The Best Hosts of the Golden Globe Awards
The Golden Globes were born in 1944 when the world was weary of war and needed to be reminded that Hollywood’s silver screen glamor still existed.
Thus, the Golden Globe Awards to honor excellence in film were created by the Hollywood Foreign Press. This was more than 75 years ago, and the tradition continues, as strong as ever.
For most of their history, the Golden Globes did not have a host. The awards were handed out by a young person who tended to be the son or daughter of a Los Angeles area celebrity.
In recent years, however, having a host has been the norm, which has increased the popularity of the event. Not only are there comedians handing out the awards, but you can even bet on the Golden Globes at most online betting sites. This is a testament to the continued relevance of the show.
Here are the best Golden Globes hosts out of the nine hosts in the award ceremony’s history.
Ricky Gervais — 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2020
Too edgy for some, Gervais has hosted the Golden Globes more often than anyone else. When he is at the podium, the actors and audience can’t really relax, knowing that Gervais’ barbed wit could be poking them momentarily.
In 2010, Gervais began his patter by making fun of Steve Carrell’s version of The Office, which is the American version of Gervais’ original. This was to be expected, except that the sarcastic jokes actually felt more bitter than comedic.
Gervais goes on to honor all the great work done in Hollywood that year…” by cosmetic surgeons.” (Cue nervous tittering.) He points out that Halle Berry, in Catwoman, had the “superpower” of being able to wash herself all over via cat-style licking.
To Gervais’ shock, he was invited back to host again the next year, and again several more times.
The next year he introduced Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad” and made some jokes about Hugh Hefner and The Walking Dead that even had Steve Buscemi looking uncomfortable.
Despite the cringing that happens when Gervais lets loose with some of his more obnoxious remarks, he keeps audiences riveted. People tune in to the awards when Gervais is at the podium, and NBC knows this. His shock factor has made him the most frequently requested host so far.
Gervais has commented to the media that he can pander to the couple of hundred people in the room or to the audience of millions, and he chooses the wider audience. This means that the actors and other industry professionals in the room are fair game for his often unfair jokes.
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler — 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021
When Fey and Poehler host, the actors in the audience can take a deep breath and relax. Although these two comediennes can time their jokes as well as Gervais, they lack the “over the top” angle that makes some viewers so uncomfortable with Gervais as host.
Fey and Poehler do engage in some teasing, but they tend to stay on the friendlier side of the fence (although they did admit, at the 2015 Golden Globes, that the room was full of “despicable, spoiled, minimally talented brats”). Everyone laughed because they assumed she was talking about someone else.
While hosting the 2015 awards show, Fey and Poehler pointed out how silly it was that George Clooney’s wife had worked to save lives and advise the U.N. on issues in Syria, but it was her husband who was receiving the “lifetime achievement” award that evening.
This is the kind of good-natured poking that audiences are more comfortable with—at awards shows and elsewhere—but the patter is rarely too much, and for some, that can be a bad thing. Fey and Poehler may have handed out the envelope, but it is Ricky Gervais who pushed it.
Unlike Gervais or Seth Meyers, it is unlikely that either Fey or Poehler could have the same kind of positive reception if they were to work alone, as their brand of comedy tends to need the straight woman/funny woman dynamic.
I could be wrong. But I’m not. Poehler and Fey are the salt and pepper set that adds a palatable spice to the Hollywood meal.
Seth Meyers – 2018
Unlike the other names on this list, Meyers has only hosted the Golden Globes once, in 2018.
Seth Meyers is not to everyone’s taste. And he may not be suitable for other years in which these awards are granted, but in the midst of the #MeToo movement, he managed to handle the issue with both humor and sincerity and just enough self-deprecation to keep the audience in a happy mood despite the turmoil swirling in Hollywood and in the greater U.S. as well.
When Meyers pointed at Seth Rogen and stated, “Remember when he was the guy making trouble with North Korea?” He was referencing current U.S. foreign policy without specifically articulating the issue or going overboard, as another host might have done.
Meyers made the expected fun of Hollywood celebrity by pointing out that the audience in front of him was akin to the white family desperate to reclaim their youth in the horror film, Get Out.
Meyers doesn’t have the at-podium ease of Ricky Gervais or the easy banter of Fey and Poehler, but he was fresh and interesting enough to make this list, keeping in mind how few hosts the awards ceremony has had in its long history.
Who Would Be the Best Golden Globe Host?
As delightful as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been, and as titillating as Gervais continues to be, some new faces would not go amiss at this historic awards show.
The best Golden Globes hosts of past awards could be surpassed by any number of celebrities. There’s a particular duo that I’d like to see given a shot.
Anna Kendrick is great with accents and off-the-cuff jokes, and Melissa McCarthy’s sense of timing is unequaled. Thus, a combination of these two actresses would bring a sense of fun and exciting expectation to the Golden Globes.
The first Golden Globes were held at the studios of 20th Century Fox. Later, they were held at such glamorous destinations as the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Beverly Hilton, and the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Like all Hollywood awards shows, the Golden Globes are about seeing and being seen as much as they are about honoring the deserving. Having said that, awards shows can be long and tedious, and the years that the Golden Globes went without having a host were unspeakably boring.
The addition of these hosts to the show has been a massive change for the better. As noted above, ratings are up, and wagers are being placed on potential winner. Betting on the Oscars remains more popular, but the Golden Globes are catching up.