Emmys host Anthony Anderson opened the 75th Annual Emmys Awards with a musical homage to classic TV shows including “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” “Good Times,” “The Facts of Life” and “Miami Vice.”
Unlike Golden Globes host Jo Koy, Anderson wisely chose to skip the classic jabs and callouts for current nominees. And, unlike Chelsea Handler, who made a pointed joke at Koy’s expense at the Critics Choice Awards, Anderson didn’t even mention the Globes drama.
Anderson said the show would skip traditional orchestral playoff music when a winner went over time on Monday’s show. Instead, he offered up his mother, Doris Hancox, to start talking over people as the clock ticked down.
“This year, I’ve got something that nobody can ignore tonight. My Mama. She’s going to be the Emmys playoff. When you see my Mama, come just thank Jesus and your family and wrap it up.”
That’s when Hancox stood up in the audience and began heckling her own son. “I want to go to the after party. Time’s up baby.”
The show began with a tux-clad Anderson entering the stage a la Mr. Rogers, and hanging up his fur coat.
“Hello, friends. Welcome to our Emmys neighborhood on this beautiful MLK Day. You know I love television, and tonight we celebrate 75 years of Emmys. We’re going to commemorate the greatest shows of today while paying tribute to some of the iconic series that means so much to us,” he said before moving to the piano.
He was joined by a “small local diverse and inclusive choir from Compton,” who sang backup when he launched into the “Good Times” theme song.
“No ‘Good Times? No ‘black-ish,’ no ‘grown ish.’ No ‘mixed-ish.’ None of that ish,” he said, paying tribute to the show’s late producer, Norman Lear.
Anderson also professed to having had a crush on “The Fact of Life” star Charlotte Rae when he was a boy.
“Mama said if I wanted a grown, mature woman, I needed to get cool. I didn’t know what she meant by that until ‘Miami Vice’ taught me all I needed was a tan white friend and a cool white jacket,” he said as he changed into a white tuxedo jacket to channel Philip Michael Thomas, costar of the hit ’80s series.
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