Sunday’s 78th annual Golden Globes marks the fourth time Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are hosting the annual awards show and judging by their well-received past stints, we have a hilarious show to look forward to.
The duo hosted the Golden Globes for three years straight from 2013 to 2015, bringing us plenty of memorable moments and clever jokes that had even A-listers in the audience stunned. Let’s take a look back at their best and most controversial one-liners.
When they took a dig at James Cameron
The star-studded audience reacted in shock when Poehler and Fey poked fun at Titanic director James Cameron while talking about his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow. Bigelow — who was married to Cameron from 1989 to 1991 — directed the critically acclaimed Zero Dark Thirty, which is about a CIA agent tracking Osama Bin Laden. Poehler cracked, “I haven’t really been following the controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty, but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.”
The audience cut to Bigelow, who laughed, as well as Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain, whose jaw literally dropped over the joke.
James Franco was also not spared
Fey and Poehler showed they were Team Anne Hathaway, calling out Franco for his disastrous turn co-hosting the Oscars with her in 2011. Franco’s performance was widely panned, with plenty of viewers accusing him of being checked out and not fully committing to his hosting duties.
Fey quipped of Hathaway’s performance as Fantine in Les Misérables, “Anne Hathaway, you gave a stunning performance in Les Misérables. I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were onstage with James Franco at the Oscars.”
Taylor Swift takes offense
Fey poked fun at Swift’s highly publicized dating life, jokingly warning her to “stay away” from Michael J. Fox’s son, and that the singer could use “some me time” to learn about herself. Swift wasn’t a fan of the joke, and later recited a quote Katie Couric told her when an interviewer from Vanity Fair brought it up.
“You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people, because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,'” she said.
Fey reacted to Swift’s comment in an interview with ET.
“If anyone was going to get mad at us, I thought it would be James Cameron,” Fey told ET at the New York City premiere of her movie, Admission. “I did not see that one coming. It was a joke. It was a lighthearted joke.”
Meanwhile, Poehler told The Hollywood Reporter, “Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist, and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff.”
Clearly, Swift got over it. She presented the Best Animated Movie award alongside Poehler at the 2020 Golden Globes.
The Julia Louis-Dreyfus bit steals the show
Fey and Poehler made multiple jokes about film actors thinking they’re better than television actors, and brought it home in a hilarious bit with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Louis-Dreyfus was nominated that year for both Veep and her film, Enough Said, and Poehler noted that she chose to sit in the film section that night. The camera cut to Louis-Dreyfus, who hilariously ignored them while smoking an e-cigarette and wearing a pair of sunglasses.
“Hi Julia, you know us from TV,” Poehler told her as the audience laughed.
Adding on to the joke, Reese Witherspoon played along by attempting to take a selfie with Louis-Dreyfus, as Louis-Dreyfus waved her away.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Golden Globes refusing to take a selfie with Reese Witherspoon is the ONLY energy I’m going to be serving you this fall pic.twitter.com/RGsic4QkJf
When they put Leonardo DiCaprio’s penchant for dating models on blast
It’s no secret that DiCaprio has dated plenty of models — including Gisele Bundchen and Bar Refaeli amid others — and Fey and Poehler took a crack at him for it with a bold joke. Introducing the Oscar-winning actor before he took the stage to give out the Best Actress in a Movie: Drama award, Fey said, “And now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.”
DiCaprio took the joke in stride, laughing and nodding to Fey and Poehler as he walked out.
Seeing as it's #GoldenGlobes night, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all of Tina Fey's iconic Leo DiCaprio joke from 2014. Never forget. pic.twitter.com/bLknZJTZLd
When they called out George Clooney
One of the most well-received jokes of the night was when Fey talked about Clooney’s film, Gravity, and took a sharp jab at this dating history.
“It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die then spend one more minute with a woman his own age,” Fey quipped of the film.
