The last time the Primetime Emmy ceremony aired on CBS in 2017, Stephen Colbert was picked as its master of ceremonies. That choice followed a long tradition of networks going with the star of its flagship talk show, in their case “The Late Show.” With CBS broadcasting the 2021 Emmys in September, we polled potential viewers to find out whether they’d want Colbert to host again or if producers should go with another option. Well, the results are in and it’s a landslide … for Ricky Gervais.
Gervais hosted the [now-canceled] Golden Globes five times over the past decade: 2010, ’11, ’12, ’16 and ’20. His monologues went viral for his various cutthroat attacks against Hollywood, including going after people who were there in the ballroom. But might his jokes be too offensive for the Emmy Awards, which are seen less as a party and more of a celebration of the arts?
The British entertainer is no stranger to the Emmy Awards, taking home one for producing the American version of “The Office” in 2006 and a second for starring in “Extras” in 2007. In one of the most hilarious Emmy moments ever, Gervais was not on-hand to accept the trophy for “Extras” so presenters Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert gave it to their friend Steve Carell (“The Office”). A year later, the joke was paid off when Gervais tried to take his statuette back from Carell, a perennial Emmy loser, but he hilariously refused.
Of course, Emmy producers could also decide not to have a host at all — that’s what they did in 2019. The Television Academy was following the lead of the Oscars, which went host-less in 2019 with mixed results; they still had no ringleader in 2020 and 2021. There’s no word yet on whether CBS will hire a host for the upcoming Emmy ceremony, but if they do, there are plenty of people within the Viacom family who would no doubt love to take on the job.
Here are the complete poll results for who Emmy viewers want to see host CBS’s ceremony in September:
58% — Ricky Gervais
8% — Stephen Colbert
7% — Queen Latifah
7% — John Mulaney
6% — James Corden
4% — Trevor Noah
3% — Ellen DeGeneres
3% — Tiffany Haddish
2% — Neil Patrick Harris
2% — RuPaul Charles
0% — Gayle King
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