'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' and HBO's 'Succession,' 'Watchmen' among top honors at WGA Awards

Writers of some of the most loved TV and films of 2019 were celebrated by peers.

While "Parasite" and "Jojo Rabbit" were the big winners at the 72nd annual Writers Guild Awards night, making them the frontrunners for next week's Academy Awards, the night's most anticipated moment revolved around a tribute from several of comedy's living legends to another one.

Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won earned the award for best original screenplay Saturday night for "Parasite," which Bong also directed. Bong, who "checked to make sure that the envelopes weren't switched" when arriving onstage, expressed gratitude -- and surprise -- for the honor.

"It's so surprising the script is written in a foreign language, but to know that you have loved the film and understood the structure of the story and the nuance of our dialogue, it's amazing." Bong began. "I've been a screenwriter in the past 20 years and this award is so much more meaningful because you writers have voted."

"Although I'm not familiar with American teenage culture, I really enjoyed 'Booksmart,'" he added before going on to praise the other scripts nominated in the category, including "Knives Out," "1917" and "Marriage Story."

Director, actor and writer Taika Waititi scored the win for best adapted screenplay for "Jojo Rabbit," thanking his mother for making him read the book it's based on.

The ceremony also awarded writers from the small screen, with many of top categories going to HBO.

The hit show "Succession" took home two of the night's big awards for drama series and episodic drama while the comedy series award went to "Barry," and the best new series award went to "Watchmen."

It was a reunion for some in the room, as "SNL" alums Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Ana Gesyter, Emily Spivey and Rachel Dratch honored comedy writing icon Paula Pell, who spent 20 years writing for the sketch show as well as "30 Rock."

Poehler presented Pell with the Herb Sargent Award, named in honor of the legendary writer and television producer who also served at "SNL" for more than 20 years.

During her speech, Poehler commented on the rarity of Pell's brilliance as not only a writer but also as a performer, pointing to her work on '"A.P. Bio," "Documentary Now" and "Parks and Recreation." The actress also said Pell's work makes way for voices in the LGBTQ community.

"She lives her life as a thriving gay woman," Poehler celebrated before cracking a joke. "Think about this: she is successful even though men know she does not want to have sex with them. That's how good she is."

Following Poehler's speech, a video tribute featuring Dratch, Fey, Gesyter and Spivey, as well as some of Pell's best "SNL" characters like Gilly and Spartan cheerleaders, played on the screen.

Since the award is made to honor mentoring as well as the writing itself, Pell used her honoree speech to thank those at "SNL" who made her work better over the years as well as her family, who was in attendance. She also spoke of the transition from mentee to mentor.

"Throughout the years at SNL a lot of people come through," Pell said, sharing that she slowly became the person young people came to for advice. "And I enjoyed that so much because I was that very scared person before."

Pell ended her speech speaking directly to -- and poking fun at -- young writers.

"Young writers are just so full of brilliance and great ideas and ... so much confidence. I tease about it, but when the elders give you notes, at least write it down," Pell said to knowing laughter.

The WGA Awards held two ceremonies concurrently in New York with John Fugelsang hosting and in Los Angeles with "SNL" alum Ana Gasteyer as host.

Check out the full list of winners below:

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY "Parasite," Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Story by Bong Joon Ho

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY "Jojo Rabbit," Screenplay by Taika Waititi, Based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley," Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films

DRAMA SERIES "Succession," Written by Jesse Armstrong, Alice Birch, Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer, Cord Jefferson, Mary Laws, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Gary Shteyngart, Susan Soon He Stanton, Will Tracy

COMEDY SERIES "Barry," Written by Alec Berg, Duffy Boudreau, Bill Hader, Emily Heller, Jason Kim, Taofik Kolade, Elizabeth Sarnoff

NEW SERIES "Watchmen," Written by Lila Byock, Nick Cuse, Christal Henry, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Cord Jefferson, Jeff Jensen, Claire Kiechel, Damon Lindelof, Janine Nabers, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Tom Spezialy, Carly Wray

LONG FORM ORIGINAL "Chernobyl," Written by Craig Mazin

LONG FORM ADAPTED "Fosse/Verdon," Written by Debora Cahn, Joel Fields, Ike Holter, Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson, Charlotte Stoudt, Tracey Scott Wilson, Based on the book Fosse by Sam Wasson

COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," Senior Writers: Dan Gurewitch, Jeff Maurer, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner Writers: Tim Carvell, Daniel O'Brien, John Oliver, Owen Parsons, Charlie Redd, Joanna Rothkopf, Ben Silva, Seena Vali

COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES "I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson," Writers: Jeremy Beiler, Zach Kanin, Tim Robinson, John Solomon

DAYTIME DRAMA "The Young and the Restless," Writers: Amanda L. Beall, Jeff Beldner, Sara Bibel, Matt Clifford, Annie Compton, Christopher Dunn, Sara Endsley, Janice Ferri Esser, Mellinda Hensley, Lynn Martin, Anne Schoettle, Natalie Minardi Slater, Teresa Zimmerman