So I get that Kevin Spacey hosting the Tonys was really out of left field for most people — he’s known as Keyser Soze, Lester Burnham, and Frank Underwood, not as a musical comedy actor. But Spacey actually won a Tony in 1991 for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Lost In Yonkers and was the artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London for over a decade. There are theater chops there! But things got weird during the ceremony with Spacey doing a series of strange impressions.
Being the host of a major award show certainly isn't easy, but I have to think in the grand scheme of life, it's not terribly hard. You introduce presenters, you tell some jokes, and in the case of the Tonys, you sing a big opening number (I don't think they would pick a host without some theatricality), and maybe you do three or five outfit changes. Mostly, a show like this runs itself. You just make sure that the bits don't go on too long. But what happens when you are the bit that runs on too long? Spacey's impressions weren't only meh, but they were also very strange, irrelevant choices. Let me explain.
Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for 30 years (from 1962 to 1992), so his place in the cultural canon is solidified. But what does he have to do with the Tonys? Eh, not that much?
The second-most popular Clinton of the moment has mostly stayed out of the spotlight recently, except when supporting his wife's campaign. So maybe Spacey was just playing off his Frank Underwood vibes by impersonating another famous politician? Who knows?
Speaking of Spacey's most recent character, he decided, along with Robin Wright (aka Claire) and Michael Kelly (aka Doug) to appear as Frank Underwood from House Of Cards to give Lin-Manuel Miranda the envelope for Best Musical at the end of the night. He was perfectly menacing, and then he made a joke about Bette Midler's acceptance speech. I know it's not really an impression, but Spacey played someone else more times than he played himself at the Tonys, so I figured it counted.
In any case, I get what Spacey was going for in doing impressions of famous people at the Tonys, but those people didn't have much to do with the Tonys themselves.