Fey and Poehler brilliantly roast Hollywood's elite

British director Steve McQueen celebrates after winning Best Motion Picture, Drama, for 12 Years a Slave.
British director Steve McQueen celebrates after winning Best Motion Picture, Drama, for 12 Years a Slave.
American Hustle stars Amy Adams (L), Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (R) pose backstage with producer Megan Ellison after the film won the award for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.
American Hustle stars Amy Adams (L), Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (R) pose backstage with producer Megan Ellison after the film won the award for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Winner Best Actor - Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Winner Best Actor - Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Actress Cate Blanchett poses backstage with her Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Award for Blue Jasmine.
Actress Cate Blanchett poses backstage with her Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Award for Blue Jasmine.
Matthew McConaughey, Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama, for Dallas Buyers Club.
Matthew McConaughey, Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama, for Dallas Buyers Club.
Director Alfonso Cuaron and writer Sheherazade Goldsmith pose with his best Director Motion Picture award for the film Gravity.
Director Alfonso Cuaron and writer Sheherazade Goldsmith pose with his best Director Motion Picture award for the film Gravity.
Michael Douglas poses backstage with the award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for his role in Behind the Candelabra.
Michael Douglas poses backstage with the award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for his role in Behind the Candelabra.
Nicola Giuliano and Paolo Sorrentino accept the award for the Best Foreign Language Film The Great Beauty.
Nicola Giuliano and Paolo Sorrentino accept the award for the Best Foreign Language Film The Great Beauty.
Andy Samberg poses backstage with his award for Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for his role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Andy Samberg poses backstage with his award for Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for his role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Amy Adams poses with her award for Best Actress In A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for her role in the film American Hustle.
Amy Adams poses with her award for Best Actress In A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for her role in the film American Hustle.
Spike Jonez poses backstage with his award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture for his film Her.
Spike Jonez poses backstage with his award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture for his film Her.
Jared Leto poses backstage with his award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in The Dallas Buyers Club.
Jared Leto poses backstage with his award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in The Dallas Buyers Club.
Actress Robin Wright poses with the award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama for her role in House of Cards.
Actress Robin Wright poses with the award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama for her role in House of Cards.
Bryan Cranston poses backstage after he won the award Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama and for Best TV Series, Drama for Breaking Bad.
Bryan Cranston poses backstage after he won the award Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama and for Best TV Series, Drama for Breaking Bad.
The cast of the drama series Breaking Bad pose backstage after they won the award for Best TV Series, Drama.
The cast of the drama series Breaking Bad pose backstage after they won the award for Best TV Series, Drama.
Angelina Jolie's dad, Jon Voight, poses with his award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie for his role in Ray Donovan.
Angelina Jolie's dad, Jon Voight, poses with his award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie for his role in Ray Donovan.
Adam Clayton, Bono, Larry Mullen, Jr., and The Edge (L to R), from the band U2, pose backstage with their award for Best Original Song for Ordinary Love from the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Adam Clayton, Bono, Larry Mullen, Jr., and The Edge (L to R), from the band U2, pose backstage with their award for Best Original Song for Ordinary Love from the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Jennifer Lawrence has won the Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a movie for American Hustle.
Jennifer Lawrence has won the Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a movie for American Hustle.
The man with the most interesting hair-do, Alex Ebert, poses backstage with his award for Best Original Score - Motion Picture for the film All is Lost.
The man with the most interesting hair-do, Alex Ebert, poses backstage with his award for Best Original Score - Motion Picture for the film All is Lost.
Producer Jerry Weintraub says that his friend Liberace would have loved Behind the Candelabra.
Producer Jerry Weintraub says that his friend Liberace would have loved Behind the Candelabra.
Jacqueline Bissett of Dancing on the Edge said she was surprised at her win.
Jacqueline Bissett of Dancing on the Edge said she was surprised at her win.
Elizabeth Moss holds the Golden Globe she won for playing a New Zealander in Jane Campion's Top of the Lake.
Elizabeth Moss holds the Golden Globe she won for playing a New Zealander in Jane Campion's Top of the Lake.

