Once the dust settles on any awards show, the eyes of the nation’s TV critics turn to an assessment of the show’s host.
The 66th Annual Emmy Awards were no exception and by most accounts, Seth Meyers did well. Here is what three critics had to say about the “Saturday Night Live” alum:
In the spirit of Monday’s Emmy telecast let’s give it up for Seth Meyers. Hosting any awards show is a perilous and exhausting task – the shows are long, the live audience increasingly filled with losers, and the critics, who have just spent three hours losing the office pool and eating way too many carbs, are often just plain mean.
But Seth, I am here to tell you you did great. Your opening monologue was funny, fresh and smart, chock full of good jokes and insight into the wonderful roiling madness that is television today. You, producer Don Mischer and the show’s writers wisely leveraged the formidable talent in the room and put together all manner of funny bits that kept things bright and breezy.
It’s just unfortunate you had to keep interrupting all your hard work to hand out awards to winners so predictable they seemed at a certain point to become an attempt at irony. As in, are we really only going to see winners we have seen in years past or is this some sort of existential joke about how the more things change the more they stay the same?
Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
Despite an opening with jokes at the expense of the Emmys, the 2014 Emmy telecast proved to be a mostly well-paced, comedy-fueled celebration of television.
Host Seth Meyers got off to a somewhat rocky start. Acknowledging the move to Monday night and an August air date was a good way to begin, but his jokes lingered on these topics too long. He hauled out a surely in-reserve uh-oh-that-joke-flopped line – “Jokes are like nominees; they can’t all be winners” – too early for comfort, but then he just as quickly recovered with a string of jokes that were inside TV but not too inside.
Meyers acknowledged controversy over the categories some shows were submitted in – “Comedies that made you laugh and comedies that made you cry because they were dramas submitted as comedies,” a nudge at “Orange Is the New Black” getting a comedy nomination – and then made a series of jokes about the past year in TV. Meyers made fun of the ending of “How I Met Your Mother” and the deaths of TV characters.
Meyers also made some industry jokes about broadcasters’ glee seeing streaming services take Emmy nominations away from cable networks: “Not very nice when someone younger comes along, is it, cable?”
Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Cheery, brisk and efficient – the Emmycast seemed to fall in step with the style of host Seth Meyers.
There were few if any surprises in Monday’s awards. (In this respect, the show often seemed a rerun from the past several years.)
This, of course, wasn’t Meyers’ call. Nor did he deliver surprises of his own. That’s not his way. He’s a steady-freddy TV presence, reliably droll without rocking the rafters, and the Emmycast reflected that, too. As such, it only felt like the three hours it really was, instead of the several hours longer that awards shows sometimes do.
But a few hours later, the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards were destined to be forgotten.
As if Meyers were flashing back to his former “Saturday Night Live” role as anchor of “Weekend Update” (“TV Season Update”?), he quickly addressed the elephants in the room at the Nokia Theatre as he began his monologue:
• The fact that the Emmycast, traditionally on a Sunday night, was shunted off to a Monday by NBC for the first time since 1976, “but people don’t remember,”
Frazier Moore, Associated Press