MTV’s Video Music Awards and television’s biggest night are both taking place in the next few days, so we take a look at how the two back-patting shows compare. If you're keeping track, the VMAs has already had a snake attack, a performer falling off the stage and a shooting at a pre-party. There's no way the actual show can be half that weird. Or is there?
VMAs: Lucy Hale (pre-show)
Emmys: Seth Meyers
Quick: Name the most memorable thing about Seth Meyers’ stint on Weekend Update. Did you name Stefon? Because that wasn’t technically him. We’re thinking the same policy will apply to his Emmy hosting. If something crazy happens, it’s going to be Seth Meyers-adjacent rather than Seth Meyers. But he is friends with a lot of very funny people, so we have high hopes. Also, the Emmys wins this category because the VMAs don’t technically have a host. “Pretty Little Liars” star and aspiring country singer Lucy Hale hosts the red carpet.
VMAs: Demi Lovato, Lorde, Jason Derulo, Laverne Cox, Nina Dobrev
Emmys: Amy Poehler, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Bryan Cranston, Zooey Deschanel, Andy Samberg, Julia Roberts and more
As far as presenters go, the Emmys makes the VMAs looks JV. Look at that star power there! Plus, most of the TV actors seem natural reading off of a teleprompter. Fingers crossed that Woody Harrelson gets up there and gets weird. Matthew McConaughey has really been surpassing him on that front lately (fanny pack, anyone?), but we know McConaughey is really just Harrelson 2.0.
Scandalous moment possibility
VMAs: With a total of eight nominations, Beyonce is tied with Iggy Azalea . Queen Bey is also scheduled to perform and receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. None of these things would ordinarily be rife for controversy, but girlfriend needs to do something big to distract everybody from the rumors of domestic distress with her husband Jay Z. Or maybe, even more controversially, she’ll announce their split! Additional potential lies with the simmering feud between Nicki Minaj and Azalea. Yeah, they’re both due to perform on Sunday.
Emmys: Kate McKinnon is nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. She’s up against some tried and true pedigree (Julie Bowen for “Modern Family,” Kate Mulgrew for “Orange is the New Black” and Allison Janney for “Mom,” to name a few) but McKinnon anchored a very uneven season of “Saturday Night Live” by being an utterly fearless (and hilarious, obviously) performer. We’re really hoping for an upset here, but we’re also hoping she might accept the award using her Angela Merkel impression.
Obviously the VMAs has more potential for scandal. Look at the history. Has Kanye ever interrupted the Emmys? Have Miley ever gotten busy with a foam finger at the Emmys? Has Howard Stern ever flown down from the rafters at the Emmys as a flatulent superhero? Nope.
VMAs: With those eight nominations and one guaranteed moment at the podium with the Video Vanguard, Beyonce has obviously been practicing some “thank you” moments in the mirror. Also, the woman is one of the most polished performers out there. We're thinking we'll get a flawlessly composed speech that the internet can then spend days interpreting for Illuminati symbols.
Emmys: Is it wrong to hope Julia Louis Dreyfus wins just because she does something funny every time she’s on camera at an awards show? Last year she had Tony Hale accompany her as his “Veep” character, whispering hints in her ear about who to thank, and the year before she pretended to read Amy Poehler’s acceptance speech. OK, maybe she wins too much. We’ll accept Poehler as a substitute, as long as she coordinates with Julia.
At the VMAs, outspoken musicians walking up to the podium will likely end up addressing the unrest in Ferguson in interesting ways. And with a Robin Williams In Memoriam segment scheduled at the Emmys, there won't be a dry eye in the house.