Trevor Noah kicked off the the 64th Grammy Awards with a relatively tame monologue that riffed on many of the stars in the audience, with only one zinger about Oscar Sunday’s Slapgate incident.
To open the ceremony, which took place at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, Noah introduced R&B duo Silk Sonic for the first performance.
“Last year people were doing shots, but it was more Moderna and Pfizer,” he said, referencing his first gig as host during last year’s pandemic ceremony.
Walking around the room, he acknowledged some of the biggest names in attendance. He said that before the show, he saw Olivia Rodrigo “getting carded and she had to show a bouncer her actual drivers’ license,” a wink and nod to her megahit song.
Shouting out Nas and Lil’ Nas X, he said “Plot twist: Lil Nas is actually taller.”
As for Lady Gaga and Jared Leto of “House of Gucci” fame, Noah saluted “a full house of Gucci,” then revised to “more like an apartment of Gucci, a Gucci Airbnb.”
Justin Bieber’s “Peaches,” he joked, “is the best thing to happen to peaches since that Timothee Chalamet movie.”
Meanwhile, Will Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock was barely mentioned, save for one barb: “We’re gonna be keeping people’s names out of our mouths.”
Questlove, who won an Oscar moments after the slap, upstaged Noah by joking that everyone needed to stay 500 yards away from him when he came out to present the award for Song of the Year.
Noah also gave shout-outs to several nominated performers, including BTS and Billie Eilish. Several big-name artists – including Olivia Rodrigo, BTS, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Lil Nas X – are set to perform later on in the show.
Among this year’s nominees, Jon Batiste leads with 11 nods. With four awards already, he is positioned to break Michael Jackson and Santana’s tied record for most Grammys won in a single night. Next in line are Doja Cat, H.E.R. and Justin Bieber, tied with 8 nominations each.
In the non-televised ceremony hosted earlier in the day, Bo Burnham, Jon Batiste and Joni Mitchell were among the artists who took home a gilded gramophone.
The 2022 Grammy Awards are broadcasting live on CBS and Paramount+. For more ways to watch, click here.