Anyone who saw Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh present an award at the Emmys knows they’re an unexpectedly solid comedy duo, so it was only moderately surprising when they were named as the hosts of the 76th annual Golden Globes. Of course, they’re both very talented so it shouldn’t have been that surprising, but the two of them landed a refreshingly fun and upbeat introduction at tonight’s ceremony that also included a handful of poignant notes about some overdue cultural shifts happening in Hollywood. For instance, they started the monologue (duologue?) by complaining about their least favorite race... the L.A. half-marathon!
After that they transitioned into the meat of the piece: A Ricky Gervais-style roast of the celebrities in attendance, including such brutal takedowns as telling people they’re very handsome, complimenting them on their hard work, and Samberg saying that he wishes Jeff Bridges were his dad. It hammered in why these two deserved this gig, with the joke playing on the fact that they’re both exceedingly likable and also have this very good and previously unknown comedic chemistry. Not every gag landed, like a line about the real-life Black Panthers who were framed and murdered by the government that Samberg rushed through a little too fast, but it was all worth it for the moment when Sandra Oh brought up how touched she was by A Star Is Born, going so far as to drop a totally off-the-cuff reference to Lady Gaga’s favorite off-the-cuff anecdote about having 100 people in a room where only one person believes in you. In fact, Samberg was also so touched that he dropped an off-the-cuff anecdote of his own, talking about how powerful it can be when you’re in a room with 100 people and only one of them believes in you.
The duologue (which you can see in full below) ended with Sandra Oh emotionally speaking to the camera about how important it is for the entertainment industry to be serious about opening itself up to other perspectives and experiences beyond those of straight, white men, and it was all very good.