opened Sunday's ceremony promising they wouldn't be as snarky as former host
, but they managed to get off a few zingers.
"Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business," Fey said.
took the sharpest arrows from the real-life besties, who kept the surprises coming by "ceremony bombing" throughout the show. When the nominees for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries were announced, for example, Poehler--in fake teeth and a red wig--was introduced as Darcy St. Fudge, star of "Dog President." (Fey appeared as Damian Francisco, the mustachioed actor in "Dog President.")
The Second City and "SNL" alums were never overshadowed by boring speeches, bad presenters or big surprises. After a surprise appearance by President Bill Clinton, who introduced
the co-hosts stormed the stage.
"Wow! What an exciting special guest," Poehler said. "That was Hillary Clinton's husband."
"Bill Rodham Clinton!" Fey added.
Their banter hit another high point after they lost the Best Actress in a Comedy award to "Girls" star
. "30 Rock" star Fey and "Parks and Recreation" star Poehler appeared on stage, both swigging drinks.
"Well, the show is really taking a turn," Poehler said. "Everybody's getting a little loose now that we're all losers."
"Congratulations Lena. I'm glad we got you through middle school. Middle school?" Fey said, referencing Dunham's speech. After claiming
was drunk, she warned Taylor Swift, "You stay away from
Zing! Here are more of the hosts' best lines from the opening:
- Poehler, to Kathryn Bigelow, director of "Zero Dark Thirty": "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."
- Fey, to
Anne Hathawayon her performance in "Les Miserables": "I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars."
- Fey, to "Django Unchained" director/writer Quentin Tarantino: "Quentin Tarantino is here, the star of all my sexual nightmares."
- Poehler, on
Meryl Streepbeing absent from the ceremony: "She has the flu. And I hear she's amazing in it."
Fey and Poehler handled the hosting duties like pros, but they did get help from some fun presenters, like
Jennifer Lawrence, winner of best actress in a comedy for "Silver Linings Playbook," gave what was probably the most fun acceptance speech, saying "What does this say? I beat Meryl" when she grabbed her award. She went on to thank many folks, including producer
After winning best original song for her
But Fey and Poehler, as ringleaders of the night, never got swallowed up by the big show and were sorely missed during a long stretch of awards in the middle of the show.
Read the entire opening from Fey and Poehler after the video of their mid-show drink fest below.
Tina: For those of you at home, I wish you could feel the excitement in this room.
Amy: You can smell the pills from here.
Tina: Tonight we honor the television shows that have entertained us all year as well as the films that have only been in theaters for two days.
Amy: That's what makes tonight so special. Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television. Speaking of, Tina and I are also both nominees tonight. And Tina I just want to say, I very much hope that I win.
Tina (rubbing Amy's face): Thank you. You're my nemesis.
Tina: Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business.
Amy: 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 the show two more times.
Tina: My gosh, it was a great year for women in television. Lena Dunham is a double nominee tonight. Lena, we love your show.
Amy: We are such fans.
Tina: But if they are forcing you to do all that nudity, you have to tell us. Just give us some kind of signal and we will call Child Services. Wink? Something?
Amy: It was a great year for women in film. Kathryn Bigelow is nominated tonight. 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.
Tina: Of course we want to thank our hosts tonight, the HFPA, for having us. Amy, tell the people a little bit about the HFPA.
Amy: Well, when left untreated, HFPA can lead to cervical cancer, however there is a
Tina: Wait, Amy, that's
Amy: Oh, I'm sorry, of course. The HFPA is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and when left untreated ...
Tina: She's kidding, there is no known cure for the Hollywood Foreign Press.
Tina: Look at all these gorgeous movie stars here tonight. Ben Affleck is here tonight, nominated for "Argo." Ben's first two movies took place in Boston, but he moved this one to Iran because he wanted to film somewhere that was friendlier to outsiders.
Amy (with Boston accent): Hi Ben. How are you? You're doing good, huh? I'm from Boston so you're looking great. Good for you. You're not better than me.
Tina: The beautiful Anne Hathaway is here tonight. Anne Hathaway you gave a stunning performance in "Les Miserables." I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.
Tina: You know, Anne shot her big "Les Miz" song all in one tight close-up and she said that it was really difficult performing with the camera so close to her face.
Amy: Well, she's never gonna make it in porn.
Tina: Yeah, well, I don't think she has any plans to do porn, Amy.
Amy: None of us have plans to do porn.
Tina: "The Hunger Games" was one of the biggest films of the year and also what I call the six weeks it took me to get into this dress.
Amy: Ang Lee's been nominated for best director for "Life of Pi," which is what I'm going to call the six weeks after I take this dress off. [They high-five.]
Amy: Who else is here? Jennifer Lawrence is here, the star of "Silver Linings Playbook."
Tina: Quentin Tarantino is here, the star of all my sexual nightmares.
Amy: Meryl Streep is not here tonight; she has the flu. And I hear she's amazing in it.
Tina: She kills it. She kills the flu.
Tina: Many Patinkin from TV's "Homeland" is here.
Amy: I like "Homeland," but I don't think it's as good as that other show, "Previously on 'Homeland.'" That thing is action-packed.
Tina: You know, Mandy Patinkin is the star of "Homeland," but he's also a treasure of the American Musical Theater. And if I was in charge of this show, which I have been told repeatedly I'm not, after every clip of "Les Miserables" I would cut to Mandy Patinkin because he knows if it's good singing or bad and he won't be able to hide it in his face. Watch...
Amy (singing): I dreamed a dream...
Tina: Mady Patinkin, did you like it?
Amy: Don't lie to me, Mandy. Don't lie to me.
Amy: Julianne Moore is here tonight, nominated for playing Sarah Palin in "Game Change."
Tina: Me too. I used to win prizes for that too. I think if Gov. Palin were here tonight she'd say (trying Palin accent), "You betcha!" Nope I lost it. "You betcha!" No I can't do it anymore.
Amy: Maybe it's for the best.
Tina: Maybe it's for the best.
Amy: But enough silliness,
Tina: Did you know that Lincoln was not the first role Daniel Day-Lewis played in a Steven Spielberg film?
Amy: Really, what else did he play?
Amy: No, he was E.T.?
Tina: Yes, young Daniel Day-Lewis was E.T. Do the finger.
Amy: Do the finger.
[Day-Lewis does the E.T. finger.]
Tina: All right, let's get this thing started. We're going to keep this moving and we promise we'll wrap up by 11, 11 dark 30 at the latest.