The 71st Primetime Emmys got off to a great start with its intro, but when a telecast starts off with Bryan Cranston giving an incredible monologue, things can only go downhill from there. Such was the case not long after, when The Masked Singer's Ken Jeong and Nick Cannon took the stage (though without the show's latest contestant) and structured a whole bit around social media platform TikTok.
For those that don't know even after that segment, TikTok is a social media platform where users create miniature videos. More often than not, people record funny or cool memes on the platform, and Ken Jeong was hoping to do the same for his daughter where he captured the Emmys audience screaming to include within a video of her. Jeong's daughter got her wish for a cool TikTok video, perhaps, but the viewers couldn't help but poke fun at the awkward bit. That's putting it lightly in some cases.
The results are in from Twitter, and the verdict is "yikes." Ken Jeong and Nick Cannon didn't necessarily do anything wrong, but that TikTok bit just dragged on for an uncomfortable amount of time, and still felt unrehearsed. Then there came that moment in the middle where the two entertainers had to stall for time while the TikTok video was being edited for the viewers to see.
You'd think since they're on the same show, Nick Cannon and Ken Jeong could carry out an amusing conversation if need be! If nothing else, some more on-the-nose Masked Singer promos. But no. Despite Jeong and Cannon's best efforts to keep the bit going, the awkwardness of the moment lingered on long enough that the world noticed. Some even pointed out the irony in the bit's length, which was the opposite of all the things that make Tik Tok appealing.
It was an unfortunate moment in what was a surprisingly smooth run of the Emmys, running without a host this year. Ken Jeong appeared to be aware the moment was painful, and signed off towards the end by joking this presentation was the end of his career. Nick Cannon was silent, perhaps in legitimate fear that he was becoming a meme amidst this ham-fisted confusion.
The moment may not have been the end of Ken Jeong's career (he is on The Masked Singer Season 2 after all), but some joked it may just be the end of Tik Tok. Many referenced the bit as the show's sad attempt at relating to the younger crowd, and in doing so may have convinced the scores of young folks that use it the app may not be all that cool after all.
If the 71st Primetime Emmys successfully kills Tik Tok, it will certainly be one of the most memorable award shows that has aired in a while. Perhaps it'll even spark a new tradition where the Emmys always goes without a host and will annually bring out celebrities to make apps feel less fun for their users. Jokes aside, this may be a sign that maybe brands shouldn't encourage celebrities to promote their software during an award show?
And for those who may have thought the skit would've been forgotten as the night drug on, think again. No amount of awards that went out during the night were enough to make the awkwardness of the Tik Tok bit feel any less than what it was for some.
While there were plenty of people who hated the moment, surprisingly Tik Tok was on board with it. While Emmys viewers continued to make jokes at Ken Jeong's expense, Tik Tok's official account was there to give some props to the actor for doing something "cool" for his daughter and keeping their brand strong.
Hey, at least someone loved it. Others weren't just upset by the awkwardness, but kind of miffed that the segment took up so much time compared to what was allotted to other celebrities.
Was it the worst Emmys bit in existence? Far from it, probably, which may be an indicator that this year's award show may be one of the stronger ones in recent memory. After all, if the worst thing we can say at the end of the night was that Ken Jeong and Nick Cannon made things a bit uncomfortable, that's a win in my book.
Continue to stick with CinemaBlend as the Emmys roll on at Fox for all the best moments and other big reveals. Also, we have a fall premiere guide for the upcoming television season, so be sure to check that out!