Primetime Emmy Host Colin Jost Says Awards Shows Shouldn’t Be Taken Seriously

When Colin Jost replied to an email interview earlier this week, he was probably unaware of the backlash one statement was going to receive.

Jost is set to host the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards in September alongside Michael Che. The two co-host the long-running Weekend Update segment on “Saturday Night Live.”

Michael Ordana of Los Angeles Times entertainment section The Envelope conducted an email interview with Jost and Che. The conversation highlighted their collaborative working relationship, as well as their preparation to host TV’s biggest night. The now somewhat notorious interview was published on Tuesday.

One question posed by Ordana was, “Are you fond of awards shows generally?”

Che answered, “I remember liking the MTV awards when I was a kid.”

That response might have raised an eyebrow or two if it hadn’t been for what Jost had to say:

Eh. I think most of the time they’re way too self-serious and focused on things that 99% of the country doesn’t care about. At the end of the day, it’s adults getting trophies. Why should that be taken seriously? And remember when movies like “Gladiator” won best picture? Why can’t good, fun things win and not just good artsy things? They’re both good and the fun ones are sometimes a lot harder to make.

To the surprise of zero people, Jost became the focus of many, many tweets throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday. Some were angry that he, a “basic white guy” was given the job of hosting an awards show he apparently disdains. Others took the moment to ask, “No, seriously, who is Colin Jost?”

Some believed the SNL performer was joking, while others think it’s not at all a laughing matter.

Of course, most of the reactions seem to fall in line with what people already thought of Jost hosting the show in the first place. When the duo was first announced, many wondered why they were tapped for the job. The ones that were upset have taken on new life in the wake of this interview. The ones who were indifferent seem similarly indifferent to his comment.

But the timing on all of this is interesting. It falls immediately after the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences made waves last week with the announcement of the “Popular Film” category at the Oscars. From this statement, it seems Jost is in favor of the move as he doesn’t seem to think that popular films are currently rewarded.

To further punctuate his attitude toward awards shows, he went on to answer another question about shows and performers that he was surprised didn’t get nominated for this year’s Emmys:

I was – and I rarely use this word more than 10 times a day – flabbergasted that Kyle MacLachlan was not nominated for best actor in a Whatever-That-Category-Is-Called. He played at least four different versions of Dale Cooper in the new “Twin Peaks” and was amazing at all of them (I thought Laura Dern should have been nominated as well, but at least she got recognized for “The Tale”). It’s amazing that the first “Twin Peaks” series got overlooked in the early ’90s and for 25 years people talked about how crazy it was that it got overlooked. And now the new series is going through the same exact thing! It’s like if we had gone through a world war and then 25 years later we had another world war! It wouldn’t make sense!

Also, I love “Detroiters.”

Yes. That popular, fun, not-at-all-artsy series “Twin Peaks.”

Let’s just hope he learns what the category is called before the big night.

Michael Che and Colin Jost host the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, September 17 on NBC.

What did you think of Colin Jost and his comments about awards shows? Share your thoughts below!