The camera cut to the audience, which showed plenty of stars chuckling in obvious delight, including Sandra Bullock, P. Diddy, Matthew McConaughey, Louis-Dreyfus, Aaron Paul and Clooney’s ER co-star, Julianna Margulies.
Fey later revealed that Clooney, a notorious prankster, got his revenge on them during her SiriusXM Town Hall chat with Jess Cagle in 2018. Fey shared that Clooney wrote her and Poehler notes supposedly from Matt Damon saying that Damon was bothered by their jab at him during their monologue that year, even getting stationery with Damon’s name on it. During Fey and Poehler’s Golden Globes opening monologue, they joked Damon was a “garbage person” compared to the many A-listers who were in the audience that night.
“We lived in fear of it,” Fey said.
Fey said she then sent a peace offering to Damon.
“I sent two giant fruit baskets to Matt Damon being like, ‘Here is one in case this is real, I’m super sorry. And here is one in case this is a prank,'” she said. “Matt Damon was like, ‘My wife is mad, there is so much fruit!'”
Clooney and Damon also talked about the hilarious prank during their own SiriusXM Town Hall event in 2014.
Clooney explained, “I sent her a letter saying, ‘Dear Tina, listen, it’s from Matt,’ and it just says, ‘Look, it sounds hypocritical because I laughed at the jokes about George and Leo, but you know, that’s sort of what people think about them. But when you called me a garbage man, it just seemed like low hanging fruit, it just seemed like an easy joke. And you know, I don’t want an apology, I don’t want anything else, I just want you to know that my kid now calls me the garbage man.'”
Damon added, “Yeah, they called me a garbage man or something. So I open the thing and it says ‘Dear Matt’ and you know, I did episodes of 30 Rock with Tina and I did SNL with her way back when. She says in this letter, ‘I thought you of all people could take a joke but listen, we’re both really sorry…’ and it’s this long apology letter signed ‘Tina and Amy.’ And then I go to letter number two and it says, ‘If my chance you didn’t send us that letter and it was from George Clooney — please let him know that you gotta get up a little earlier in the day to fool a couple girls like us.'”
When they humbled George Clooney yet again
After Fey and Poehler’s hilarious dig at Clooney for his movie, Gravity, the year prior, they kept it up on the night the actor was receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Fey compared him to his wife, Amal, noting her impressive accomplishments.
“Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, an adviser to Kofi Annan on Syria and was appointed to a three-person commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza strip,” Fey said. “So, tonight her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”
For his part, Clooney was a good sport as the audience loudly laughed when the camera cut to him and his wife, who shyly smiled by his side.
When they played a game of Who Would You Rather?
Fey and Poehler noted that they never have the same taste in men, and proved it by playing a game of Who Would You Rather? with the actual celebrities in the audience. Among those that were called out were Colin Firth, Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo, whose reactions were priceless.
When trying to decide between Norton and Ruffalo, Fey cracked, “OK, I’ll take Norton because he’s, like, method, and he could act like he was into it.” Poehler than chose Ruffalo, joking, “I’ll take Mark because everyone knows I like it ruffalo.”
When they made a sharp jab at Bill Cosby
Fey and Poehler weren’t afraid to go there when it came to calling out the comedian over the multiple women who have accused him of sexual assault.
“In Into the Woods, Cinderella runs from her prince, Rapunzel is thrown from a tower for her prince, and Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby,” Poehler cracked.
As the audience reacted in shock, the two kept going, imitating Cosby’s distinct way of speaking.
“I don’t know if you saw this on the news today, but Bill Cosby has finally spoken out about the allegations against him,” Fey said. “Cosby admitted to a reporter [doing her Cosby impression] ‘I put the pills in the people! The people didn’t want the pills in them!'”
Poehler then interrupted, “No, Tina. That’s not right. It’s more like [doing her own Cosby impression] ‘I got the pills in the bathroom and I put them in the people!'”
The 2021 Golden Globes will air live on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC. Until then, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Golden Globes coverage.
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