There is no doubt: from the opening frame of the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler owned it.

Awards nights are notoriously tough gigs, and few hosts seem so entirely in their happy place standing on a stage firing missiles at their colleagues and friends.

But their no-holds-barred approach to the gig seems to have paid off brilliantly, as they lurched from one savage remark to the next, all aimed at Hollywood's gods, and all hitting their mark.

Matthew McConaughey lost 45 pounds (20 kilograms) for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, noted Fey. " ... or what actresses call 'being in a movie'," she then quipped.

The film adaptation of the hit play August: Osage County, Fey continues, was proof that there were still "great parts in Hollywood for Meryl Streeps over 60".

What the Golden Globes lack in genuine critical firepower - in Hollywood, other ceremonies, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the BAFTAs seem to have more clout - they make up for in fun.

They are the only sit-down dinner awards night, which means the actors - from film and television, mixing in the one room - are drinking and socialising while the awards take place, almost as an afterthought.

That's why you sometimes end up with someone in the loo when they win (hello Christine Lahti, that's you) or, as happened this year, presenter Emma Thompson racing on to the stage with a glass in one hand and her shoes in the other.

You also get glitches and other golden moments: Jacqueline Bisset's "shit" and the failed attempt to bleep it, which missed by seconds, and the failed teleprompter which left Jonah Hill and Australian actress Margot Robbie at sea on stage.

"I'm not going to lie to you, right now, they put up the wrong stuff on the teleprompter," Hill said. The pair were then handed a piece of paper from which they presented their segment.

Fey and Poehler kept the gags coming. Matt Damon, they said, was "basically a garbage person" in such stellar company.

The film Gravity, they continued, is "a story about how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age".

They even kept up a tradition of roasting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 80-odd journalists, who vote for the Globes, noting their unusual names and sometimes fringe publications.

Among the faux journalists thanked were Jurgen Funderfinger from "Der Fundtf" magazine, Sven Candervomit from "Purple" magazine, Niçoise Yakimora Bichon Frise Yosimata from "La Oef" and Lukasz via Wachowski, "from the free magazine they give out on Polish buses".

On this year's performance there is no doubt Fey and Poehler will be asked to return, but whether they will remains to be seen.

Ricky Gervais did it for three two years, but his deeper, sharper barbs genuinely rattled Hollywood's glass house and, as brilliant as he was, things were a little awkward in the aftermath.

Few hosts return for the third time. Andrew Denton didn't, after two gleaming goes at Australia's Logies. To this day he has never been matched. A handful of older icons have returned time and time again, such as Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal.

One thing is certain: if Fey and Poehler do, they will be in stellar company.

The seven best awards show hosts of all time ...

 

Ellen DeGeneres, 2001 Academy Awards

"What would bug the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?" That.

Ricky Gervais, 2011 and 2012 Golden Globes

Wickedly funny and ruthlessly irreverent, Gervais set the (low) gold standard for mocking Hollywood.

Johnny Carson, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1984 Academy Awards

America's talk show titan was sublime as host of Hollywood's night of nights.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, 2013 and 2014 Golden Globes

That elusive mixture of elegant and razor sharp, Fey and Poehler may have cracked the recipe.

Andrew Denton, 1999 and 2000 Logie Awards

Denton aced the toughest gig on Australian television not once, but twice.

Billy Crystal, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2012 Academy Awards

Nine times? And still unbeaten in the fine art of delivering an all-dancing, all-singing opening monologue.

... and the eight worst

David Letterman, 1994 Academy Awards

An awful moment when the talk show king flopped badly with his "Oprah, Uma" routine.

Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Jeff Probst, Ryan Seacrest and Howie Mandel, 2008 Emmy Awards

Whoever had the bright idea of five hosts from reality TV shows needs a kick up the bum.

Chelsea Handler, 2010 MTV Video Music Awards

Playing the bitter drunk may work as stand-up schtick, but has no place on awards night.

Seth McFarlane, 2013 Academy Awards

Opinion was divided, but the nays had it: the song We Saw Your Boobs wasn't funny.

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