Colin Jost and Michael Che gave us every reason to be nervous about this year's Emmys. The two Saturday Night Live staples are hosting tonight's star-studded gala, but despite the gaffes they made during the run-up to the event, the opening monologue didn't as much play it safe as it was just a little bit...boring?
Ahead of tonight's gig, Jost asked the Los Angeles Times "Why can’t good, fun things win and not just good artsy things?" He also lamented that award shows are "way too self-serious and focused on things that 99% of the country doesn’t care about."
This kicked off backlash from viewers and fellow comedians alike, who viewed this as a tone-deaf comment to make during a time when more diverse projects like Moonlight and women-led shows like The Handmaid's Tale are getting national recognition. A white, privileged man claiming that "99% of the country" doesn't care about those things plays right into the preconceptions people already had about the writer.
This recent comment probably wouldn't have prompted as much backlash if it didn't quickly follow another controversial statement from the co-host.
"I think that by [the Emmys], people are going to be desperate to give men a chance, finally," he told Vanity Fair. "It’ll probably be #HeToo by then."
However, when the duo stepped on stage, they brought none of the cheeky, anti-political-correctness they had been boasting prior.
"It is an honor to be here tonight with the many talented and creative people in Hollywood who haven't been caught yet," Che said, with Jost piggy-backing on to make a joke about people drinking at a workplace function. But that was as exciting as it got. There was an obligatory joke about the fact that nobody really watches live TV anymore ("We just wanted to say a quick hello to the thousands of you here in the audience tonight, and to the hundreds watching at home.") as well as jokes that didn't seem to be about anything at all ("The only people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads.") All in all, it was pretty much a "Weekend Update" segment without the fun graphics or intermittent appearances by Aidy Bryant in character.
It certainly doesn't help that it came after a sparkly, cameo-filled musical number led by Kenan Thompson and other SNL favorite, Kate McKinnon. I guess it's better to be underwhelmed by the two comedians than predictably pissed off, but despite the diversity of these awards that everyone has been sure to point out, this is one aspect of the 2018 ceremony that certainly won't go down in history.