Awards shows can always be a bit of a slog, especially when you're not really feeling the hosts. Which is why when Hannah Gadsby came out to present at the 2018 Emmy Awards, it felt like a breath of fresh air. In just a few minutes, she basically reprised her comedy special, Nanette, and fans were all about it. The Australian comic, or ex-comic, as it were, took the stage alone to present the award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
She seemed nervous, joking that being up there on stage was "normal," and then went right into 45 seconds of commentary in the same vein as her Netflix special and it was really refreshing, to be quite honest. On Twitter, people immediately started calling for her host all the award shows going forward, and it's not a bad idea. In case you are still sleeping on Nanette (which is something you should rectify right after you're done scrolling through this article), it's not exactly a comedy standup special. In it, Gadsby basically does a monologue in which she explains why she's done with comedy altogether. "I identify as tired," she says during the special, as she delves into what it's like to come out as gay in our world and search for a way to fit in. Her special is about identity, self-deprecation, and rage, among so much more. Again, you really just need to see it.
At the Emmys she picked up right where she left off. She said that it was odd for her to be invited to present and get a "fresh" suit, new boots and all the perks just because she doesn't "like men." She then, in her quiet, poignant way, added, "not all men, but most of them, calm down men." "Hashtag Not All Men, but most of them," Gadsby joked. The crowd went wild.
Most people seemed to enjoy it but her appearance during the awards show had to a little awkward for at least one person in attendance — Saturday Night Live star and 2018 Emmy Awards co-host. Michael Che. He wrote on Twitter that he found Gadsby's "anti-comedy" "unfunny."
He went in, adding, "ya know some critics say rape jokes aren't funny. but you know what's DEFINITELY not funny? Rape stories. Just flat out, fully detailed rape stories. I dunno about you, but that hasn't made me laugh once." His comments were obviously targeted at Gadsby's special, despite the fact that he admitted to fans that he hadn't seen it. Some on Twitter wondered if he had seen Gadsby backstage or what he thought of her appearance.
Gadsby might seem unassuming, but she was definitely dragging him — and the kinds of people who actually do write things like #NotAllMen on Twitter — before giving out the award. It was, for her fans, very fun to watch. Che didn't mention her when he appeared afterwards with co-host Colin Jost, so there might not have been any behind the scenes drama. For all we know, maybe they met and talked about comedy and gender politics. Either way, her minute-long commentary during the 2018 Emmy Awards was a lovely reminder of just how smart and necessary voices like Gadsby's are these days. And if she's up for it, hosting an awards show sometime is not the worst idea.