Tony Awards 2017: Kevin Spacey Spoofs Evan Hansen, Jokes About 'Coming Out' During Opening

Kevin Spacey briefly traded the White House for the Great White Way on Sunday as host of the 71st Annual Tony Awards on CBS.

Spacey’s opening number — a self-deprecating montage of songs about how he knows he was no one’s first choice to host — opened with him dressed as the titular character from the Broadway smash Dear Evan Hansen, complete with a #Host arm cast. (“I know they love James Corden, but I’ll show them I came to play,” he crooned.) Spacey’s Hansen tribute then transitioned into a Groundhog Day spoof, which featured a surprise guest: Stephen Colbert as — who else — the groundhog!

Next up was a play on this year’s most-nominated show Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 — which star Josh Groban heartily appreciated from the audience — followed by an awkward interaction between Spacey and special guest Whoopi Goldberg in which he asked her how long she’s been in the closet.

(Speaking of closets, Spacey poked fun at the speculation of his own sexuality while dressed as Sunset Boulevard‘s Norma Desmond. “I’m coming out! No, wait…” he belted.)

At the 1991 Tony Awards, Spacey won Best Featured Actor in a Play for Lost in Yonkers, beating out the likes of Adam Arkin (I Hate Hamlet), Dylan Baker (La Bête) and Stephen Lang (The Speed of Darkness). Spacey was also nominated for Best Actor in a Play in 1999 for his role in The Ice Man Cometh, but he lost to Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman).

Grade Spacey’s opening number, as well as his job as host. Then drop a comment with more of your thoughts below.

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  1. iHeart says:

    what are the blue ribbons representing this year?

  2. Jennifer says:

    He’s no NPH or James Corden, but he’s amusing. His Johnny Carson was on point.

  3. Sheila says:

    I cannot believe they wouldn’t show James Earl Jones’s speech! For crying out loud! Lifetime achievement? Let’s squeeze that in around commercials.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Here’s a question. How could they cut the awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award? Really? They cut that? I understand time constraints, but this is James Earl Jones. Ugh!!!

  5. S. says:

    This has been an uneven telecast to sit through, honestly. When it’s rough, it’s really rough. Yay Laurie Metcalf though. I’d like Rachel Bloom to host next year please. She’d be glorious.

  6. Drew says:

    Spacey’s Presidential comment on Bette Midler was s on point: I want to get the hell out of here before Bette Midler thanks anyone else!

  7. Jules says:

    Spacey was terrible. I was praying we’d get through his awful imitations and get to some awards. We wasted time on the Rockettes and a stupid Johnny Carson bit but had no space for James Earl Jones or Bette Midler to say her thanks? Idiotic!

  8. Terry Smith says:

    Well, I knew that Kevin Spacey was no NPH or Hugh Jackman, or even a James Corden. But, he most certainly has a love of live theatre, and the CREDS to prove it if you look at his resume. Even though he is not (fully) a so-called “triple threat,” he can carry a tune and “move” well enough to not get booed off a stage. Even before he was making the rounds, at many of the late night talk shows. promoting his gig at the Tonys I have always looked forward to when he was a guest on such programs. Tonight (last night, I guess) he wasn’t quite as lively/upbeat as I have usually found him to be. (Shorter time alotments, I guess.) For a primarily serious dramatic actor he can be Very funy, up for a joke including AT himself, and his SHORT examples of impressions are usually spot-on. I’d give him, and the entire show, a solid B or even a B+. The competition between this year’s show and individual nominees was tight/close, in a FAR FROM lackluster season, so the results were suspenseful enough to keep me interested. I have to agree, OTHER than the disappointment that Bette Midler did not perform, there was a very good reason that the song that David Hyde Pierce performed was cut from the original production while still “out of town.” Definitely not one of Jerry Herman’s best efforts. Mr. Hyde Pierce tried to SELL IT, but the material was not worth all his efforts.