Andy Samberg hit a homerun at the top of his Emmy Awards hosting gig, starting, as promised, with one of his pre-taped musical videos loved by his fans and social media.
In the I Watched Every Show video, Samberg poked fun at all the talk among industry execs and pundits about the overwhelming quantity of content being churned out for small-screen viewing this day. Being named to host the Emmys he had to go hide in an underground bunker for a year to catch up, singing ” I’ll lock myself away, cast myself aside, they treat me like a leper and so like a leper I’ll hide. And once I fulfill my destiny, I shall return.”
Also as promised, the video included lots of pals making cameos, including Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington and Nathan Fillion who asked if he’d watched Castle – sending Samberg scurrying back into his bunker for another 151 hours.
Concluding the musical number, in which he paid homage to Billy Crystal’s Oscar-opening videos, he concluded, “I’m the only one qualified to be hosting because I watched every damn show.”
“And, I’m white.”
Nope, Samberg did not shy away from industry controversy:
“The big story this year is diversity. This is the most diverse group in Emmy history. Congratulations Hollywood! You did it! Racism is over! Don’t fact check that.”
But he only rapped Hollywood’s knuckles lightly, because that’s how it’s done on Hollywood trophy shows, turning his skewering quickly to politics:
“Donald Trump is running for president…Sure Donald Trump seems racist. What else?”
“Is it just me or does Bernie Sanders always look like his flight is delayed? The guy’s a mess.”
“Paula Deen is on this season’s Dancing With The Stars. If I wanted to watch an intolerant woman dancing I would have gone to one of Kim Davies four wedding.”
“It’s so ironic,” he said of Davis having emerged from prison to the tune “Eye of the Tiger” “when think how many dudes boned each other to that song.”
When asked early last month what kind of Emmy host he hopes to be tonight, Andy Samberg told a gaggle of TV critics gathered in Los Angeles, “I think, hopefully, a funny one,” calling Golden Globe Awards hosts/SNL alums Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler “the standard” for trophy-show hosting, owing to their ability to “keep it feeling really loose with a lot of really good writing underneath that.”
“I’ll try and do whatever version of it we come to, and we’ll try as much as we can and sift through the stuff and pick the best stuff,” he added. He did not single out SNL alum Seth Meyers, whose straightforward, old-school opener as host of last year’s Emmy ceremony was considered a terrific showcase for viewers who had not yet sampled his NBC late-night show, but was not the kind of opener people are still talking about months later. Samberg made good on his plan to extend a wide net that will include SNL pals, and that his writing team includes Scott Aukerman and the staff of Comedy Bang! Bang! He also plans to reach out to his Lonely Island team. “They will want to do something if we think of the right thing,” he said. “But we’re not going to force it if it’s not right.” Samberg also promised, “I’d be surprised if there’s nothing pre-taped. That’s where I’ve had the most success in the past.”
A couple weeks later, Samberg dropped his first promo for tonight’s gig, in which he listed the seven not-so-dirty words you can say on television, setting up what may be the driest Emmy drinking game ever: corkscrew, “kumquat,” “shuttlecock,” “dictaphone,” “annals,” “shan’t,” and “but.”
Okay, “but” helps a lot.
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