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The Best Golden Globes Moments: All Hail Amy Poehler and Tina Fey

From biting Bill Cosby jokes to tearful speeches, a look back at the best, most emotional, most WTF moments from the 2015 Golden Globes.

01.12.15 4:39 AM ET

The Golden Globes are ridiculous. Everyone is drunk, nearly as drunk as the mysterious members of the Hollywood Foreign Press are each year when they choose the batty winners in the TV categories. (The Affair? Really?) The people who are going to win the movie categories pretty much already know they’re going to win, because they’ve already picked up dozens of critics’ prizes on the way to the ceremony, so Globes night is essentially just a rehearsal for their Oscar speeches.  

It would all be too silly to stomach were it not for the magic of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Or the unbridled emotion of winners like Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, Still Alice’s Julianne Moore, Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt, and Birdman's Michael Keaton. It's definitely worth watching when Maggie Gyllenhaal is given the opportunity to deliver a brilliant speech on the roles being offered women in Hollywood, or when you get to alternately marvel and seethe with jealousy at Jane Fonda’s foxy bod. Age 77 and still doing those workouts!

So we watched. We mostly enjoyed. And now that we’ve finally sweat out our Golden Globes fever dream, here’s a look back at the night's best, craziest, and most emotional moments. 

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Get Gloriously Mean 

The biggest perk of being the two most-liked women in show business: you can be mean as hell to a roomful of oblivious Hollywood A-listers and still charm their impeccably tailored pants off. Accordingly, Tina Fey began the night by calling the room a “bunch of despicable, spoiled, minimally talented brats.” Soon after, Poehler got in some vicious digs in on The Interview, compared Emma Stone  to Margaret Keane’s “Big Eyes” painting, and made George Clooney the butt of the joke once again as his wife’s impressive accomplishments were lauded. 

And while not every one-liner was mean-spirited, the rest of Fey and Poehler’s characteristically awesome opening was seething with bite. Patricia Arquette’s success in Boyhood proves that “there are still great roles for women over 40, as long as you get hired when you're under 40,” Poehler quipped. Talking about the rampant marveling over Steve Carell’s physical transformation for Foxcatcher, which took hours each day, Fey postured, “It took me three hours today to prepare for my role as woman.” And just when a game of “Would You Rather?” looked like it would be the highlight of their opening…

Fey and Poehler’s Blistering Cosby Joke 

…Fey and Poehler made the room feel just the right amount of uncomfortable tinged with the perfect dose of giddy with their extended takedown of Bill Cosby. At first it looked like they were just going to tiptoe to the line with their Into the Woods-themed barb: “Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby.” But then they launched into competing impressions of Bill Cosby instructing someone on how to roofie a drink, and it was cringe-comedy heaven. It’s hard to tell if the audience loved it or were too afraid to let it show that they loved it (though an ebullient Lena Dunham made it pretty clear where she stood). This was what Fey and Poehler were hired for, and why they’re perfect Globes hosts. They’re edgy, but not cruel. And they’re reliable, winning shit disturbers when there’s shit that warrants being disturbed. This Bill Cosby mess? Disturb that shit. 

Billy Bob Thornton’s Perfectly Short Acceptance Speech  

“These days you get in a lot of trouble no matter what you say, you know what I mean? You can say almost anything in the world and get in trouble. I know this for a fact. So I’m just going to say thank you.” Short and sweet. YOU'RE WELCOME. 

Gina Rodriguez’s Perfectly Emotional Acceptance Speech 

There is nothing I love more than a crying actor giving an acceptance speech. Joanne Froggatt gave a taste of tears when she won early on for Downton Abbey, but it’s Gina Rodriguez who had me gleeful of her goobering. And while she began her Best Actress in a Comedy speech with a head-slapping, groan-worthy, pretentious opener—“Thank you god for making me an artist—she more than made up for it with an emotional, inspiring speech. Taking a cue from unlikely Cinderellas before her—America Ferrera obviously comes to mind—she called on the tried-and-true THIS IS IMPORTANT cue: “This award is so much more than myself.” Going on to say that “it represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes,” Rodriguez thankfully eschewed clichés in the rest of her speech, building to a tearful, beautiful conclusion: “My father used to tell me to say every morning that today is going to be a great day. I can and I will. Well, dad, today’s a great dad. I can and I did.”

Margaret Cho as a North Korean Journalist Was the Night’s Best Bit 

Why, oh why, oh why, oh why, is Margaret Cho not working more? She couldn’t have had a better showcase to rectify this grave injustice that a recurring bit with Tina and Amy playing an aggressively unamused North Korean member of the Hollywood Foreign Press. The first bit was chuckle-worthy, with Cho getting Meryl Streep to take a photo with her. (Another selfie at an award show? You did this to us, Ellen.) But then having Cho come back later and roast Hollywood was brilliant. “Also I think Orange Is the New Black should be in Drama category. It’s funny, but not ha-ha funny.”

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Make Their Case to Be Next Year’s Hosts 

Kristen Wiig has already proven her worth as Golden Globes presenter with her inspired 2013 bit with Will Ferrell (“You get out of here!”). But pairing with Bill Hader is comedy heaven, raising the night’s biggest question: why the eff wasn't the crowd doubled over with laughter? The Globes audience was confusingly laugh-less as Wiig and Hader purported to recount the most famous lines from famous movies. Like this one from E.T.: “Kids, I really—I really gotta get back to my planet.” Or the Terminator classic: “Excuse me, which way is the Beverly Center?” If nothing else, at least Wiig and Hader giggled at themselves enough for everyone. Happiness is Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader laughing at themselves so this part of the Golden Globes made me very happy.

Transparent, House of Cards, and Streaming Win Big 

Best Comedy was a tough race between Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and Amazon’s Transparent, but it was progressive and cool and well-deserved for the weird, rousing, and touching latter season to take the award. Even cooler was Jeffrey Tambor’s Best Actor win, not to mention his poignant speech dedicated to the transgender community: “Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your patience. And thank you for letting us be part of the change.”  Kevin Spacey’s victory for Best Actor in a Drama was a long time coming after eight previous Globe nominations for the actor. And his frustratingly bleeped-out response to ending the losing streak might have been the best case for why online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are so important and so embraced. 

George Clooney Was Charming, I Guess 

I will never say that Julianna Margulies is anything but flawless, so my summation of her tribute to George Clooney with Don Cheadle ends here. But I will praise and critique George Clooney’s simultaneously winning and irritating acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Award. He has this snickery faux-humility that is just on the verge of being really annoying and just too damned much, but then he always swings back and ends the whole thing being charming as hell. He was self-deprecating and humble and then talked about his bewitching and implausibly accomplished wife. Everyone swooned. I said meh. Such is the paradox of George Clooney. 

Julianne Moore Was Charming, I Know 

The whole winning every award thing is so freaking annoying every year. Every year but this year because the person who is and will be winning every award is Julianne Moore and it is so well-deserved and such a long time coming and she is so effortlessly goofy and classy at the same time and is pretty much all-around amazing. Better yet, she was so visibly enthusiastic when she won the Globe for her performance in Still Alice and gave a breezy, but still moving, perfect little speech. #TeamJulianne #Always