Following 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?
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”).
Popular on TVLine
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?