Jane Lynch's Emmy-Hosting Report Card: Very Good!

Jane Lynch knocked her Emmy hosting duties out of the ballpark, IMHO. Wisely limiting the screen time of her crabby alter ego, Sue Sylvester, to one brief outburst during the opening number, Lynch instead consistently kept the evening’s energy up, and was gamely as willing to look the fool herself as she was prepared to skewer others.

I’m trying to think of anyone else who better represents the current state of TV. There really isn’t. A matter-of-factly openly gay actress, Lynch can be bitingly sardonic about show business, but clearly loves it, and was born to entertain. She’s perfect, really, to host a night of shameless Hollywood self-congratulation such as this one. Dare I say, she could easily tackle the Oscars and come out on top.

Let’s run down some of her biggest moments.

In the requisite opening musical number—a surreal concept that put every TV show in one tenement apartment building, Rear Window-style—Lynch proudly announced at the top, “I’m lip-synching!” It was a line that smartly set the tone of things to come—imperfect and proud of it. Was the song good? Not really, but there were some great lines and gags in it that took some gentle finger-jabs at the ribs of the shows they’d soon be celebrating. I liked the part when Jane walked onto The Big Bang Theory set and got drunk on laugh-track love. But my favorite moment of all was when she came to the Mad Men set as a Ghost of TV Future. Seeing Roger Sterling hold up a phone receiver to his eyes like a pair of goggles to “watch TV on his phone” was laugh-out-loud funny.

Then, just when it started to feel long, Jane sang a lyric that acknowledged that fact... and that she didn’t care. The aforementioned Sue Sylvester appearance happened (“TV’s a vast wasteland where good ideas go to die, and mediocre ones make zillions of dollars.” Ouch!), but then Jane came out to get the party started again. (Note to Ringer: You know your special effects are bad when an Emmys bit put them to shame.)

When Jane finally did take the stage, in a metallic-silver dress that was meant to play to the farthest row of the vast Nokia Theatre, she seemed relaxed and “on,” as they say. Her head-nodding/finger-guns bit, which skewered the way celebrities all somehow know each other, worked nicely. She then took an easy jab at Tom Cruise, which established that her performance had teeth. But she did so smartly, as she never made mention of Scientology. She just said she was scared of him—and everyone knew what that meant.

Jane’s sexuality produced a few off-hand one-liners that played nicely. She skewered the idea of a "gay agenda," a favorite term of the paranoid Far Right, by saying it meant that she had to "call Rachel Maddow and find out what time spinning is...[and] take the pick-up in for an oil change." Later in the show, she said: "A lot of people are very curious why I am a lesbian. Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of Entourage!" Hilarious.

Her second pre-taped set piece involved Jane playing den mother to the Jersey Shore gang. As Donatella, her New Jersey alter-ego, she explained how she single-handedly got her home state on the Hollywood map. Hugging Snooki (who really is a disgusting shade of naugahyde these days), she whispered: "You're one of my chosen ones." Nothing great, but it certainly didn’t flop.

Lynch had one great line, after Ricky Gervais’s funny pre-taped bit, in which the gag was that it had been heavily edited by network censors. Right before she announced the winner for Outstanding Direction of a Comedy Series, Lynch said, “Poor little Ricky Gervais. Somebody didn’t get enough hugs from mommy and somehow it’s Hollywood’s fault.” Was she being serious? Or was she just giving Ricky some of his own medicine? I wasn’t sure, as Gervais seems to legitimately piss people off and delight them in equal measures. But the fact that I wasn’t sure is a perfect example of what made Lynch so great as a host. Like the rest of her performance, the line was funny, smart, completely unexpected, and had bite. The fact that she walked away from it all completely unscathed means that what we’re dealing with here is a real pro.


Comments (25)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
she did great! I can't remember the last time I laughed at an awards show host.. oh yeah, Ricky Gervais!
Reply
Flag
Oh, and I didn't care for the Charlie Sheen segment, I think totally uncalled for, he burned these bridges and needs more time before being let in to this circle again!
Reply
Flag
Yeah she was great but great goes only as far as the writers with some improv!!!

Memorial section was quite moving and a shout out for Kyle Chandler!!!!
Reply
Flag
emmys were very tame this year. very neat, efficient, and rather unexciting.

she self-referenced her sexuality too frequently: I don't care that you're gay, Jane. This ceremony isn't about gays, it's about actors and actresses.

Someone else who better represents the current state of tv: NEIL PATRICK HARRIS.

