Emmys Poll: Did the 'Hosts of Emmys Past' Save a Lackluster Pre-Taped Opening?

IMG_00000228Following a decidedly lackluster pre-taped bit, the opening to Sunday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast came to life with a visit from hosts of awards shows past. But was the parade of familiar faces enough to salvage the ceremony’s start?

RELATED | Primetime Emmys 2013: The List of Winners

The cold open for the Emmys found host Neil Patrick Harris prepping for his gig by infiltrating “Emmys Headquarters,” thanks to an assist from security guard Les Moonves (aka the head of CBS).

Once inside, NPH binge-watched in front of dozens of TV monitors new and old (and even an old-school iMac for good measure?). So, instead of the almost-traditional “Drop the Host Into TV Show Scenes” shtick, we get clips that seemingly talk to Neil. It didn’t really work, and had us worried.

But once he took the elevator to the stage, Harris’ patter was interrupted first by Jimmy Kimmel, then other past Emmys hosts such as Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien (who regaled us with tales from his turn in “two thousand-aught-two”).

As the herded hosts haggled over how Harris should best run the show, we cut to Kevin Spacey in the audience, channeling his House of Cards manipulator Frank Underwood, purring, “It’s alllll going according to my plan….”

Then, for the icing on the cake, you can never, ever go wrong by throwing to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey aka the Golden Globes’ golden girls, who in between popcorn chomps beseeched Harris, “Take your pants off… and twerk it.” Grinned Poehler, “It might be degrading but we would be de-grateful.”

All told, how do you grade the Emmys’ opening segment, from binge-watch session to Team FeyLer?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Brynn says:

    Kevin Spacey is what saved that skit. The pretape TV clip jumbo jumbo was a mess.

  2. Sam says:

    Awful, the opening went on too long and wasn’t funny, I thought the idea was to be in the shows like billy crystal in the oscars. Oh well, looking to derek hough dancing with Neil later n the show

  3. Adam says:

    Once again Amy and Tina saved an award show.

  4. Chris says:

    Kevin Spacey salvaged it.

  5. k says:

    It was awful, but I don’t think it was NPH’s fault that it was bad.

  6. It started with Kimmel giving NPH hosting tips. Really, one of the best hosts in recent memory taking tips? Does someone think Kimmel is Billy Crystal or something? Enjoyed when Conan came out and he stole the show all too briefly and making me miss him as a host, moreso since we won’t be seeing him host for probably a long, long time. Saved not by Spacey, whose star status ruined any chance for comedic timing, but Tina and Amy.

  7. april-ann says:

    I liked seeing them, but I don’t think they saved it or spoiled it. The opening WAS lackluster, them included. Where was Ellen? The only really good exchange was between NPH and Jane, that was very funny. But I kept waiting for the “big” song and dance number. I love all the fun and fanfare and yes, cheesiness for an opening!

  8. I dont blame Neil, the producer seemed to have a lot of ideas that have slowed the show down and seemed less about honoring tv. But I loved Kevin Spacey. Both parts to the openning were just too long. And maybe I wanted an NPH song and dance number.

    • Ron says:

      I agree. They need NOT have this producer return next year. I have a feeling he stifled Neil a bit. On top of that, I was iffy about singling out people for a special tribute, but I dealt with it. Then I found out the producer wanted to include Corey Monteith, which was his first big mistake. Then I thought they would actually be the beginning or the end of the actual In Memoriam tribute, not mini-blurbs throughout the show. Stupid! It throws off the tone of the show. Then to add Elton John in there fore literally NO reason at all. Not to mention the many other mistakes that I’m sure to come. This producer is quite possibly the worst one in recent years (and I may be mistaken, but he’s actually produced the show before—but he should fired).

      • David says:

        I am so with you on that! It seemed to be more of a God awful wake then the Emmys. The intermittent interruptions of “special” tributes not only stopped the flow of the show, but was disrespectful to many great people who died last year. I feel bad for Harris, he tried but the material was a major suckfest from the beginning. This producer should never be allowed to touch a show again. It’s horrendous what people like him will do for ratings.

  9. Wrstlgirl says:

    I didn’t think it was so bad. Had me laughing.

  10. DJ says:

    The only thing that saved that bit was Tina and Amy, without them TOTAL FAIL.

  11. Asia says:

    I forgot how awesome Conan was. Bring back Conan

  12. Ron says:

    Saved by the threesome of Kevin Spacey, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler.

  13. Saved by the threesome of Kevin Spacey, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler.

  14. JBS says:

    I actually enjoyed it all. Thought it was genuinely funny. I guess different people have different senses of humor

  15. april-ann says:

    With awards shows suffering ratings-wise, that non-opening was a very unwise move.

  16. april-ann says:

    Yeah, I just looked back at it, and for a show as big as the primetime Emmys, that was just horrible. And no, it’s not the fault of NPH. He’s just the performer in all of this. He boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talent, and what a waste of talent that was. They don’t deserve him if they are just going to waste him on this unengaging drivel. Also, does anyone know why there was a delay as to the show becoming “available”? The football game was over, and yet the awards show was not able to start. It’s the first time I have seen that.

  17. scorpo says:

    NPH is so overrated

  18. Saabgirlatx says:

    Totally didn’t read that much into the opening skit. I have to say it did draw me in but I didn’t have any expectations. I thought this years show was quite entertaining. I typically multi-task during awards shows and this one I watched the entire show. I wasn’t all that into Elton and I thought Carrie Underwoods song would have made a nice backdrop to the in-memoriam montage.

  19. Zoe says:

    That pre-taped bit was a total flop (I think they were trying to do some sort of binge-watching gag- but it didn’t work. At all.) and the past hosts weren’t much better. (Ugh, Kimmel needs to go away.) Tina and Amy saved the bit as usual. But if it weren’t for them, the whole bit would tanked.

  20. Elizabeth says:

    It amazes me that Amy Poehler (along with Tina most of the time) is relied on for a funny bit to “save” the show but no one has ever reward her for her talent. 27 award nominations and she only has an MTV movie award for peeing in a sink. Such a shame.

  21. jj says:

    The hosts of Emmys past were the worst part of the opening. Overall, not a great opening. I would have preferred the choreography number to be the opening number.