From their laugh-out-loud opening quips to their improvised comebacks, old friends and "Saturday Night Live" alums Fey and Poehler didn't disappoint.
Right at the onset, Poehler -- the star of "Parks and Recreation" -- assured the audience that there would only be good-natured jokes during the broadcast, because as the more biting Ricky Gervais has shown, "when you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host the show two more times."
The only complaint tweeters had was that the show didn't use them enough.
Among their greatest hits:
-- "When it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron" -- Poehler referring to Kathryn Bigelow, the director of the movie "Zero Dark Thirty," which has stirred controversy over its portrayal of the torture of terror detainees.
-- "I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars," Fey to Anne Hathaway about the latter's performance in "Les Miserables."
-- Their heckling, with liquor tumblers in hand, of Lena Dunham who beat them for the best TV comedy actress award.
-- The way they introduced George Clooney: "This next presenter is so handsome he makes young George Clooney look like garbage. Please welcome middle-aged George Clooney."
NEW YORK -- It was elegant, eloquent, genteel and classy.
Wait - that was "Downton Abbey," airing Sunday night on another network.
On NBC, it was "The 70th Annual Golden Globes Awards" - the yearly televised blowout lubricated by an open bar where party-favor statuettes are distributed to a lucky few.
Much about the famously quirky Globes (such as: Why? and How?) always needs to be taken on faith. The Globes just are, because they are. And people seem to like it that way, the Globes' quirkiness included.
This year, viewers got a generous dose of Globes weirdness courtesy of Jodie Foster, recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
In a hopped-up, borderline-unhinged confessional that left some in attendance moist-eyed but surely had many more witnesses scratching their heads, Foster took this opportunity to (among other things) go public as a gay woman, or maybe not ("I am single," she declared, after a teasingly big buildup); announce her retirement from acting and/or show business, or not; and let the world know it should stop pestering her for details of her life beyond what she's willing to reveal through her art.
"I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show," she said. "Privacy: Someday in the future, people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was."
Foster's was the night's most jaw-dropping performance, and will surely be discussed and deconstructed for days to come.
But if everything about this year's Globescast didn't make sense right away, one thing - or, rather, a twosome - made perfect sense: Co-hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
Co-rivals for best actress in a TV comedy or musical, they both lost to "Girls" star Lena Dunham. But they were likely the night's biggest winners.
As fellow "Saturday Night Live" alums and longtime friends, they make perfect comedy partners - Fey, a little more wary and neurotic; Poehler, a little more wide-eyed and goofy. And both of them brilliant and fearless.
They even made sport of arguably the night's most august moment - President Bill Clinton's surprise appearance to introduce the nominated film "Lincoln."
"Wow, that was exciting," the breathless Poehler marveled afterward. "That was Hillary Clinton's husband!"
In rip-roaring opening remarks, they quickly acknowledged controversial past host Ricky Gervais.
"We want to assure you that we have no intention of being edgy or offensive tonight," Poehler declared, "because, as Ricky learned the hard way, when you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show TWO MORE TIMES!"
Unlike Gervais, who some observers felt had crossed the line when he was presiding, the Poehler-Fey duo proved charming and adorable, yet still had bite.
Addressing Globe-nominated director Kathryn Bigelow, whose "Zero Dark Thirty" includes wrenching scenes of torture, Poehler scored laughs and even gasps by conceding she hadn't followed the uproar about the film, "but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who was married for three years to (director) James Cameron."
Fey noted that Ben Affleck, soon to be named best director, had shot his first two films in Boston. "But he moved this one ('Argo') to Iran, because he wanted to film somewhere that was friendlier to outsiders."
They had fun zinging the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which administers the Golden Globes.
Poehler, seeming to mistake HFPA for a medical condition, warned that, "When left untreated, HFPA can lead to cervical cancer."
On a couple of occasions, Fey placed herself at a table in a silly disguise,