NBC just revealed that this year’s Emmys will be hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, which elicited a lot of eye-rolling amongst those who had forgotten Lorne Michaels would be producing this year’s ceremony — and that these shows have a tradition of being hosted by talent native to the network.
There is definitely one upside to the news: The last time a person of color hosted the Emmys was 1996, when Oprah Winfrey hosted with Michael J. Fox and Paul Reiser (the ’90s!). That is far too long a gap, and correcting it here with Che is a good move.
But the last time any major awards show — the Oscars, Emmys, or Golden Globes — was hosted by a woman was 2015, when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler dropped the mic at the Globes. And the last time the Emmys was MC’ed by a woman was 2011, when Jane Lynch was trusted to host by herself. As it should go without saying, at a point in our culture when women are just starting to be heard more, any opportunity to amplify a female voice is welcome.
On “Saturday Night Live,” Che and Jost have settled into a decent rhythm as both head writers and the anchors of Weekend Update, though it certainly wasn’t an easy transition. But if NBC and Michaels wanted to boost its “SNL” talent, then why not consider some of the brilliant women on the show, such as Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones?
McKinnon’s hosting credentials are bonafide — just check out her opening monologue with Kumail Nanjiani at the 2016 Indie Spirit Awards.
And beyond “SNL,” NBC has plenty of great talent, as Vanity Fair’s Hillary Busis noted:
Too bad there were no other options at NBC, the network that employs Seth Meyers, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Cecily Strong, Jimmy Fallon, Sterling K. Brown, Megan Mullally, Kristen Bell, America Ferrera, Retta, and that awesome kid on Champions https://t.co/F7EXmho0sb
— Hillary Busis (@hillibusterr) April 26, 2018
All this, plus the fact that Che has a history of making jokes about women and then not handling it well when he receives criticism could be cause for alarm about what’s to come this September (both the actual show, and the fallout from it). It’s unlikely that he’ll sing about having seen the boobs of nominees, but only because it’s not clear whether or not Che can sing.
While not as massive as last year’s election-fueled numbers, “SNL’s” ratings have been strong lately, and Jost and Che represent fresher faces than NBC’s other obvious options (Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon hosted the last two times NBC aired the Emmys broadcast, and were also just seen hosting the Golden Globes in 2017 and 2018). So they’re not the worst choice NBC could make. But they’re certainly not exciting, especially when you consider the other options available, and they certainly won’t do much for the general state of flagging awards show ratings.
I'm curious if network heads have considered that one reason awards show ratings are down is they keep hiring hosts internally. https://t.co/MgL0VFVYUj
— Ben Travers (@BenTTravers) April 26, 2018
Who knows? This could be an amazing show (especially if they do the right thing and make sure that John Mulaney’s available for jokes). But the second we see Jost in a handmaid’s bonnet, we’ll know all hope is lost.