This may have been Seth Meyers' first time hosting the Golden Globes, but it sure doesn't feel like it. The Late Night comedian wrote jokes for the ceremony during Amy Poehler and Tina Fey's long tenure, killed at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, and has hosted awards ceremonies before, including the Webby Awards, ESPY Awards, and in 2014, the Primetime Emmy Awards. So, right at the top of the evening, Seth Meyers' 2018 Golden Globes opening monologue set the tone for the evening with some seriously bold jokes about legal marijuana, The Dictator (casting: Allison Jones), and of course, Harvey Weinstein and other accused sexual harassers in Hollywood. (A spokesperson for Weinstein previously denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.)
"Good evening ladies," he aptly began in the monologue, "and remaining gentlemen." As expected, the monologue barely focused on Donald Trump or politics in Washington at all. "If he tweets that he's disappointed we didn't bring him up," Meyers said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "I'd be thrilled. That would fly in the face of what currently he believes is the problem, which is that we won't stop talking about him." Meyers, who said he would send the first draft of the monologue to Fey and Poehler for notes and pay them in booze, instead chose to focus his gaze and his humor somewhat inward, tackling the problems within the entertainment industry.
"Women in general have been thinking about this stuff a lot longer than men," he said in the same interview. "Now, I was lucky enough to have a head start in that this was what my wife [Alexi Ashe, a former Brooklyn A.D.A. who prosecuted misdemeanor sexual assault cases] did for a living, but for a lot of men, this seems like something that just happened. And for a lot of women, this is not something that just happened. So the best thing any man can do right now is listen and try to learn, because none of us are experts in this thing that we have not experienced."
In the interview, Meyers talked about working with women writers on his staff. This should come as no surprise. On Late Night, the segment "Jokes Seth Can't Tell" allows Meyers to take a backseat while writers Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel tell jokes from their own voices and experiences.
Meyers did the bit again using some starry Golden Globe attendees, and otherwise didn't let the industry off the hook one bit. "For the male nominees in the room tonight," he said, "this is the is the first time in three months it won't be terrifying to hear your name read out loud." Here are some of his sharpest digs:
This Subtle Harvey Weinstein Shade
"They tried to get a woman to come," Meyers said about his job as host of the Golden Globes during the monologue. "They really did. They said 'where is it?' It's at a hotel, and long story short — I'm your host tonight."
The Fishy Joke You Didn't See Coming
"When I first heard it was a movie about a naive young woman who falls in love with a disgusting sea monster," he said about The Shape Of Water, "I thought, 'Oh no, not another Woody Allen movie.'"
The Rare Dig At The White House
Meyers wasn't going to totally ignore politics, after all. "Give it up for the Hollywood Foreign Press," he said. "There's a string of three words that could not have been better designed to infuriate our President."
What Everyone Is Really Hoping
Meyers also talked about how people have blamed his jokes at the WHCD for inspiring Donald Trump to run for president. To test if he really does have those powers, he said to the night's honoree, "Oprah — you will never be president. You do not have what it takes!"
"Jokes Seth Can't Tell"
Meyers handed over the mic to allow those who are not white, straight men to finish a joke that he sets up with a punchline. Jessica Chastain joked about the Hollywood age gap, Billy Eichner took a stab at Kevin Spacey, and Issa Rae completed a joke about racist expectations of her.
One That Almost Flopped
"I was happy to hear they’re going to do another season of House of Cards," (director: Robin Wright, four episodes) said Meyers. "Is Christopher Plummer available for that, too? I hope he can do a Southern Accent, because Kevin Spacey sure couldn't." That didn't go over that well, which is wild.
Memory Tripping With Seth Rogen
“Remember when he was the guy making trouble with North Korea," Meyers asked? "Simpler times.”
A "Really" Reunion
"Is this the mansplaining part of the evening," asked Amy Poehler about the "Jokes Seth Can't Tell" segment before "reclaiming her wine" and taking over the bit. "I'm a woman in Hollywood, Seth. I don't need a set up to make a punchline funny. Everybody gets it, you don't need to keep explaining it." Then she made a joke about the peach in Call Me By Your Name (executive producer: Naima Abed) — obviously.
The Less Subtle Weinstein Shade
This joke was so bold, very few people in the audience laughed out right. There were gasps, y'all. "Harvey Weinstein isn't here tonight because," Meyers said, "well, I've heard rumors that he's crazy and difficult to work with. Don't worry, he'll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the 'In Memoriam.'" Woof!
Meyers did not come to play, and he truly held Hollywood accountable. While some of the laughs may have been nervous ones, they were truly appreciated in 2018.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.