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The 7 best choices for the next Golden Globes host

After Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, America's favorite drunken awards show needs to step up its game.

Mar 1, 2020, 12:43 pm*

Internet Culture

 

Chris Osterndorf

This year’s Golden Globes have come and gone, but there’s no time like the present to start thinking about the future.

Before we do that however, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the genius that is Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. “George Clooney, [Sunday night’s] Lifetime Achievement Award winner at the Golden Globes, thinks Fey and Poehler are ‘the best hosts of the show‘—and with all due respect to their naughty predecessor, Ricky Gervais, he’s right,” wrote Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Labrecque. Indeed, Fey and Poehler were definitely a breath of fresh air after Gervais’s reign of witty albeit self-righteous terror (though Gervais was slightly amusing Sunday night, despite some ironic pronunciation mistakes). Take Gervais out of the equation, though, and there’s still no two ways about it: the SNL veterans killed it each time they hosted.

And while the ratings were down this year, the Poehler/Fey era of the Globes did bring in better ratings than many of the years before they took over as hosts. Then again, maybe that’s because the Globes have frequently been emcee-free throughout their long, strange history. “Before Gervais’ own three-year run, the Golden Globes rarely had a designated host,” notes Labrecque. “John Larroquette and Janine Turner had been the last official emcees when they partnered up in 1995. The Hollywood Foreign Press felt that a host only got in the way of what was supposed to be freewheeling party, and preferred to rely on ‘the Hollywood community’ as the Globes’ headliner.”

If this talk of a “freewheeling party” and the “Hollywood community” hasn’t clued you in already, the takeaway here is that the Golden Globes are a fairly absurd awards show. But that’s why the task of looking at prospective hosts is so interesting; it’s not necessarily all that easy to find people who will fit the ceremony’s unique style. Though Fey and Poehler could very well go on to host the Oscars, part of what made them great as Globes hosts is that they knew how to write and perform for that show specifically. Finding others who can do the same is not guaranteed to be an easy task.

However, as we move onward and upward through 2015, why don’t we consider next year for just a moment, and pick out a few potential hosts who could take up Queen Fey and Queen Poehler’s mantle.

7) Louis C.K.

Why it would work:

Louis C.K. is, by almost any standard, the biggest name in comedy right now, so he pretty much has to be in the mix somewhere. He’s also been routinely snubbed by the Globes, so a hosting position might be a good consolation prize.

Why it wouldn’t:

Although C.K.’s own attempt to host a fictional version of The Late Show ended up being pretty charming during one of the more memorable storylines on Louie, he’s far from an ideal awards show host. Purposefully awkward and rough around the edges, his style of comedy isn’t conducive to the pomp and circumstance of such events. And with their self-referential, Hollywood “in-joke” tone, the Globes in particular are a bad fit for C.K., who has earned a reputation for doing things “his way,” and not taking the conventional path laid out by the industry.

C.K. knows how to turn in a decent monologue (check out the ones he did when he hosted Saturday Night Live, for example); however, his monologue would only work inasmuch as his stand-up works. And while he may be the greatest stand-up in the world, no one really wants (or expects, for that matter) Louis C.K. to do jokes about George Clooney.

At the moment, C.K. is famous and well-respected enough in the industry that if he wanted the job of Golden Globes host, he could probably get it. And whatever strange kind of show he would turn in would probably be somewhat thrilling to watch. But if C.K. wants to keep his reputation as the world’s reigning “comic’s comic,” aka the cool guy in a room full of sellouts, taking the gig would be a pretty risky choice.

6) June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson

Why it would work:

June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson could just be the heirs apparent to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Each hilarious in their own right, but with a delightful friendship forged in comedy, they are probably the best comedians working today who could echo the Fey/Poehler dynamic, while also bringing something entirely their own to the Globes.

You probably know Raphael from her work on the hilarious Burning Love, as well as Adult Swim’s amazingly titled NTSF:SD:SUV, though her list of credits is long. Meanwhile, Wilson, who appeared on SNL for several seasons, has made a name for herself on the cult favorite show, Happy Endings, as well as smaller fare like Hulu’s The Hotwives of Orlando; she also starred in this season’s Marry Me, and recently had a scene-stealing role in Gone Girl.

Why it wouldn’t:

Funny as each of these women are, their collaborative efforts, like Bride Wars and Ass Backwards, up until this point have either missed the mark or failed to take shape (at least not yet). And on top of that, neither of them are exactly household names. They’re worth keeping an eye on, though, as the right project could finally put them into the spotlight.

5) Kevin Hart

Why it would work:

Kevin Hart is blowing up right now. Actually, he’s been blowing up for over a year, technically, but somehow the supernova that is Kevin Hart still continues to expand. Besides being one of the biggest stand-ups in the world, Hart has two movies coming out this year. First, there’s this month’s The Wedding Ringer, followed by his Will Ferrell buddy movie Get Hard, which arrives in March and is his highest profile effort to date.

More than anything else, what Hart would bring to the proceedings is energy. Unlike C.K.’s deliberate, nonchalant delivery, Hart is a fireball of non-stop vivacity. What makes him entertaining to watch his is complete and utter commitment to everything he does. The guy truly is a constant performer, who never gives anything less than 110 percent. Not to mention, he has a pretty funny take on Hollywood, too.

