It's faintly surprising that the Oscars haven't snapped them up: if anything could remove the sour taste of That Ceremony last year, it would be these two, with their patented blend of deadpan duetting and wacky shout-outs. Their good material at this year's Globes, which was bittier, cheekier, and mainly confined to the first half, propelled a hefty show forward and gave us a safe landing pad after every slightly awkward acceptance speech. Even when their material seemed stale or a bit feeble, their reliably chipper delivery kept it in a reassuring safe zone: they're a Teflon-coated double act by now, incapable of being embarrassing.
Give a bonus to whichever writer fed Poehler her line about Gravity, aka, "the story of how George Clooney would rather float into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age". Quips like that are the lifeblood of awards nights, and we're sure George (who wasn't actually present) can take it. Woody Allen wasn't present either, which meant he was spared the peculiar, a cappella Girl Scout song Diane Keaton sang in his honour. What a reaction shot that might have afforded. Instead, the best comment fell to Mia Farrow on Twitter: "Time to grab some ice cream and switch over to #GIRLS".
Fey and Poehler may not have sustained last year's form overall, but they passed the test of seeming funnier and madder than almost anyone else on stage, with two exceptions. Emma Thompson came up to present Best Screenplay (won by Spike Jonze) with her high-heeled pumps in one hand and a full martini glass in the other, making the best of being several sheets to the wind (it's a Globes tradition) by also being a riot, and tossing her shoes insouciantly over her shoulder.
Emma Thompson GETTY IMAGES
Jacqueline Bisset, meanwhile, overcome at the relatively minor coup of an award for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries, went rather in the other direction. Long after the organisers started trying to shoo her off with music, she was still hanging around on stage delivering some kind of oration of forgiveness centred around her mother. As such, her speech began to resemble an impromptu audition tape for future productions of August: Osage County - and made for easily the weirdest spectacle of a droll, unpredictable, and bumpy night.