Emmy Awards Primetime: With that, late-night comic Jimmy Kimmel kicked off Sunday’s unprecedented virtual 2020 Emmy Awards — hosted for the third time by him — during a ceremony where one should expect the unexpected. Kimmel, 52, recently predicted the program, stirred up by the coronavirus pandemic, would be “some combination of the Emmys and ‘Big Brother’ because we don’t know for sure how it’s going to work.”
Of course, as Kimmel joked, “You know what they say: You can’t have a virus without a host.” And his exasperation about returning to the program showed right through.
“Why are we having an awards show in the middle of a pandemic?” he asked the cardboard cutout audience at LA’s Staples Center. “What the hell am I doing here? This is the year they decide to have a host?”
The show’s producers acknowledged the peculiar situation in a letter to nominees.
“We’re delighted and honored to be producing the event on September 20th and have every intention of not only making sure that it is not compromised by this crazy moment in our lives, but that it is the most memorable Emmys ever and that you have a wonderful night,” they wrote.
Kimmel handed out the first award — to Outstanding Actress, Comedy winner Catherine O’Hara, star of “Schitt’s Creek” — in an appropriate way with in-person help from nominee Jennifer Aniston. After spraying the envelope with disinfectant and setting it on fire, Aniston gamely pulled out a fire extinguisher to douse the flames before the big reveal. For the second award of the night, O’Hara’s co-star, Eugene Levy, completed the comedy pairing by taking home the Outstanding Actor, Comedy award.
The show is stacked with predictable entrants — looking at you, “The Crown,” and your highness, Olivia Colman — as well as pleasant surprises, including Outstanding Comedy nominee “What We Do in the Shadows.” And while a traditional red-carpet primp parade was nixed, some nominated celebs — like “Euphoria” star Zendaya — still planned to dress up. Or had the option of giving “designer pajamas” a whirl — with Aniston signing right up. Presenters, on the other hand, will merge haute with hazmat this year.
Jimmy Kimmel delivers Emmys 2020 monologue to empty house
Among the presenters and talent this year are “Modern Family” alum Ty Burrell, Ken Jeong, Mindy Kaling, Tatiana Maslany, comedy legend Bob Newhart, Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”), Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Sterling K. Brown, Laverne Cox, D-Nice, America Ferrera (“Superstore”), Morgan Freeman, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”), Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”), Randall Park, Issa Rae (“Insecure”), RuPaul, Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek: Picard”), Jason Sudeikis, Gabrielle Union, Count Von Count of “Sesame Street,” Lena Waithe, J.J. Watt and Oprah Winfrey. Two-time Grammy-winner H.E.R. will perform during the “In Memoriam”
Olivia Colman and Jodie Comer are among the British nominees ahead of this year’s Emmy Awards, which will take place with a largely virtual ceremony due to the pandemic on Sunday night.
The Crown star, 46, has been recognised in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category for her portrayal of the Queen in the Netflix hit, while fellow thespian Jodie, 27, is looking to hold the prestigious title once again for Killing Eve after winning the award last year.
Producers have sent over 130 home video kits to stars for their remote speeches, and Jimmy Kimmel will anchor the show from LA’s Staples Centre as other presenters are set deliver gongs to some of winners’ homes in full tuxedo hazmat gear.
Olivia won instant acclaim late last year when she debuted in her two-season run as Queen Elizabeth II, taking over the Royal role from Claire Foy.
Jodie, meanwhile, has won consistent plaudits for her compelling portrayal of assassin as Oksana Astankova/Villanelle in the BBC America spy thriller series.