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Tom Tangney

Tiny Fey, Amy Poehler pass the comedy baton to Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham won the award for best actress in a TV comedy series for "Girls," during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo)

Thanks to all the attention given to "Argo" upset victory and Jodie Foster's curious non-"coming out" announcement, something else of significance went virtually unnoticed at the Golden Globes.

We may have witnessed "a passing of the baton" of sorts in TV land.

For the first time ever, the Golden Globes were hosted by two comedy actresses - Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Both SNL veterans, Tina Fey has been at the top of her game for years with her incredibly successful series "30 Rock" and her friend Amy Poehler is the star of the popular "Parks and Recreation" sitcom.

Not surprisingly, they were both nominated for Best Actress in a TV comedy, something they joked about in their opening monologue.

"Tina and I are also both nominees tonight. And Tina, I just want to say, I very much hope that I win," said Poehler.

Responded Fey, "Thank you, you're my nemesis."

But as it turned out, in something of a surprise, they both lost out to 20-something Lena Dunham, the star and creator of HBO's new comedy "Girls."

Dunham was gracious, or at least tried to be gracious, to her fellow nominees in her acceptance speech.

"I wanted to start by saying the other nominees in this category are women that inspire me deeply and have made me laugh, and have comforted me in the darkest moments of my life. Julia, Tina, Amy and Zooey, have respectively gotten me through middle school, mono, a ruptured ear drum and the complete floating anxiety that populates my life. And I worship them."

But Tina Fey especially was having none of it. After Lena Dunham left the stage, Fey and Poehler returned to their hosting duties with drinks in their hands, looking a little disheveled and acting insulted.

"Well the show has really take a turn. It's time to start drinking," said Fey.

"Everyone is getting a little loose now that we're all losers," added Poehler.

"Congratulations Lena," said Fey. "I'm glad we got you through middle school."

This was all done for comic effect, of course. But the fact that these two comic stars took note of this much younger up-and-comer's success said something about a possible changing of the guard. In fact they even brought up her age in a sly backhanded way in their opening monologue.

"It was a great year for women in television," said Fey. "Lena Dunham is a double-nominee. Lena we love your show, but if they are forcing you to do all the nudity, you have to tell us. Just give us some kind of signal and we will call child services."

That sense of a changing of the guard was made a little more emphatic when Dunham's show also won the best TV comedy award, upsetting the two other reigning comedies on television - Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory.

Coincidentally, the new season of "Girls" premiered opposite - you guessed it - the Golden Globes. How's that for gratitude?

Tom Tangney on KIRO Radio

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About the Author


Tom Tangney is the co-host of The Tom and Curley Show on KIRO Radio and resident enthusiast of...everything. As the film and media critic on the Morning News on KIRO Radio, he espouses his love for books, movies, TV, art, pop culture, politics, sports, and Husky football.

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