We all knew Kenan Thompson wasn’t going to deliver a mean-spirited monologue. His comedy has always been about making people feel good. The longtime SNL star put everyone in the right mood by starting things off with a TV theme dance party.
If you ever wanted dance remixes of The Brady Bunch, Friends and Law & Order this was your moment. That may sound weird, and that’s because it was. It was a fun way to loosen everyone up but not the energetic opening viewers are used to.
Opening Performance: 74th Emmy Awards
Thankfully, Kenan settled into the zone during his monologue, celebrating the legacy of television while taking several hilarious jabs at Netflix.
“We come together to honor the invention in the history of mankind: television,” he said. “If it weren’t for TV, what would we do in our free time, read books? No one in this room has read a book in the last 50 years.”
After shouting out Abbott Elementary for donating its Emmy promotion budget to needy schools and teachers, Kenan had an equally noble purpose in mind for his Emmy paycheck.
“It’s about helping those in need, that’s why all my salary from tonight’s show is going to Netflix,” Thompson said.
Honestly, he was the perfect host for the show. I don’t think people really need the cutthroat pettiness that we usually get from awards shows right now. Kenan made people smile and kept the proceedings fun. That’s all we really want from a host.
The only real complaint is that with all those SNL stars and alums in attendance, we didn’t get a visit from one of his well-known characters. Though we did get a Kenan & Kel reunion, which the crowd went wild for, so we can’t be too mad about the lack of Saturday Night Live easter eggs.
As good as he was, Kenan didn’t make himself the center of attention, which is the most important quality of a good host. I’d love to see him back next year.