Tuned in: Funny hosts find ideal balance for Golden Globes broadcast

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler treated the Golden Globes with all the respect they deserve, which is to say, not much. And viewers were rewarded with an entertaining spectacle.

About a half-hour into the telecast they mocked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the awards, calling out the names of fake foreign journalists from the likes of Germany's Ker Plunk and a free magazine distributed on Polish buses.

"Thank you all for your integrity," Ms. Poehler said with a straight face but tongue clearly in cheek. (She turned more sincere later when she won for her role on NBC's "Parks and Recreation.")

The funny women opened the telecast with jokes at the expense of the nominated stars, including:

• George Clooney: " 'Gravity' is the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age," Ms. Fey quipped.

• Matt Damon: "Matt, on any other night in any room, you'd be a big deal, but tonight you're basically the garbage person," Ms. Poehler said.

• Meryl Streep: "She was so brilliant in 'August Osage County,' proving there are still great parts in Hollywood for Meryl Streeps over 60," Ms. Fey said.

Basically, the hosts did exactly what they should: They riffed on the silliness of Hollywood awards, made jokes about celebrities and bit the hand that fed them. Then they got out of the way, returning occasionally to offer a quip or skit -- Ms. Fey as mother to Ms. Poehler's Justin Bieber-haired Randy was fun -- but not too often, allowing the telecast to move along at a brisk clip.

If only Ms. Fey and Ms. Poehler could host every awards show; at least we know they've signed on to host the Globes again next year.

And now some awards of our own:

Jodie Foster Award for most rambling, incoherent acceptance speech: Jacqueline Bisset won for Starz's little-seen "Dancing on the Edge," and after an endless tromp to the stage from the back of the room she started off speechless, and when she did speak she became completely incoherent, wrapping up by touting a beauty treatment.

Worst timing: Someone at NBC botched the effort to bleep a profanity from Ms. Bisset, muting the sound before the actual profanity. The sound came back just in time for the offending word to be heard.

Color of the awards season: Orange! Many celebrities appeared to be over-using a bronzer. Or maybe it was just bad lighting in the ballroom.

Coolest presenter: Emma Thompson with her high heels in one hand and a drink in the other.

Worst on-screen graphic: E! had to apologize for a pop-up during its preshow that listed Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's diagnosis as a "fun fact."

Most over-used Hollywood term: So many stars thanked their "team" that Globes winner Andy Samberg mocked the notion. Would that we all had a team consisting of publicist, manager and agent to help us organize and plan our lives.

TV writer Rob Owen: rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.

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