January 12, 2015

In their third—and possibly last, at least for now—stint hosting the Golden Globes, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler cracked up the A-list crowd at the Beverly Hilton by razzing Bill Cosby and George Clooney—and trying to figure out who they most wanted to sleep with. The winners of that last category included Birdman director Alejandro Inarritu for Poehler — “One take, two hours straight, no stopping” — but Fey went with Boyhood director Richard Linklater — “Five minutes once a year.”

The pair riffed so hard on Cosby that the crowd audibly gasped and Jessica Chastain could be seen covering her face with her hand. What started out as a joke about the trials of the princesses in Into the Woods suddenly brought the beleaguered comedian into the mix. “Cinderella runs from her prince, Rapunzel is thrown from a tower for her prince and Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby.”

Then the two both broke into hammy Cosby impersonations, accenting their syllables as the famous TV dad once did in his Jell-o pudding commercials. “I put the pills in the people,” Fey said. “The people did not want the pills in them.” “I got the pills in the bathroom,” Poehler added, “and I put em in the people.”

George Clooney got much gentler treatment, when the hosts noted that he’d come with his new wife, Amal Alamuddin. “She’s a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, an advisor to Kofi Annan on Syria and was appointed to a three-person commission investigating rules-of-war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”

The rest of the crowd received equally irreverent treatment, with the opening greeting from the pair: “Welcome, you bunch of despicably spoiled, minimally talented brats.” Frances McDormand was the lone exception. “You are the only person in this room that I would save in a fire,” Poehler said.

They then tagged The Interview and the ruckus surrounding Sony’s infamous hacking scandal. North Korea, they noted, forced us to pretend that we wanted to see The Interview and its official announcement disparaged the movie as “absolutely intolerable and a wanton act of terror. Even more amazing…not the worst review the movie got.”

In their third year of joking about Hollywood ageism, they pointed to Patricia Arquette, 46, who played her role in Boyhood over a 12-year period. “Boyhood proves that there are still roles for women over 40, as long as you’re hired while you’re still under 40.”

Other celebrity jests:

Steve Carell: razzed for taking three hours to put on the gigantic nose he wore in Foxcatcher. Fey said, “It took me three hours today to prepare for my role as human woman.”

Wes Anderson, the twee director of The Grand Budapest Hotel: “Wes arrived on a bicycle made of antique tuba parts.”

Meryl Streep: zinged for having likely won more awards than anybody else in the room. In Into the Woods, “Meryl plays a witch who sends the townspeople on a magical quest to get the items she needs to win another Golden Globe.”

Then they moved on to the nominated films.

The Theory of Everything. “It combines the two things audiences love—a crippling nerve disease and super- complicated math.”

Selma. “In the 1960s, thousands of black people from all over America came together with one common goal: to form Sly and the Family Stone. But the movie Selma is about the civil rights movement, which totally worked and now everything’s fine.”

Gone Girl. “I go to movies to escape,” Poehler said. “I don’t want to just see myself up on the screen.”

They finished their monologue by leading the crowd in a cheer meant to buoy the TV nominees, who are usually edged out of the spotlight by the film stars. “We say movies, you say ‘Awesome!'” After a few rounds of that, the chant changed to “We say TV, you say ‘Better!”

Given that the ceremony wouldn’t be seen by anybody if it weren’t being broadcast by NBC, we’re sure the TV people appreciated the pat on the back.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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