Seth Meyers’ Debut Hosting the Emmys Was … Adequate
Seth Meyers told jokes at the Emmys, because Seth Meyers tells jokes.
Meyers did not sing or dance, because he doesn’t do either of those things. (Jimmy Fallon does those things). He didn’t embarrass celebrities to their faces, because he doesn’t do that, either. (Jimmy Kimmel does that.)
Meyers writes and tells jokes about current events. That’s where we set the bar — and on Monday night, he cleared it by telling jokes about the most current event of the moment: the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, held on a Monday night for the first time since 1976.
Come to think of it, Meyers got a lot of mileage out of the Monday thing: “Welcome to the Emmy awards. This year we’re doing it on a Monday in August, which if I understand television, means the Emmys are about to get canceled.”
If Meyers had attempted a stunty skit or a song-and-dance routine, he would have caught hell for it. So he stuck to the jokes.
Seth Meyers, totally acceptable Emmys host.
HBO is like the kid you grew up with who ended up doing way better than you expected. 99 nominations. When I first met HBO all he had was Grease 2 and Fraggle Rock. I wish I was nicer to him. ‘You guys want to watch Poltergeist?’ ‘We watched it yesterday HBO, how many times do you think people want to watch the same movie?’ ‘One day I’m going to make a show about dragons.’ ‘OK buddy, best of luck.’
If Meyers had tried to rib Matthew McConaughey in his seat, it would have been really awkward. So he let Kimmel do that instead.
Sure, he’s willing to elbow you a little…
I’d like to take a minute to congratulate the writers in the room tonight, but their seats are too far away to hear me.
He’s willing to give you a little friendly grief…
Streaming made a huge impact this year with Netflix getting nominated for 31 Emmys. And no one is happier to see streaming services take nominations away from cable than network television. Not very nice when someone younger comes along, is it cable?
And maybe even outright make fun of those he doesn’t quite agree with politically.
Game of Thrones was the most pirated show, and Duck Dynasty was the most VHS-taped show.
But most of the time, when Meyers is poking fun at someone, he’s balancing it out by poking fun at himself:
We’re doing it on a Monday in part because MTV aired the Video Music Awards. Yes, MTV still has an award for music videos, even though they no longer show music videos. That’s like networks holding an award show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix. That would be crazy! Why would they do that?
Sigh, there’s that Monday thing again.
When Meyers does lower the boom on something, it’s usually an easy target:
We had comedies that made you laugh and comedies that made you cry, because they were dramas submitted as comedies. There has been some controversy over which category which shows were submitted in. Orange Is the New Black was submitted as a comedy rather than a drama. True Detective was submitted as a drama rather than a miniseries. And Bachelor in Paradise was submitted.
Seth Meyers meeting expectations alongside Billy Eichner at the Emmys.
Image: Mark Davis/NBC
There was, however, a really funny bit on the street with Billy Eichner! Of course, that was all Billy Eichner (and the segment had nothing to do with TV, really). Meyers was kind of just a prop.
Back to the jokes — which, come to think of it, aren’t quite jokes, per se. More like clever observations and syllogisms:
That’s what I love about television. She doesn’t pay hard to get. She doesn’t demand your full attention. Television has always been the booty-call friend of entertainment. You don’t ever have to ask TV ‘You Up?’ TV is always up. She will happily entertain you will you cook dinner or wrap your Christmas presents. She’s not like that high-maintenance diva movies who expects you to put on pants, drive all the way over to her house and buy $40 worth of soda. So thanks anyway movies, I’m sticking with TV.
And look, that’s not a bad thing. That’s just Seth Meyers being Seth Meyers, and we love him for it. Right down to the last “Monday” crack:
Thank you and goodnight everybody! Have a great evening — only four days until the weekend!
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