- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Cedric the Entertainer kicked off the 2021 Emmy Awards with a nostalgic vibe, using Biz Markie’s classic “Just a Friend” to pay homage to this year’s nominees, mixing in references to nominated shows Ted Lasso and The Crown with rapping help from LL Cool J, Lil Dicky and, perhaps most surprisingly, Rita Wilson.
With the refrain “TV, you’ve got what I need,” the actor and comedian got nominees like Brendan Hunt, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson singing along to the chorus of the classic rap song, changing the lyrics to reflect TV’s biggest night. The opening number was also an homage to Biz Markie; the pioneering rapper died in July at age 57, and Cedric the Entertainer shouted “RIP Biz Markie!” as the segment ended.
In his opening monologue, the star of CBS’ The Neighborhood noted the strict COVD-19 protocols being followed at the event, including the requirement that all attendees be vaccinated, and poked fun at Nicki Minaj’s bizarre (and debunked) claim that the vaccine made one of her cousin’s friends impotent and caused his testicles to swell: “I did not have a reaction like Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend, OK?”
He also joked about a hierarchy in vaccines, saying: “I got Pfizer, you know what I’m saying? Because I’m bougie,” later calling the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the “T.J. Maxx” of the lot.
Cedric went on to reference the ongoing drama surrounding the host search for Jeopardy!: “Lock the doors, we’re not leaving till we find a new host for Jeopardy!“
He also mentioned multiple nominee The Crown. “As great as The Crown is, it pales in comparison to the real monarchy,” he joked. On Meghan Markle’s “hold” on Prince Harry, Cedric quipped: “He renounced his throne quicker than Eddie Murphy did in Coming to America.”
Later in the show, there was a video short featuring a support group for those who have not won an Emmy. Among the participants in the circle was Jason Alexander, who remarked that he has been nominated seven consecutive times for playing George Costanza in Seinfeld. “I lost all of the seven times,” said the actor, remarking that he’s been in the business for 47 years.
Zooey Deschanel, another participant in the support group, exclaimed: “My generation isn’t into awards … but also, where is my Emmy?”
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards was broadcast live on CBS and Paramount+ and included for the first time an ADA-compliant ramp designed for disabled members of the entertainment industry to access the Emmys stage.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day