Michael Che and Colin Jost have been announced as the hosts of the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards. The comedic duo and Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” co-anchors will co-host this fall’s edition of the high-profile awards show, which will be executive produced by SNL’s Lorne Michaels, according to Variety. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said the network is “thrilled” to host the 2018 Emmy Awards, and he promised “surprise appearances by other cast members of Saturday Night Live” during the supersized telecast.
It has been 30 years since Lorne Michaels last served as executive producer of the Emmy Awards—the 1988 telecast was hosted by Dynasty star John Forsyth—but now some critics feel that the choice of Michael Che and Colin Jost is sending the awards show back into the dark ages.
The 2018 Emmys Awards will mark the fourth major awards show to feature male hosts in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. In addition, TV Guide pointed out that both Che and Jost have a history of making questionable jokes. Che has gone on the defense for using transphobic language in his stand-up comedy act, while Jost has also been under fire for an SNL joke that suggested that Democrats lost the presidential election because they support transgender rights.
While Che and Jost have been integral members of the Saturday Night Live and NBC family for several years, many people wondered why two female SNL stars weren’t chosen to host the first Emmy Awards show of the #MeToo era.
According to Vanity Fair, SNL veterans have hosted the Emmy Awards three times over the past eight years, with Andy Samberg, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Fallon each taking the reigns. And with Lorne Michaels helming the 2018 telecast, it’s no surprise that the SNL hosting tradition will continue. But for this all-important Emmys year, some fans pointed to Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, and Cecily Strong as some for the worthy female Saturday Night Live stars who could have been chosen to host the Emmys. If NBC wanted to step out of the SNL box, the network’s roster of female talent also includes Will and Grace funny ladies Debra Messing and Megan Mullally, and Superstore star America Ferrera.
You can see some of the Twitter reaction to the Emmys’ choice of Michael Che and Colin Jost below.
To embolden these bland sort of not super engaging or baseline clever SNL yutz boyz as Emmy hosts sort of plotzes all over great pairings like our Tina and Amy. During this time of #MeToo it seems a slippery slide backward. #Sigh— Erika Herzog (@erikaherzog) April 26, 2018
I’m more than a little surprised at the choice for the Emmy hosts. I mean if they were going to go with someone from SNL, why not Leslie Jones????— Cathy (@thecathy926) April 26, 2018
Michael Che and Colin Jost will make great Emmy hosts, but with the political climate y’all really aren’t gonna have some super funny women do the job? I can think of 10 off the top of my head who I’m sure would answer the call.— B (@brxndxnsi) April 26, 2018
Unfortunately, female hosts have been a rarity over the long history of the Emmy Awards. The first female Emmy Awards co-host was Lucille Ball, conveniently alongside then-husband Desi Arnaz back in 1951. But female Emmys hosts have been few and far between over the awards show’s 70-year history. In 2008, Heidi Klum was sandwiched between fellow reality TV hosts Tom Bergeron, Howie Mandel, Jeff Probst, and Ryan Seacrest. But Jane Lynch was the last solo woman to host the Emmys, and that took place way back in 2011.
The 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Monday, Sept. 17 on NBC.