The Emmys are coming Monday and I'm semi-excited. TV's two best shows are always there -- "The Big Bang Theory" never quite winning for best comedy, "The Daily Show" almost always winning for bet variety show. This year's most brilliant dramas were "Fargo" (which will probably win for best miniseries) and "True Detective" (which will probably lose to "Breaking Bad" for drama series). The movie category will be dominated by HBO's "The Normal Heart" this year, in the same way it was ruled by "Behind the Candelabra" last year.
Still, what I'm looking forward to the most is Seth Meyers' opening monolog. Here's the story I sent to papers:
By MIKE HUGHES
With his sharp, timely wit, Seth Meyers rarely gets
described as “retro.” Until now.
When he hosts the Emmy Awards on Monday, Meyers, 40, may reflect
TV’s old days. That’s when viewers showed up early, to see what
Billy-Johnny-Bob-Whoever would say in the opening monolog.
Lately, the best hosts (led by Neil Patrick Harris) have had
short monologs and long filmed pieces, but that’s not Meyers’ style. “I have to
tell jokes,” he said. “And the monolog is the best place to tell jokes.”
As the awards unfold, a cloud of disappointment starts to cover
the room. The auditorium “fills up with losers,” joked Mike Shoemaker, producer
of Meyers’ late-night show.
By then, said Emmys producer Don Mischer, “jokes that may
have worked” earlier start to fail.
And writing those jokes is Meyers’ forte. Just ask
Shoemaker, who was a “Saturday Night Live” producer for 19 years, then led the
starts of both the Jimmy Fallon and Meyers late-night shows.
“Seth is probably the best writer that I’ve seen in all of
those years,” he said. When plans for the late-night show started, “I kind of
promised him that … he could write as much as he wanted.”
Yes, Meyers used to try acting. After growing up in New
Hampshire (where his mother was a teacher and his father was in finance), he
went to Northwestern and joined Chicago’s comedy scene; he was hired for the “SNL”
cast in 2001, but that wasn’t what stuck. “I identify as a writer, most of all,”
In 2006, he joined Tina Fey and Andrew Steele as the show’s
head writers and joined Fey on the “Weekend Update” desk. She soon left, but
their link has continued; Meyers wrote her Sarah Palin sketches and was one of
the writers when she and Amy Poehler hosted the Golden Globes. For the Emmys,
they’ll help write and Poehler will be a presenter.
Meyers hosted award shows (two years of Webbys, two of Espys),
often mentioning whoever was in the audience. “Jon Hamm looks the way every
Republican thinks they look,” he said at the 2011 White House correspondents
event. “Zach Galifianakis looks the way Republicans think every Democrat looks.”
He usually followed a rule he said he learned from “SNL”
producer Lorne Michaels: “Try not to tell a joke about somebody that you then
would want to leave the cocktail party if they showed up.”.
Still, don’t expect him to share many cocktails with Donald
Trump, who drew a cascade of barbs at that 2011 event, including: “Gary Busey
said recently that Donald Trump would make a great president. Of course, he
said the same thing about an old, rusty bird cage that he found. Donald Trump
owns the Miss USA pageant, which is great for Republicans, since it will
streamline their search for a vice president.”
Meyers is like that sometimes. The early Emmy moments could
be worth catching.
Emmy awards, 8-11 p.m. ET, NBC; 5 p.m. PT,
repeating at 8.
Red-carpet at 6 p.m. ET on E, with preview at 4:30.
“Late Night with Seth Meyers,” 12:35 a.m.