The prestigious 72nd Golden Globes ceremony quickly hit a sour note when hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made numerous jokes involving the on-going Bill Cosby scandal.
Poehler initiated the chain of punchlines by referencing “Into the Woods” and drugging accusations against Cosby.
“…Rapunzel is thrown from a tower for her prince, and Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby,” she said.
The comedic pair took to Cosby impressions soon after, with Fey exclaiming “I put the pills in the people” in her best Jell-O pudding voice and Poehler reiterating the same line. Both comedians drove the topic into the ground in an inappropriate setting where recognizing the year’s efforts in film and television should be top priority, not dabbling into messy social issues.
Why did the duo even bother with these jokes? All they did was take a cheap shot at both Cosby and the women accusing him of sexual abuse. There was no reason to drag this situation into the show for a few laughs when the monologue had more than enough biting one-liners.
Yes, their jobs as comedians are to push the envelope regularly, but they should also know that timing is vital to comedy. Whipping out Cosby impressions while the night should be a celebration of the previous year’s film and television is a perfect example of poor timing and poor taste.
It’s especially disappointing to watch Fey and Poehler go for shock value when they can come up with genuinely funny and witty material, for the most part, as seen on their shows “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation,” respectively. However, the Fey-Poehler tag team previously tackled allegations against Cosby back in 2005 through the Weekend Update segment of “Saturday Night Live” and Fey wrote similar jokes for a 2009 episode of “30 Rock.”
Naturally, there were some mixed reactions to the bit, both from the audience and social media. Jessica Chastain noticeably gasped at the punchline while writer and “So Popular!” host Janet Mock tweeted in support of Fey and Poehler for blasting Cosby on the same network that ran his sitcom in the mid-1980s. Jenny Kutner, assistant editor at Salon, called Fey and Poehler’s bit “a good example of how to tell an acceptable rape joke” since it attacked Cosby and not the victims.
Despite such support, the Golden Globes are not the most appropriate platform for calling Cosby out. At an event that only happens once a year, the comedy should be of a higher caliber instead of scraping at the bottom of the barrel just to surprise the audience. Or, at the very least, make sure the punchline is directly related to the show – what relevancy did Cosby have to this year’s Golden Globes prior to the monologue?
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