Who needs Ricky Gervais when you have Amy Poehler and Tina Fey?
Poehler and Fey's first stint co-hosting the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday was a hit with critics and viewers. According to a poll by movie ticketer Fandango, 87 percent of viewers found Poehler and Fey more entertaining than previous host Gervais. Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 people after the show aired to come up with its tally.
"I've been going to the Golden Globes for over a decade now, and last night was the most entertaining ceremony I can remember," Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger and host of its video series, "The Frontrunners," told TheWrap. "Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were huge hits in the room with their humor, which was just edgy enough."
The former "Saturday Night Live" buddies presided over a show that skewered Hollywood's sense of self-importance and the Globes' booze-fueled atmosphere, but in a gentle way that encouraged the stars in the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom to feel like they were in on the joke, not the target of a cruel prank.
It was a very different atmosphere than the one created by Gervais, whose three envelope-pushing stints as emcee were notable for the way they savaged everything from Mel Gibson's struggles with alcoholism to Jodie Foster's sexuality (a topic that got a lot less edgy after the actress' "coming out" speech at Sunday's ceremony).
Critics agreed with Fandango users that Fey and Poehler's antics scored.
"Nearly every joke told or stunt pulled by hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler was solidly, often exceedingly, funny, from Poehler’s line 'When it comes to torture I trust the woman married for three years to James Cameron' to Fey’s admonition to Taylor Swift to 'stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son' -- startled-looking, handsome Sam Fox, this year’s Mr. Golden Globe," Ken Tucker raved in Entertainment Weekly.
Mary McNamara was even more effusive in the Los Angeles Times, writing that the pair raised the bar on high profile master of ceremonies gigs.
"Lovely, brilliant and utterly fearless, they made awards-show hosting an art form again, helming three hours of occasionally hilarious, occasionally emotional and surprisingly enjoyable TV," she wrote.
On Twitter, Fey and Poehler's fellow comedians also chimed in with words of praise.
"Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hit a HOME RUN tonight!!! Congrats. #GoldenGIobes," Jimmy Fallon tweeted.
While Ellen DeGeneres enthused, "Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hilarious. I don't know why someone didn't think of this sooner. #GoldenGlobes"
Fandango also polled its users about what they believed were the biggest surprises and snubs of the show.
The shock that resonated the strongest with viewers was Ben Affleck's Best Director win for "Argo" over the heavily favored Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln"). Sixty three percent of users cited that victory as the top upset, while 22 percent were most surprised by Quentin Tarantino winning Best Screenplay for "Django Unchained" and 8 percent were not expecting to see "Brave" crowned the Best Animated Feature.
As for snubs, 32 percent of people polled believe that "Lincoln" getting shut out of the Best Picture and Best Director prizes ranked as the major one of the evening. Twenty three percent of those surveyed thought that Leonardo DiCaprio losing Best Supporting Actor to his "Django Unchained" co-star Christoph Waltz was the night's major snub, while 22 percent felt the most egregious one was "Wreck-It Ralph" losing Best Animated Feature to "Brave."