After a bland opening number that focused on interpretive dance, Kenan Thompson actually told jokes at the 2022 Emmys. Thompson targeted Netflix’s tottering fortunes and Yellow jacketsrelegated to Showtime, but he saved his biggest burn for Leonardo DiCaprio and his known penchant for only dating women under 25. Euphoria star and Best Actress nominee Zendaya.
“Zendaya just turned 26 last week,” Thompson said. “26 is a weird age in Hollywood. I mean, you’re young enough to play high school, but you’re too old to date Leonardo DiCaprio.” The crowd laughed at the joke as Zendaya put her head in her hands.
Thompson joked about it: succession‘s extremely white cast – “succession is the only show with three brothers and no brothers.” – before making a shot, how long would it take? Only murders in the building stars Steve Martin and Martin Short to take the stage. (It’s an old-fashioned joke. Opponent Selena Gomez pouted and comforted Short, who was sitting next to her.)
Other targets of Thompson’s mischievous humor have been the streaming and premium networks whose presence has won the Emmys in recent years.
“Many of the Best Drama nominated shows were difficult to watch. Weird stuff was hard to watch because it was so scary. squid game was hard to watch because it was so violent. And Yellow jackets was so hard to watch because it was on Showtime.” That last joke even got jokes from the Yellow jackets table.
But Showtime had it easy compared to Netflix, whose plummeting stock shares are clearly the talk of the industry right now.
“[Squid Game] is a competition you enter if you are in huge debt and desperate for money. Join the cast next season? Netflix.” said Thompson to the muffled laugh he ate.
Later, after praising Abbott Elementary for choosing to donate their campaign money to schools in need, Thompson joked, “That’s what it’s all about. It’s about helping people in need. That’s why all my paycheck from tonight’s show goes straight to Netflix.”