Monday's Emmys host, Seth Meyers, has his work cut out for him if he wants to top last year's awards. Seriously, could there ever be a better host (or human being in general) than Neil Patrick Harris? But if anyone was up for the challenge, it was Seth Meyers — and he's got the experience to prove it. After an epic run as Weekend Update host on Saturday Night Live, Meyers has spent the past six months commanding Jimmy Fallon's old post at NBC's Late Night... and as it turns out, this guy is phenomenal at hosting stuff. He's charming, he's funny, and he had a crew of SNL writers backing him up when it came to being as funny as possible tonight. How could anything go wrong?
And after hearing Meyer's opening monologue, I have all the proof I need: This man should host the Emmys 'til the end of time. There's a fine balance between awkwardly insulting your audience — like that time Ryan Paevey forgot that rape jokes aren't actually funny at this year's Daytime Emmy awards — and making them laugh. Unsurprisingly, Meyer's monogram is both funny and adorable, and that's exactly why he is a flawless individual and even more flawless Emmys host.
Hosting a high profile award show like the Emmys is probably pretty nerve-wracking, but Meyers took it in stride — and he definitely played it safe. Instead of heading for the insult-based humor that often overtakes opening monologues, Meyers instead won over the audience by mocking his own jokes. "Jokes are like nominees," he said. "They can't all be winners." Is it just me, or is Meyers the male Ellen? I think I've made a breakthrough.
Meanwhile, he also made about a million references to Orange is The New Black, which is obviously poised to take over tonight's show, informing the audience, "Tonight, we are all Crazy Eyes." So true. When Uzo Aduba took home that Creative Arts Emmy last week, I felt like I took home an Emmy, too — so I'm definitely looking forward to the cast cleaning up.
Meyers' best joke of the evening? His Justin Bieber diss, because there's no crowd pleaser like a Justin Bieber diss. "Cable is looking at Netflix the way Justin Bieber looks at One Direction," he said. "Through a cloud of marijuana smoke."
That said, despite the fact that Meyers was just as charming as anticipated, I found myself wishing he'd pulled out more slightly edgy jokes like that. I know, I know — there's nothing worse than cringing when a host is obviously making his audience feel uncomfortable. But Meyer's speech? Definitely could've used a little more cringe for good measure. When Jimmy Kimmel came out for his own introduction, his jokes were a bit more crass, and it totally worked. Centering in on Matthew McConaughey, a man used to giving quite a few awards show speeches after his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club, Kimmel managed to get a good amount of laughs from the audience with a bawdier sense of humor — "Alright, alright, alright already," he told the Oscar-winning actor to a bevy of chuckles, before turning to Ricky Gervais and declaring the Derek star has a face not for movies, or TV, but for Netflix. Zing!
But let's not discount Meyers' success, even if his monologue was tame in comparison. Because his words were relatable as well. To end his monologue, Seth explained TV as the "booty call friend," summing up the average Netflix obsessed binge-watcher's (hi, everyone!) relationship with their television in the best words possible: "You don't ever have to ask TV, 'You up?' TV is always up."
And that's why I love it.