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Saturday Night Live duo Michael Che and Colin Jost brought their “Weekend Update” commentary to a bigger stage at Monday’s Emmy Awards.
The SNL co-head writers and “Weekend Update” anchors enlisted their famous friends for a musical number tackling diversity to open TV’s biggest night. When the pair took the stage for their opening monologue, they delivered a few one-liners aimed at headline-making news, including a reference to ousted CBS boss Leslie Moonves while invoking the #MeToo movement.
“It’s great to share this night with the many, many talented and creative people in Hollywood who haven’t been caught yet,” said Che, referencing the Hollywood names who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era. When explaining that attendees inside Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater can drink in their seat, Jost quipped, “One thing Hollywood needs right now is people losing their inhibitions at a work function.”
Making jabs at broadcast networks compared to streamers like Netflix, Che touted his own network. “NBC has the most nominations of any network — which is kind of like being the sexiest person on life support,” he said.
Jost jumped in to add, “Netflix has the most nominations tonight. If you’re a network executive, that’s the scariest thing you could possibly hear. Except for, ‘Sir, Ronan Farrow is on line one.'”
Moonves, who was the talk of industry pre-Emmy events over the weekend, was fired from his longtime post as CBS chairman and CEO on Sept. 9 following back-to-back New Yorker investigations by Farrow chronicling sexual misconduct and harassment claims from a dozen women. Farrow helped launch the #MeToo era with his New Yorker exposé detailing the first wave of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The Emmys hosting gig came with new pressures for the first-time emcees. The past three Emmy telecasts averaged 11.5 million viewers, ranking as the least-watched of TV’s big awards shows.
The pair likened the pressures to the show opener to the weekly cold open and monologue on SNL. “There’s gonna be political jokes and we’re gonna come out on the wrong side of history, for sure. We’re aiming toward it,” Che told the Associated Press before the show.
Ultimately, Che said their job was to keep viewers entertained. “You know how it is to host those awards shows. It’s about just keeping everybody entertained, but the real job, or the real pressure, is for the nominees. That’s what the show is for, so we’re just trying to keep it moving. It’s really not up to us,” Che told Ellen DeGeneres.
Saturday Night Live, which will kick off its 44th season with host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West on Sept. 29, was up for 21 awards. SNL creator Lorne Michaels executive produced the Emmys.
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards air live on NBC.
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