The pair, who were named co-hosts of the ceremony in December, opened the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night in a hilarious fashion, largely sidestepping politics and the Times Up material that dominated last year’s show.
The so-random-it-just-works duo struck a decidedly lighter tone than did 2018 host Seth Meyers, who used his monologue to take digs at disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump.
The two dubbed themselves the “nicest people in show business” before intentionally failing at roasting audience members, including Spike Lee, Jeff Bridges, Amy Adams and Michael B. Jordan.
“Amy, save some for the rest of us you mega-talented piece of dog crap!” Oh joked.
“Hey Jeff, I wish you were my dad,” Samberg added.
They went on to to riff about “Star Is Born” and “Crazy Rich Asians” with Oh giving a special shout-out to her parents, who were sitting in the audience, before toasting to the incredible diversity of this year’s nominees.
“I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because, because I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change,” Oh said fighting back the tears. “And I’m not fooling myself. I’m not fooling myself. Next year could be different. It probably will be. But right now, this is real. Trust me, it is real. Because I see you and I see you. All of these faces of change and now, so will everyone else.”
Oh and Samberg, who were last onstage together at the 2018 Emmy Awards, pledged ahead of the ceremony not to “go hard into detailed politics stuff” during their opening remarks, leaving the heavy lifting to the big winners of the night.
Oh, the first person of Asian descent to host the Golden Globes, revealed she was “not interested” in mentioning Trump during her time onstage, and was instead looking to prioritize “actual real change” by highlighting films with casts mostly made up of people of color that are being recognized in major categories.
“How many gazillions of people have seen ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’?” she told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.“That changes things. Just speaking for my own community, people cried a lot in [‘Crazy Rich Asians’], and it’s not only because it’s a great story and a classic romantic comedy — it is because seeing yourself reflected onscreen is really emotional when you don’t even know that you’re carrying so much grief of never being seen.”
The “Grey’s Anatomy” alum made history as the first Asian nominee for best actress in a drama series at the Emmys last year for her work in “Killing Eve.” (Oh is also nominated for best actress in a drama TV series at the Globes for the BCC thriller this year.)
Samberg is a two-time Golden Globe Award winner, while Oh was awarded a Globe in 2006 for her role on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misstated that Oh is Asian-American. She was born and raised in Canada.