Why it wouldn’t:

All that said, Hart’s manic energy might be difficult to sustain for the duration of the whole ceremony. Granted, the Globes rarely even use their emcees past the opening monologue. But as demonstrated by his turn as SNL host (not quite the same thing as hosting an awards show, but somewhere in the same ballpark), Hart works best when working in his own material, at least for performance events. He has enough natural presence to work in pretty much any screen comedy, but like C.K., what makes his stand-up special is him. And having Hart confined to the same rules as other Golden Globe hosts makes him a trickier proposition.

4) Chelsea Handler

Why it would work:

From the onset, Chelsea Handler should be a natural fit for the Golden Globes. A well-known stand-up, as well as host of the E! network’s flagship late night talk show, Handler also served as emcee at the 2010 MTV VMAs. More important than any of that, though, is her unabashed love of taking down all things Hollywood. In that sense, she’s more of a natural successor to Gervais than to Fey and Poehler. But if the Globes want someone who is comfortable onstage, appropriately biting, and undeniably funny, they would be wise to give Handler a call.

Why it wouldn’t:

For all of Handler’s success, she still feels like somewhat of an outsider in Hollywood. This can probably be chalked up to the rampant sexism that’s consistently on display in the world of late night, where Handler reigned for years as the only woman in the business. Nevertheless, it’s hard to shake the idea that she wouldn’t be a perfect fit for the celebrity-filled trainwreck the Globes have become known as.

3) Mindy Kaling

Why it would work:

Mindy Kaling is one of the funniest, smartest, most charming people in Hollywood, and for her not to be included in every industry event is a crime in and of itself. Like C.K., she’s routinely been snubbed by the Globes (she’s never even been nominated!) and a hosting position would be a fitting and deserved consolation prize. Moreover, Kaling’s Hollywood-conscious/borderline Hollywood-obsessed style of comedy (presenting Wreath Witherspoon, everybody) makes her a good fit for the Globes tonally.

Though slightly younger than Fey and Poehler, Kaling is quickly becoming one of their peers, both by leading the charge for a new era of female-driven comedy and by being one of the most genuinely likable stars in Hollywood.

Bonus: EW’s Labrecque cites B.J. Novak as a potential cohost for Kaling, and while Kaling definitely doesn’t need Novak to hold her up, there’s no doubt they have chemistry together.

Why it wouldn’t:

Amazing as Kaling is, her abilities as a host are still untested. Though she has a background in theater and is effortlessly funny whenever she’s on camera, her skillset also seems to lie in scripted television, having said herself that she wasn’t too gifted at stand-up comedy. For now, she probably doesn’t have the resume to step up to the plate as the host of a major awards show, not that it wouldn’t be great to see her try.

2) Chris Rock

Why it would work:

Chris Rock had a huge year in 2014. With Top Five, he proved himself to be a filmmaking “auteur” in his own right, and with his New York magazine interview and Hollywood Reporter essay, he also proved to be one of the most intelligent people in his industry. In many ways, no other entertainer felt as vital to the year that was 2014, and if he can ride that hype going into 2015, there’s no reason for the Globes not to give him a call.

Why it wouldn’t:

Whenever Chris Rock hosts something, people tend to get uncomfortable. Though he became more and more omnipresent as 2014 drew to a close, his SNL monologue in November hit on several touchy subjects, like Sept. 11, which made some people uncomfortable. Then there was the time he hosted the Oscars, back in 2005. After making what was really an innocuous joke about Jude Law, Sean Penn felt the need to come to the British actor’s defense, attacking Rock’s remarks onstage. The awkward moment pretty much crystallized his reputation as one of the worst Oscar hosts of all time.

But talk to anyone who’s worth their salt and they’ll tell you that Rock’s Oscar turn gets a bad rap. He may not always be funny, he may sometimes even go too far, but he remains one of Hollywood’s most essential superstars. Then again, Rock might not want to downgrade to the Globes, since he’s already hosted Hollywood’s biggest awards show. Fortunately, Fey and Poehler, and Gervais before them, have shown that you can actually get away with more at the Globes than you can at the Oscars, which makes Rock’s uncanny edge all the more appropriate for the ceremony.

1) Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader

Why it would work:

The true highlight of Sunday night, other than everything Fey and Pohler-related, was Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig’s goofy bit about movie quotes. If it wasn’t already evident from the 2014 gem The Skeleton Twins, the two have god-given chemistry together, and if the Globes want to continue with the multiple host strategy, Hader and Wiig are their best choice.

As two of the most talented performers to come out of SNL in the last decade, they each have colossal abilities as writers and comedians, and they each know how to handle being in front of an audience. On their own, they would both be good candidates, but together, they’d be unstoppable. And again, then there’s the SNL connection. Assuming the Hollywood Foreign Press Association wants to continue down a similar road, Wiig and Hader would both employ some of the same background people that helped make Pohler and Fey so great.

Of course, like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, the real reason to hire them is who they are. These are two ridiculously funny people, easily capable of capturing the same “we’re having a good time and it’s all a big party” spirit that made their predecessors so phenomenal.

Why it wouldn’t:

Maybe they’re too weird? Or too busy? Or not “big” enough yet? Look, neither Wiig or Hader have hosted an awards show before (though they have both come back to host SNL), but if the HFPA want to take a minor risk that will yield great rewards, these are their people.

Right now, the Golden Globes are a year away, and the person (or persons) who will host are nothing but speculative glimmers in our eyes. Without question, whomever they pick will have a tough time living up to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. But if the Globes want to recapture some of the essence of what those two created in the past few years, they might as well start planning now.

Unless Tina and Amy decide they want to make it a fourpeat, in which case all bets are off. 

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Jan 13, 2015, 1:00 pm