“Could this whole night have been an email? Yes.” The 2021 Golden Globes are upon us, and with the stars quarantining wherever they live and mostly Zooming into the show, the evening does have a bit of a superfluous feel to it, as who really cares about an awards show almost a year into a global pandemic? After last year’s no-holds-barred Ricky Gervais monologue at the Golden Globes—performed just before everything shut down—this year’s hosts, Tina Fey (in New York) and Amy Poehler (in Los Angeles), had a tall order in both replicating their legendary chemistry while appearing split screen from opposite coasts and in delivering the kind of pointed barbs that are always more shocking when performed just feet in front of the people they’re zinging.
Fey and Poehler, though, packed a lot of jokes into about 10 minutes. Amid several cracks at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization which picks the Globes and is yet again enmeshed in a corruption scandal, here are their best jabs at the celebrities and projects that helped define our pop culture this past year.
While encouraging the audience of first responders and essential workers in attendance to let loose just like the stars, they suggested that in a normal year, “Quentin Tarantino would be just crawling under the tables touching people’s feet.”
In explaining how to discern between a movie and a TV show in a year when very few movies played in theaters, they helpfully offered, “if it stars Matthew McConaughey as a poetic drifter, it’s a car commercial.”
“Mank is the name of the screenwriter of the movie Citizen Kane, Herman Mankiewicz, and that’s the only thing in the movie they shortened.”
“The Queen’s Gambit is whatever James Corden was up to in The Prom.”
In discussing Aaron Sorkin’s Netflix movie The Trial of the Chicago 7, Fey said, “the thing I love the most about Aaron Sorkin’s writing is that he can have seven men talking, and it feels like 100 men talking.”
Also Fey, in noting the controversy around the nominations for a particular Netflix sitcom, barbed: “French Exit is what I did after watching the first episode of Emily in Paris.”