With no Emmys host this year, Homer Simpson, Anthony Anderson and Bryan Cranston teamed up to kick off television’s biggest night.
It all started with Homer Simpson walking out on stage — thanks to the magic of animation — only to fall through a hole in the stage at L.A.’s Microsoft Theatre. (Also thanks to the magic of animation.)
“What the hell was that?” yelled Anthony Anderson from the audience, who then went backstage in a very pre-planned bit, took an impromptu photo, made a joke about the coffee gaffe in the final season of “Game of Thrones” and found a suitable person to deliver a monologue about television: four-time “Breaking Bad” Emmy winner Bryan Cranson.
Cranston spoke with mock solemnity about the 1969 moon landing and said that watching it as a child made him realize he could go anywhere — “even Albuquerque,” the setting for “Breaking Bad.”
Finally, he said something serious: “Television has never mattered more, and television has never been this damn good.”
Simpson’s appearance was a nod to Fox airing the Emmys this year, Anderson is a five-time Emmy nominee for ABC’s hit “black-ish” and Cranston’s appearance helped promote the upcoming “Breaking Bad” movie, “El Camino,” which will air next month on Netflix.
The three united to introduce the show after the Emmys followed the Oscars’ lead by going host-free. (Kevin Hart exited as the Oscars host two months before the ceremony after an uproar over past homophobic jokes, for which he apologized.)
“I think comics are too scared to [host], but they aren’t even asked to,” she said. She also lamented “righteousness porn” that has killed nuance in jokes.
Last year, “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che handled hosting duties.
Later in the show, Fox went back to the animation well, portraying the cast of “The Family Guy” talking ironically about the Emmys’ legacy of celebrating “great” artists like Bill Cosby and Roseanne Barr.