In addition to the inevitable pressure that comes with being the host of any award show, Kristen Bell really had her work cut out for her as the first-ever host of the SAG Awards. But, you know, she’s Kristen Bell — which basically means she was destined to nail it.
Despite admitting early in the evening that she was nervous coming into the night, Bell pulled off her hosting duties without a hitch. And while she kept it pretty PC, the Good Place star didn’t let the curtain close on the ceremony without a few funny bits and at least one serious dig.
If we were to make a highlight reel of Bell’s hosting tonight, the following five moments would make the list.
1. Her “first lady” inference
Of course, this was a little jab at the real first lady, Melania Trump, whose own anti-bullying campaign has been called farcical due to her husband’s aggressive Twitter tendencies.
2. Her self-deprecation
Bell didn’t just zing ’em at Melania. In fact, she kicked off the evening by poking fun at herself (and SAG too, really). “When I was young, I used to record Disney movies on my cassette player,” she said. “I would sing every lyric in the Disney canon, knowing and believing that one day I would be part of that magic. I am Kristen Bell and I am a narcissist. Sorry — and I am an actor!”
3. Her poignant message… with a plot twist
While we all enjoy laughing at Bell’s quirky brand of humor, we also love feeling inspired by the big-hearted star. Bell did just that as she wrapped up her opening monologue, sharing a powerful, timely and kind message.
“Everyone’s story deserves to be told, especially now. We are living in a watershed moment, and as we march forward with active momentum and open ears, let’s make sure that we’re leading the charge with empathy and with diligence, because fear and anger never win the race,” Bell commented, before playfully adding, “Most importantly, regardless of our differences, I think we can all come together and delight in one thing: Frozen 2 is coming out in theaters in 2019.”
4. Her standing ovation for Meryl Streep
Leave it to Bell to get the crowd on their feet for Meryl Streep — when Streep wasn’t even in the room. To drive home her point that the actors in attendance cared more about their awards than what she was saying, Bell started tossing out random words. Then she pivoted and starting naming celebrities in the room, ping-ponging from Steve Carell to Cheryl Hines. “Sorry I can’t resist this one: Meryl Streep,” she said, prompting everyone to stand and start clapping. “You guys, she’s not even here,” Bell interjected. “She’s not, but let’s keep that applause going for Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash.” Good one, Bell!
5. Her shameless husband plug
Like any good host, Bell made her way into the crowd at one point. Sitting next to her husband, Dax Shepard, Bell spoke about how excited she was to introduce someone she loved dearly. Someone who was a phenomenal talent, smart, funny and incredibly good-looking to boot. She then turned to the person seated on her opposite side — Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig. Still, Shepard was a good sport and gave Gerwig a hearty round of applause.