This isn’t Jimmy Kimmel’s first barbeque and by barbeque, we mean hosting gig at the Emmys but with TV as popular as it is, the late-night host show has to bring his A-game to his next turn as master of ceremonies on Sunday night.
Fear not, Jimmy, for we’ve assembled a quick list of dos and don’ts for your stint as host of the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Do: Take risks
The media at large is under a social media microscope for softballing the election, but as it looms closer Kimmel can mine it for comedy. He’s pointed out Hollywood’s liberal leanings before, and in a week of backlash against election coverage, the Emmys could be the perfect platform for a few well-timed jokes to force audience perspective.
Nothing begs for validation like listening to the sound of your own voice at an awards show devoted to other people (ahem, Ricky Gervais). Many of us still wake in a cold sweat, haunted by the 2008 hosting team of Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest, who boasted of their unpreparedness and then didn’t have the grace to simply leave the stage. Okay, maybe not many of us but even one is too many.
Do: Get to the point
Kimmel’s 2012 monologue was tame, but enjoyable, poking fun but not going too far. He cheekily mocked the nominees and the whole show, mentioned politics without getting too political, and kept up a smile on his own face, and others’.
Don’t: Prank anyone
Unless for some reason it’s John Krasinski, because that will never get old.
Do: Play to your strengths
Risks are what led to the brilliant shows being honored at the Emmys (and the brilliant shows tragically overlooked), so the host should strive to be worthy of such company. Kimmel and peers Jimmy Fallon and James Corden are notable for braving new segment formats in a genre that would otherwise have faded long ago. He’s already integrated adorable children into both his show and his Emmy promotion, so what other ideas will come to life?
That being said…
Don’t: Turn it into Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Kimmel certainly has a core fan base and successful formula, but to turn the Emmys into an extended Sunday episode of his own show would be a lazy decision from Kimmel, ABC and the Television Academy at large.
Well, it was probably scripted, but last year Kimmel ate paper on stage to show how silly it was for the Academy to trust him with the secret envelope. The bit was short, simple, and made Kimmel appear more comically drunk with power than egotistical in any way. Now be like that for three hours, Jimmy.