Every year, the Primetime Emmy Awards are televised on one of the four big broadcast networks, and with each occurrence, the network responsible for running the show typically employs someone from their lineup to serve as the master of ceremonies. Since this year’s telecast is being broadcast on NBC, “Saturday Night Live” co-head writers and “Weekend Update” personalities Michael Che and Colin Jost are slated to try and keep the awards show afloat. It’s going to be a challenge, too, as the past few decades’ worth of Emmys broadcasts haven’t performed too well when it comes to ratings.
Also, between the volatile political situation in the United States and last year’s surprise appearance by then-recently outed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, audiences may not want too much by way of politics. It’s difficult for comedians aiming for general audiences not to address what’s happening in the news, including political matters, and this is especially true for Michael Michael Che and Colin Jost, whose “Weekend Update” specifically targets such topics.
So will Monday night’s show be as politically charged as last year’s performance by host Stephen Colbert? Will it be even worse? Michael Che and Colin Jost have been making the rounds to promote the Emmys for the past month, explaining what they and their “SNL” team are up to. Here’s what we can expect.
Expect plenty of politics from Michael Che and Colin Jost
In early August, Jost told Vanity Fair, “It is kind of fun for us to do something that is not political… The exciting part is to do things about television and that particular awards ceremony and make it, in general, less political than normal.” Just over a month later, however, he and Che changed their tune somewhat during their appearance on Ellen.
“We don’t even know what’s necessarily going to happen during the weekend politically,” said Jost. “There might be something, there might not.” More bluntly, Che added, “There’s gonna be political jokes and we’re gonna come out on the wrong side of history, for sure. We’re aiming toward it.” It might not be the same as Spicer riding a podium onto the stage, but chances are Che and Jost’s ceremony won’t ignore Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and other items.
It’s going to be an SNL reunion
More recently, a Variety profile of the co-hosts singled out their “SNL” boss, the legendary Lorne Michaels, “who’s taking the show’s reins for the first time since 1988.” While Michaels acknowledged that Che and Jost’s humor has “a sharper edge” to it, he stressed the material “will be of the moment.” What he didn’t delve too deeply into, however, is the fact that his attachment to Monday’s awards show means that Che and Jost likely won’t be the only “SNL” cast members, current and otherwise, involved in the production.
There’s going to be a live musical number
Che told USA Today that their top priority was to “[keep] the three-hour show fast-paced,” so as to avoid the drag typically associated with the Emmys and other awards shows. Whether or not he and Jost succeed remains to be seen, especially since the report adds that it “is set to open with a live musical number with a few special guests.” Much like “SNL,” there will also be “a filmed segment or two.” So the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will basically be an episode of “SNL” with trophies, but hey, at least we’ll get to see Che and Jost sing and dance.
The Emmy Awards air at 8 p.m. on NBC.