Although Seth Meyers has never hosted the Emmys before, he knows the secret is to get the audience laughing and keep them laughing.
The ex-Saturday Night Live fixture discussed his game plan for hosting the annual TV awards show with several media outlets in recent days.
“We’re really hoping to have really good jokes all the time,” Meyers told Variety earlier this week. “With something like this, the level of success is because the jokes are really good. We hope that by the time the monologue’s over, which is obviously the most important ting the host does, that people are going to be good and read for the new few hours of awards.”
Meyers goes into next Monday night’s live broadcast less than four months into his current role at the helm of Late Night with Seth Meyers – which has turned out to be serendipitous for conscripting his Emmys creative team.
“I brought my writing staff from Late Night,” said Meyers, “as well as people that I’ve just sort of trusted over the years that at some point I’ll be able to repay the favour. You kind of call all cars in a situation like this and fortunately, over the years, I’ve met a lot of talented cars.”
As to hosting experience, Meyers has previously hosted the ESPY Awards and the White House Correspondents Dinner. In an interview with Vulture, Meyers pointed out the difference between those shows and the Emmys: He won’t be onstage before a crowd of athletes or political reporters
“It’s super weird because it’s the first one that I’ve done where the people in the audience are also entertainers. Everything else, even if I bombed, I’d still be funnier than most of the people there. That part of it is terrifying.”
But the good news, says Meyers, is that the pressure will only be on him for the Emmys' opening minutes.
“After you introduce the proceedings, the night is taken over by the actual event itself,” he said. “In a really lovely way for me, there are also a lot of other really funny people who will be presenting and doing their own bits. The burden of entertainment is squarely on me for the first ten minutes and then it gets spread out.”
And while the host of any awards show is supposed to remain impartial, Meyers freely admitted in an Associate Press interview that he’ll be rooting for his ex-SNL castmate Amy Poehler – a 10-time Emmy nominee but never a winner – who’s up for best actress for her NBC sitcom Parks & Recreation.