How Colin Jost And Michael Che Did As The 2018 Primetime Emmys Hosts

emmys 2018 colin jost michael che
(Image credit: Image courtesy of NBC)

The 2018 Emmys have come and gone, and the three-hour event featured laughs, tears, and some seriously unexpected twists that will undoubtedly have people talking in the days to come. Hosting the Emmys were Saturday Night Live cast members Colin Jost and Michael Che. Unlike the Golden Globes, the Emmys rarely feature two hosts sharing the stage, but these two often come as a set when it comes to live television. It was also their first time hosting the Emmys, and the big question was how they would handle the important job. Well, the Emmys are officially over, and the verdict on Jost and Che is that they were... well, perfectly passable.

Colin Jost and Michael Che were completely adequate as hosts, and they reproduced their Weekend Update dynamic to perfection. They could banter as well in tuxedoes on the most important stage in the TV awards cycle as they can in suits on Saturday Night Live, and the opening monologue combined commentary on current events with commentary on the nominees. In a somewhat surprising twist, Jost and Che didn't get overly political. The two don't pull any political punches on Weekend Update, and Saturday Night Live is notorious for its political sketches of the past few years. While they did make allusions and clear nods, they largely stayed away from direct commentary on politics.

That's not to say that their jokes were easy or held back on the humor, which was one of the criticisms Seth Meyers faced after hosting the Golden Globes, although Meyers did include one especially vicious joke. Colin Jost and Michael Che were as entertaining as SNL fans could expect of them in the written jokes. For me, they actually shone more when they went off-script to joke about twists that clearly hadn't been planned for, such as the big proposal that took everybody (including the lucky lady) by surprise.

The problem with Colin Jost and Michael Che as masters of ceremonies is that recreating their Weekend Update dynamic made for something of a subdued affair. It wouldn't have made much of a difference if the evening had gotten off to a more glamorous start. There was an entertaining musical number that brought out a number of famous faces to sing and dance -- featuring Kristen Bell in sky-high heels, Andy Samberg descending from the ceiling in a dramatic entrance only to be sent away again because he didn't fit with the diversity theme, and RuPaul totally stealing the scene with only a couple of lines -- but there wasn't much in the way of glitz and glamor. There just wasn't enough momentum from the opening for Jost and Che to build from using their style of comedy.

Of course, they didn't actually have all that many opportunities to shine. The co-hosts didn't spend a whole lot of time in front of the camera, with the presenters and recipients getting more time to be funny on stage. The format of the Emmys was also different than usual, and not just because the event aired on a Monday rather than Sunday. Instead of having the presenters announce the nominees, the nominees were announced and then the presenters walked out with their envelopes and little sketches. Michael Che also got one of the most unforgettable segments of the entire night with his pre-taped "Reparations Emmys" clip.

You can see Colin Jost and Michael Che back in action behind the Weekend Update desk when Saturday Night Live debuts its next season into the fall TV lineup. For more on the Emmys, check out our rundown of the big winners and breakdown of one show that totally cleaned up.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.