The Golden Globe for Most Unexpected Guest Appearance goes to Bill Clinton

Photo: WireImage

"That was the husband of Hillary Clinton!"

We were as surprised as co-host Amy Poehler when none other than former U.S. President Bill Clinton took the Golden Globes stage to introduce a film about another former U.S. President, "Lincoln."

So how did it come about that a man who was Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America for eight years showed up at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday night, much to the delight of the audience of Hollywood elite? Apparently being pals with "Lincoln" director Steven Spielberg has something to do with it.

"Steven and Bill are quite close," a source told E! News. "It was not a last-minute thing. It was in the works and came together about five days ago."

Clinton received a standing ovation when he took the stage to introduce "Lincoln," which was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

"A tough fight to push a bill through a bitterly divided House of Representatives," Clinton began in describing the film. "Winning it required the President to make a lot of unsavory deals that had nothing to do with the big issue. I wouldn't know anything about that."

"President Lincoln's struggle to abolish slavery reminds us that enduring progress is forged in a cauldron of both principal and compromise," Clinton continued. "This brilliant film shows us how he did it and gives us hope that we can do it again. In 'Lincoln,' we see a man more interesting than the legend. And a far better guide for future Presidents."

Clinton has ties to another Golden Globes-nominated film this year. The CIA rescue operation portrayed in "Argo," which won both Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Director, was top secret until it was declassified during Clinton's presidency in 1997.

This also wasn't the first time that Clinton spoke at the Golden Globes, though it is his first "live" appearance. In 2005, he and former President George H.W. Bush appeared in a video to thank the entertainment industry for support after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

The former President's appearance made quite the impression, though Poehler had special reason to take delight in it after portraying Hillary Clinton several times during her tenure on "Saturday Night Live."