Streamy Hosts Reveal How to Keep Award Shows Current

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Grace Helbig & Hannah Hart

Grace Helbig & Hannah Hart are no strangers to YouTube

Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart were both winners at last year's Streamy Awards and now they are returning to host the fourth annual celebration of the online video community. 

In their first outing as award show hosts, the women will be on stage in front of their peers and mentors. But that doesn't seem to have them worried. "I think the awards this year are going to do a good job being of the digital realm, for the digital realm, honoring the digital realm," says Hart, who runs the YouTube channel Harto and is the creator of the show My Drunk Kitchen. "With no holding back." 

"We're going to f— with all of them," adds it'sGrace's Helbig with a laugh. "It's going to be real great." 

Helbig and Hart hope to put on an upbeat and fast-paced Streamy Awards, which streams live online at 7:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, Sept. 7. They plan on keeping things current by integrating social media, native platforms for many YouTube creators, and playing to the award show's youthful crowd. 

"This is an award show that celebrates the Internet, which is one of the fastest moving mediums," says Helbig. "Every joke about every topical thing has already been made, so I really don’t want to seem like we’re coming in with this humor that’s got dust on it."

The Streamy Awards is still a young event. Do you feel pressure to help shape the show in its early years?

Hart: I hope we can help shape what this award show is going to be. 
Helbig: I'm glad that we're doing it this year when I still feel on the cusp of sort of knowing everyone in the community and not doing it next year when I feel like I won't know 80 percent of who's there or what platform they're existing on or what this new app does that makes it so successful.

Are you modeling your show after anyone?

Hart: Chris Hardwick last year.
Helbig: And then obviously Tina (Fey) and Amy (Poehler). They're charming and likeable and they let you know that the show doesn't have to be so serious. I think that's the goal. 

What will it take to make the show a success?

Hart: Under three hours, doesn't feel tired, everyone walks away feeling a little more proud of what they do.
Helbig: My attention span is not that long so I want people to enjoy it how I would enjoy it if I was sitting in the audience.
Hart: Drunk.
Helbig: Drunk and happy. It's going to feel like the strangest wedding reception anybody's ever been to.

What's the worst that could happen when you're up on stage?

Helbig: Any sort of wardrobe malfunction is not a good time. And I really just want people to laugh at the jokes. If they don't laugh at the jokes, that will be a sign of failure.
Hart: I want people to feel more proud and more part of a community. My worst fear is that everyone walks away and says that was a waste of time. 

How do you feel that there will also be Hollywood nominees in the audience this year?

Helbig: It makes me excited. It's like, "Hey Hollywood, welcome to our playground. This is where you get to feel like the outsiders a little bit and we get to educate you."
Hart: I hope that it garners a better understanding for what this world really is, because it's so different from traditional mediums. These are all mini production companies in a room, and I hope that is reflected and gets more respect. 

How do you keep an award show feeling fresh and relevant for this younger generation?
You hire cool hosts every year.
Helbig: Lasers and animals. We just want it to feel like a J.Lo music video from start to finish. (Laughs) I feel like it’s a matter of still presenting it like a traditional award show but then incorporating conversations pieces and topics and things and apps that only exist in this world specifically. But it’s still going to have the clothing of a very classy award show for creatives. 

Why is it important to you to continue to support the YouTube community even as you branch out to other mediums in your own careers?

Helbig: Hannah has always said this one quote that I love. She says, "You always dance with the one you came with." I think it's so true and so appropriate for our career trajectories. The thing that’s really allowed us the most opportunity has been this digital space. But it’s allowed us opportunities in more traditional spaces while still maintaining our digital brand. I don’t think either one of us could tear ourselves away from the digital space.
Hart: It’s the best job in the world. You get to really be the type of creator that you want to be, and there’s not any other place I can think of that allows you to do that. Everybody looks at YouTube and they think it’s a platform where people are trying to get to television. And I've just never felt that way. 

Who would you like to see win?

Helbig: I’m predicting it now. I think it’s the year of Tyler Oakley.
Hart: He’s made a huge impact.
Helbig: His trajectory has been a slow build over time. He’s been really persistent, and he’s just had a really strong view and a really strong sense of himself. I really think this is the year that people are acknowledging that.