What’s 2,800 miles between friends? On Sunday night at the Golden Globes, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey managed to convey their signature chemistry and cheeky brand of comedy while deftly hosting from opposite ends of the country: Fey at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center in New York, and Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The rooms were not completely empty: first responders sat at tables, masked and socially distant.
A clever split-screen and some cunning video work made the broadcast look like they were side by side, including a moment where Fey appeared to stroke Poehler’s hair. “The technology is so great, you are never going to be able to tell the difference,” Poehler said. Here’s their exchange kicking off the ceremony. It has been lightly edited.
Fey: Hello. Oh, good evening world. I’m Tina Fey coming to you from the beautiful Rainbow Room in New York City, where indoor dining and outdoor muggings are back.
Poehler: Yes, and I’m Amy Poehler, here at the Beverly Hilton, District 7, New Angeles, and this is the 78th annual Hunger Games —
Fey: Golden Globes.
Poehler: Golden Globes. Now, Tina and I are hosting from two different cities tonight, but the technology is so great, you are never going to be able to tell the difference. It’s going to be smooth sailing.
Fey: You won’t even notice. Oh, I’ve missed you, my love. I always knew my career would end with me wandering around the Rainbow Room, pretending to talk to Amy. I just thought it would be later. But what an exciting night. All of the big blockbuster movies that came out of this year are nominated: “Parts of a Lady,” “Irish Goodnight,” “Mauricio’s Delve.”
Poehler: “Day Planner,” “Gronk,” “Ali G Goes to Chicago.”
Fey: And we will be honoring all of the fantastic TV shows you binge watched this year: the American “Office,” old “Columbos,” very one-sided news programs.
Poehler: The Zoom town halls about your school staying closed, and of course, the cranberry juice skateboard guy. He’s going to skateboard to all of the nominated songs tonight. How exciting.
Fey: Now, normally, this room is full of celebrities, but tonight, our audience on both coasts is made up of smoking hot first responders and essential workers. How gorgeous. We are so grateful for the work that you do and that you’re here so that the celebrities can stay safely at home.
Poehler: Yes, thank you so much. Now, we know that you have seen a lot of crazy stuff at your job this year. But you have not seen the kind of stuff that we’ve seen at previous Golden Globes. This front table right here usually houses the biggest stars in the world.
Fey: It’s usually like Meryl Streep, just hammered, can’t even remember what movie she’s there for.
Poehler: Brad Pitt’s always waving at me like: Amy, Amy. And I’m like, dude, I’m working. It’s like, not now.
Fey: And Oprah Winfrey just writing her name all over the tablecloth in pen.
Poehler: Quentin Tarantino crawling under the tables, just touching people’s feet. The point is, do whatever you want, because they do.
Fey: Those bitches are messy.
Poehler: Yeah, they’re messy. OK, so since you guys aren’t usually here, let us explain what this even is. The Golden Globes are awards given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Fey: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international — no Black — journalists, who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life. We say around 90 because a couple of them might be ghosts, and it’s rumored that the German member is just a sausage that somebody drew a little face on.
Poehler: At the Golden Globes we give out awards for movies and TV, but I mean it’s hard to tell them apart this year because movie theaters were closed and we watched everything on our phones.
Fey: So you may be confused which nominees count as movies and which are considered TV.
Poehler: Now TV is the one that I watch five hours straight, but a movie is the one that I don’t turn on because it’s two hours. I don’t want to be in front of my TV for two hours, I want to be in front of the TV for one hour five times.
Fey: I think the rule is, if their fake teeth look real, that’s a movie. And if their real teeth look fake, that’s TV.
Poehler: If the British actors are playing British people, it’s TV; if they’re playing Americans, it’s a movie.
Fey: If you’re like, Mario Lopez is surprisingly good in this, that’s TV.
Poehler: And if it stars Matthew McConaughey as a poetic drifter, it’s a car commercial.
Fey: We watch TV and movies differently. Like in movies, it’s called human trafficking, but on TV, it’s called “90-Day Fiancé.”
Poehler: And if it’s a play that has been turned into a movie, but you watch it on a TV, it’s called the Plovie, and there are at least four of them nominated tonight.
Fey: Ah, congratulations to all the Plovies. So, let’s see what these European weirdos nominated this year. “Nomadland” is a movie where Frances McDormand plays a lady who travels across the desert in her van and poops in a bucket. And my kids were like, “Could we do that for spring break? Could we do anything?”
Poehler: “Mank” is short for Mankiewicz, the name of the screenwriter of “Citizen Kane.” And that is the only thing they shortened.
Fey: “The Queen’s Gambit” is whatever James Corden was up to in “The Prom,” I guess. “The Prom” came out at the perfect time because this year so many teenagers didn’t get to go to their prom, so they could watch James Corden and Meryl Streep go to it instead, and that’s still fun, right guys?
Poehler: “The Trial of the Chicago 7” I think is the best of all the “Trial of Chicago” movies, but it’s still not as good as “Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow.” Who’s with me?
Fey: The thing I love about Aaron Sorkin’s writing is he can have seven men talking but it feels like a hundred men talking.
Poehler: Yeah. “The Undoing” was a sexy and dramatic mystery where Nicole Kidman’s coat is suspected of murdering her wig.
Fey: “Soul” is a beautiful Pixar animated movie where a middle-aged Black man’s soul accidentally gets knocked out of his body and into a cat. The H.F.P.A. really responded to this movie because they do have five cat members.
Poehler: “Normal People” is an emotional show about two young lovers in Ireland and is best viewed in bed with your hot laptop right on your crotch.
Fey: “One Night in Miami” is a fictionalized version of a meeting that took place between Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, where I assume the topic of discussion was, how the hell do we get out of Florida?
Poehler: Speaking of “One Night in Miami,” there are great directors nominated tonight. Regina King for “One Night in Miami,” Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland,” Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” and two other people, but we’re out of time.
Fey: “Emily in Paris” is nominated for best TV series, musical or comedy, and I, for one, can’t wait to find out which it is. “French Exit” is what I did after watching the first episode of “Emily in Paris.”
Poehler: Maria Bakalova from “Borat” is a nominee tonight, which is huge for the Bulgarian community. Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco are nominees tonight, which is huge for the bazinga community.
Fey: What else? Oh, Sia’s controversial film “Music” is nominated for best international flopperooni. I don’t want to get into it, guys, but it’s real problematic. And Twitter is saying it’s the most offensive casting since Kate Hudson was the Weight Watchers spokesperson.
Poehler: Oh wait, you know, this is probably something we should have told you guys earlier. Everybody is understandably upset at the H.F.P.A. and their choices. Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated, but that happens, OK? That’s like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.
Fey: Look, we all know that award shows are stupid.
Poehler: They are all a scam, invented by Big Red Carpet.
Fey: To sell more carpet.
Poehler: We know that.
Fey: The point is, even with stupid things, inclusivity is important. And there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realize, H.F.P.A., maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you got to change that. So here’s to changing it.
Poehler: Yes, and looking forward to that change. We do have some good news: We are raising money tonight, donating $2 million to Feeding America’s Covid-19 response fund, and that is awesome.
Fey: Here we go, guys. Are you ready? Could this whole night have been an email? Yes.
Nancy Coleman contributed reporting.