The Globes' and Oscars' new hosts: Dancing at the comedic edge

Wed Jan 9, 2013 11:36am EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - All eyes are on the three television comedians who will host two of the most prestigious Hollywood awards shows of 2013.

On January 13, actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be first-time co-hosts of the Golden Globes, which hands out awards in both film and television. On February 24, "Family Guy" creator and voice talent Seth MacFarlane will host the Academy Awards for the first time.

A host can make or break an awards show. A good one will move the show along, keep the audience entertained and be invited back ‑ like the late Bob Hope, who hosted the Academy Awards a record 19 times. A host who fizzles will be forever remembered for jokes that fall flat, such as David Letterman's repetitious "Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah" joke at the 1995 Oscars.

The Golden Globes had gone without a host for 15 years until 2010,when acerbic British comedian and "The Office" creator Ricky Gervais was hired. During his three stints, Gervais skewered the likes of Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr., members of the Church of Scientology and the Golden Globes organizers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). But he brought a lot of attention to the show.

The choice of Fey, 42, and Poehler, 41, "puts a friendlier face on the Globes," Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter told Reuters.

"There's been a desire on the part of the HFPA to get away from the more biting humor that Ricky Gervais brought over the last three years," he said. "Tina Fey and Amy Poehler can zing (the stars) without seeming as mean-spirited as it sometimes did with Ricky Gervais."

Fey and Poehler certainly make for a promising choice. The two longtime friends have proven chemistry as well as experience in live television, thanks to their work on "Saturday Night Live." They also appeared together on the big screen in the comedies "Mean Girls" and "Baby Mama."

But Tom O'Neil of the awards prediction website cautions not to expect a more gentle show just because "a couple of chicks" are hosting it.   Continued...

Presenter Tina Fey attends the 84th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake