In 2019, the Oscars started a trend of ditching hosts for awards shows and are still going host-less three years later. Their little sister Emmy emulated the format in 2019 when Fox had control, denying a ringleader for the first time in 16 years. But the experiment only lasted a year, as the Television Academy went back to its tried-and-true host formula for ABC’s 2020 ceremony, welcoming Jimmy Kimmel for the pandemic-era broadcast. For the upcoming kudos, CBS has the reigns and will likely tap a big-name celeb to preside over the show. But who should host the 2021 Emmys? Vote in our poll below.
Hosts for the annual Emmy Awards ceremonies throughout the 21st century have almost always been comedians. After all, they bring just the right tone of roasting the nominees and celebrating the previous TV season. With a four-way rotation of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, the host selection also typically comes from that network’s stable of talent. Tour our photos below for a closer look at all of the Emmy hosts for the past two decades.
The last time the broadcast aired on CBS in 2017, Stephen Colbert (“The Late Show”) was the master of ceremonies. This was notably the first Emmys of the Donald Trump presidency, and he set the tone with his opening number and monologue skewering the man who infamously thought the TV Academy was rigged because he never won. “Why didn’t you give him an Emmy?” Colbert asked the audience. “I’ll tell you this: If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. So, in a way, this is all your fault.”
Prior to Colbert, Neil Patrick Harris enjoyed two stints on CBS’s Emmy stage in 2009 and 2013. The “How I Met Your Mother” star brought a fun Broadway feel to the proceedings with production numbers and costume changes, though his second at-bat was overshadowed by the various tear-inducing eulogies in addition to the normal In Memorial segment.
CBS’s only other host for this century was Ellen DeGeneres, who handled the 2001 and 2005 versions. Both were wrought with tragedy. The talk show host’s inaugural gig was twice postponed due to 9/11 and then the war in Afghanistan, while the second took place after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Besides DeGeneres, only one other woman has served as a solo Emmy host in the past two decades: “Glee” star Jane Lynch for Fox in 2011. Another female, Heidi Klum, was tasked with overseeing one-fifth of ABC’s 2008 ceremony along with the other Emmy-nominated reality TV hosts, Tom Bergeron, Howie Mandel, Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest.
Will CBS go with Colbert, Harris or DeGeneres again? Or perhaps they’ll pick another one of their in-house Viacom stars like James Corden (“The Late Late Show”), Queen Latifah (“The Equalizer”), RuPaul Charles (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), Gayle King (“CBS This Morning”) or Trevor Noah (“The Daily Show”)? Of course, you can never go wrong with a stand-up comedian at the top of their game, i.e. Tiffany Haddish, John Mulaney or Ricky Gervais.
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