‘Week­end Up­date’ duo hosts Mon­day’s Em­mys

Times Colonist - - Front Page - LYNN ELBER

Michael Che and Colin Jost, typ­i­cally stuck be­hind a desk as Satur­day Night Live news an­chors, are mov­ing to a grander set­ting on Mon­day as Emmy Awards hosts. The co­me­di­ans got in the mood at Thurs­day’s roll­out of the tra­di­tional ar­rivals car­pet — yel­low-hued this time around, not red, as the cer­e­mony marks its 70th year.

“This isn’t as gold as I thought it would be. I was ex­pect­ing a much tack­ier gold. But this is a rea­son­able gold,” Che said.

Af­ter car­pet duty, he and Jost talked to the As­so­ci­ated Press about the high­pro­file job of host­ing and what it’s like to be tapped for it by Lorne Michaels, their SNL boss and this year’s Em­mys tele­cast pro­ducer.

The “Week­end Up­date” an­chors were se­ri­ous, some­times. Re­marks were edited for clar­ity and brevity.

AP: How does it feel to get this high­pro­file gig?

Jost: We love go­ing to the Em­mys. Any time we’re nom­i­nated, it feels like a big hon­our. And to go and get asked to host, and they trusted us, it’s great. Am I right [to Che]?

Che: Your hair is gor­geous.

AP: What did Michaels say about how to ap­proach it?

Che: It was some­thing along the lines of: ‘Have fun out there’ and ‘We trust you.’ So that’s ex­cit­ing when maybe the great­est pro­ducer in TV trusts us with a show. So I think the [TV] acad­emy is in good hands. AP: Will you in­clude po­lit­i­cal hu­mour? Jost: We don’t to­tally know yet be­cause we don’t even know what’s go­ing to hap­pen over the week­end po­lit­i­cally. There might be some, and there might not.

Che: There’s gonna be po­lit­i­cal jokes. And we’re gonna come out on the wrong side of his­tory, for sure. We’re aim­ing to­ward it.

AP: Some awards hosts who have taken a dif­fer­ent ap­proach, such as David Let­ter­man and his ‘Oprah-Uma’ bit at the 1995 Os­cars, have fallen flat. Will you be more tra­di­tional hosts?

Jost: I don’t even know re­ally what a tra­di­tional host for it is.

Che: Ed McMa­hon. Ed McMa­hon is a tra­di­tional host. Jost: Well, should we do that? Che: If we could be half as good as Ed McMa­hon, we’ve nailed it. We’re Ed McMa­hon-ing it.

AP: Given the Os­cars en­ve­lope mixup, are you con­cerned about mishaps?

Jost: We have lots of those planned. AP: Best worst-case sce­nario for what could go wrong?

Che: All the win­ners will be an­nounced via Jack-in-the-box [toy]. So we’re just go­ing to have to crank and crank and crank till it pops out. And it will be a pup­pet of the win­ner’s face.

Jost: That’s a sub­tle change that you’ll no­tice. And then the show’s go­ing to be five hours.

AP: Will the cer­e­mony be very SNL-ish?

Jost: There will be a lot of peo­ple from the SNL fam­ily in­volved. But also a lot of peo­ple that are just the stars of tele­vi­sion now that have noth­ing to do with SNL, be­cause peo­ple want to see ev­ery­one who’s on TV.

AP: Some nom­i­nees have said they hope that pol­i­tics won’t dom­i­nate the night. But you two tackle se­ri­ous is­sues on “Week­end Up­date,” so is it a tightrope for you?

Che: We’re over­think­ing it if we’re think­ing about that. It’s a cel­e­bra­tion for a lot of peo­ple who worked re­ally hard this year to be nom­i­nated and [for] a lot of shows that peo­ple re­ally en­joy. We’re just gonna have fun at the top and keep the show mov­ing and make sure it’s an en­joy­able show to watch.

Jost: You want to make it cel­e­bra­tory. You want peo­ple to be laugh­ing and you want peo­ple to have a fun time. You’re lucky to be do­ing this job and you’re lucky to get rec­og­nized in some way, so why not make it a fun night?

Satur­day Night Live’s Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che will host the 70th Prime­time Emmy Awards on Mon­day.

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