Black members.
“You gotta change that,” Fey said, seeming to hold out hope for a better next year.