Also openly gay, since that seems to matter here. Actually is multi-talented: sings, dances, acts comedy and drama. Oh, he also has experience hosting award shows: Emmys, Tonys (for which he won an Emmy). AND he does magic. One of the most talented men in show business.
Reply
Flag
I love Jane Lynch, and she was just the pinnacle of of brilliant and actually funny last night
Reply
Flag
i'm sorry but jane lynch was totally ridiculous..... she has no talent, and got on my nerves, until i couldn't take it any longer and changed the tv. the emmys this year were sooooo boring, and the worst telecast of the emmys ever...nuf said
Reply
Flag
I laughed out loud at the Mad Men-part, that was great.
Reply
Flag
it was a lovely show, way much better than many others I have seen in recent years, and made me laugh.. the bitterness was just enough so nothing was awkward, show stuff were nice, the only unimpressive point was the dresses people wear.. most of the dresses were boring and ordinary, or did not really fit the body of the person who wore it.. apart from sophie vergara and jon hamm's girlfriend I haven't seen anything really beautiful (julie bowen and gwenyth paltrow were exclusive bad, and eli cummings gaultier tux.. come on..).. the barbershop team with "chuck" and "robin" and others were pretty much useless but not bad.. and the hallelujah section really was touching.. it was pretty pretty good show..
Reply
Flag
I know my playing the negativity thing will put me in the minority, but I thought she, and the most of the rest of the show, was terrible. Watching the Emmys last night made me sad to be a human being. I liked a couple presenters, none of Jane, none of the singing, other than that it was decent. Jesse Pinkman at The Office was probably the highlight. Some of the choices for winner seemed so frigging random it was infuriating. Chandler over Laurie? Hall? Olyphant? Mankind is screwed.
Reply
Flag
despite the fact that it was the best award show I have seen over years, if you are really takin these awards and tv this seriously, you must be a sad human being anyway.. mankind is screwed not because chandler won an emmy but there are people that judge mankind regarding their tv choices.. get a life..
Reply
Flag
That 'get a life' comment might have carried some weight if it hadn't come from someone that's so concerned about 'the dresses people wear' for a sub-subpar awards showed meant to indulge some egomaniacs' vanity.
Reply
Flag
Agreed dude. Screw minority whats right is right.
Reply
Flag
Oh come on. Have you SEEN Friday Night Lights? Kyle Chandler has deserved that Emmy for the last five years. I'm not saying the other nominees aren't equally excellent, but that cannot possibly be the example one can use to demonstrate how screwed humanity is. That's a little bit of an overreaction, don't you think?
Reply
Flag
"Jane Lynch knocked her Emmy hosting duties out of the ballpark" - I wouldn't quite say she hit a home run. More like a triple, with a few RBI's tacked on. She was very funny, and had a few scathing one-liners, but not all of her material hit home. The Jersey shore gag, IMHO, wasn't funny at all, and flopped harder than flipper(dolphins flop, right?). That being said, she did a good job of keeping the event lively, and managed the clock well(I think I've strayed from a baseball metaphor, to a football one).
Reply
Flag
I dont think it flopped (like, James Franco's Marilyn drag bit at the Oscars -- THAT flopped) but I agree it wasn't that great. But she had already won over at that point.
Reply
Flag
I would not classify James Franco's Marilyn drag a flop. That is an insult to all the bits that actually do flop. That bit was much, MUCH, worse. It was basically the Hindenburg of sketch comedy.
Reply
Flag
What was this about Baldwin's Speech being cut because of the hacking scandal?
Reply
Flag
I was not as impressed as you were, Seth. She did OK. The dress looked great on her.
Reply
Flag
I agree. There was nothing great about her as host. For a person who tends to win best comedic performance and an actor part of a comedy... She was not Funny. It was pretty annoying hearing other actors say that she was made to do this job and that her energy was great on stage...They could've gotten anyone to do here job IMO. The intro with her was WAY TOO LONG and her sporadic appearance during the show only signaled for lame jokes. Jane Lynch you get a D-. I'd say go back to school but we all know how much people tend to learn on Glee.... Nothing. Go back to Party Down Jane Lynch where you were somewhat funny supported by a great cast.
Reply
Flag
I thought her performance was good, but not THAT good. Her opening number was quite good. Her Jersey Shore one wasn't funny at all. I also like the fact that Sue Sylvester wasn't used much. As for her jokes -- they seem better on paper. Written down, a lot of em seem quite funny. But when she was saying them, I didn't find myself laughing once; maybe it has something to do with her delivery, which is slightly odd because I'm quite a big fan of hers (I love her in about 20 different movie/TV roles). Maybe NPH just raised my expectations for every hosting gig.
Reply
Flag
Sheldon did it again.
Reply
Flag
Lovedit. Jane Lynch was always comedic genius. How it took a show like Glee to make people realize this is beyond me.



Only bad point of the night was Jane not getting her Emmy(although her bit about not winning was funny) and some of the drawn out celeb speeches.



Bring Jane back next year.
Reply
Flag
I agree with you Seth. I found myself surprisingly laughing at her jokes and I'm a tough audience when it comes to award shows. I found her opening video very billy-crystal-esque which is always a good thing. I really thought the whole night would include her in a tracksuit, bombarding us with Sue expressions and I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Looooved the part in her opening song where she says its not good tv if its not on HBO hahaha well played
Reply
Flag
I loved the Mad Men part of the opening number. Too bad there wasn't something like that except with Game of Thrones. That would have been hilarious and awesome!
Reply
Flag
Agreed!
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook