Why hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be the best part of the 2021 Golden Globes

All due respect to this year's field of contenders -- you're all winners! No, really! -- the annual arrival of this allegedly important shindig hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press means the ever-elongating awards horse race is underway, and the Globes aren't nearly as "outrageous" as advertised. More to the point, can't we just give Tina Fey and Amy Poehler a new reason to put on a variety show for a couple of hours or so every year and be done with it?
Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler co-hosted the 2013 Golden Globes. (Paul Drinkwater / Associated Press)

Let's face it: The best part of the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday will probably be the return of comedic duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who are cohosting the televised shindig for the fourth time.

The "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation" stars — and real-life friends — have teamed up repeatedly since their days on "Saturday Night Live" when they sat at the "Weekend Update" desk while Fey was a head writer and Poehler was a cast member.

The two have also costarred in a number of films, including "Baby Mama" and "Sisters," with smaller but memorable roles in Fey's cult hit "Mean Girls." There's also the Sarah Palin-Katie Couric spoof they nailed in 2013.

But their dynamism as irreverent awards-show hosts is their greatest collaboration. The duo hosted the Golden Globes from 2013-15 and appeared together as presenters at several awards shows since. They combined criticism of the industry, current events and women's issues with poignancy and wit.

Lest we forget, their 2015 Globes stint came on the heels of bombshell revelations about an audience of "minimally talented spoiled brats," a reference Fey made to the Sony email hack. They also called out George Clooney's love life, dubbed Matt Damon "basically a garbage person" in 2014 and played "Who'd You Rather?" onstage in 2015.

Fey and Poehler's fourth go will certainly be unique Sunday. They'll emcee the first bicoastal, semi-virtual telecast at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center in New York and at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, respectively. Poehler joked with the Associated Press this week and said that they're "going to take full advantage of how fun it is to do award shows on your computer."

Because if anyone can speak to this harrowing, pandemic-altered era and being isolated at home while navigating Zoom school with kids, it's these two moms.

They also haven't shied away from teasing the eccentric Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. In 2013, Fey and Poehler noted that their predecessor, comedian Ricky Gervais, and his acerbic, no-holds barred approach didn't do him any favors.

"We want to assure you that we have no intention of being edgy or offensive tonight, because as Ricky learned the hard way, when you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show two more times," Poehler quipped in 2013.

In that same monologue, they likened the voting body to an HPV infection for which "there is no known cure."

They'll most certainly skewer the HFPA on Sunday in the wake The Times' recent investigation into the eclectic group's allegations of self-dealing, its dearth of Black members and other scandals.

It's unclear to what extent the renewed criticisms will affect the telecast. But a source close to the show told The Times on Thursday that the cohosts will finalize their monologue over the next couple of days, but offered no details.

We expect recent revelations about the HFPA, pandemic habits, social distancing and a post-Trump landscape to take center stage with Poehler and Fey at the helm.

In the meantime, here's a look at some memorable Amy-and-Tina show moments from the past.

Their 2013 Golden Globes monologue full of shade

We still can't get over this monologue that made the women hosting legends (and that they somehow managed to top in subsequent years). Fey declared that "'The Hunger Games' was one of the biggest films of the year." But not without self-deprecating humor: "And also what I call the six weeks it took me to get into this dress!" To that, Poehler replied, "Ang Lee's been nominated for best director for 'The Life of Pi,' which is what I'm going to call the six weeks after I take this dress off."

That same monologue featured quips about Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep, James Cameron and James Franco. Here are some choice quotes:

“Kathryn Bigelow’s nominated tonight," Poehler said. "I haven’t really been following the controversy over 'Zero Dark Thirty,' but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.”

“Meryl Streep is not here tonight," Poehler said. "She has the flu — and I hear she’s amazing in it.”

“Anne Hathaway, you gave a stunning performance in 'Les Miserables,'" Fey quipped. "I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.”

Heckling Neil Patrick Harris at the 2013 Emmys

While we don't condone sexual harassment, the duo made a cameo in Neil Patrick Harris' monologue at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards. Months after Fey and Poehler's rave reviews at the Globes, Harris emceed the TV awards and crowdsourced the audience for advice. The comedians, feeding off each other as always, sat front row and readily wore shades and munched on popcorn while telling the host to take his pants off for viewers and twerk it — a highly gif-ed moment.

Trolling Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the 2014 Golden Globes

Oh, to be part of Hollywood's funny-women club! Poehler once reminded viewers that "only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television." "Seinfeld" and "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus got a load of that criticism in 2014 when she was nominated for the film "Enough Said." So she ditched the good people of television in the Beverly Hilton ballroom to be seated in the section reserved for the more glamorous movie stars. And that did not sit well with the cohosts.

"Hi, Julia! You know us from TV," Poehler called out from the stage. "She has really changed," Fey said. "She's gross," added Poehler.

The recurring bit — and Dreyfus nonchalantly posing as an old Hollywood star who rebuffed Reese Witherspoon's selfie attempt — were a delight.

Co-hosting 'SNL' in 2015

Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler in black and white outfits on the flower-decorated stage of "Saturday Night Live."
Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler co-host "Saturday Night Live." (Dana Edelson/NBC)

While promoting their film "Sisters," the duo revisited their Rockefeller Center stomping grounds for a holiday edition of "Saturday Night Live." They opened the show with an original Christmas song mashup, reprised their Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton impersonations, delivered a "Bad Blood" spoof with Amy Schumer called "Dope Squad" and reunited for a cameo behind the "Weekend Update" desk.

The duo ultimately won a 2016 Primetime Emmy Award for the stint, which gave us this...

Their Emmys clink and half thank-yous

Fey and Poehler didn't attend the Creative Arts Emmy Awards during which they won the first-ever shared Emmy for guest actress in a comedy for their cohosting stint on "SNL." While presenting at the Primetime Emmy Awards a week later, the women — whom host Jimmy Kimmel said would one day be "buried together" — took the stage with trophies in hand, clinked them together and candidly explained why they missed the history-making ceremony.

"Unfortunately, I was unable to attend that event because I had my daughter's birthday in New York," Fey explained.

"And I didn't go because I thought you turkeys were trying to trick me again," Poehler added.

They proceeded to thank "the top half" of Poehler's agent and only half the cast, crew and writing staff of "SNL" "because the other half went to see 'Star Wars' four times the week we hosted," Fey deadpanned.

Hosting the hostless 'one millionth Academy Awards' with Maya Rudolph

The "SNL" trio was first to take the stage at the 91st Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars that went on when comedian Kevin Hart was ousted for his past unseemly jokes.

"We are not your hosts, but we're gonna stand here a little too long so that the people who get USA Today tomorrow will think that we hosted," Fey said.

The women made quips about the brouhaha, the film academy's attempt to add a widely panned "popular film" category that year and Mexico not paying for the long-promised wall of former President Trump.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.