Of all the thankless jobs at the Emmy Awards on Sunday night, the most thankless has to be that of the presenters. Oh, no, wait. The most thankless job has to belong to one of those pretty ladies who escort the winners off the stage and to whatever circle of hell is in the press tent backstage. No, that can’t be true. The most thankless job has to belong to the people who fill the seats when the celebs go to the bathroom so the audience looks full… oh, or what about the ushers? Or what about the hair and makeup people backstage? Or craft services? Or the guy who goes, “And we’re live in five, four… ” and then he gets all quiet and does three fingers then two fingers than one finger and points to Jimmy Kimmel as he starts the broadcast? I bet no one ever thanks that guy ever.
But most of those people aren’t on TV, or at least not for very long. So maybe the people who present the awards do really have the most thankless job. After all, we hardly remember them. Even the really, really bad ones fade worse than an H&M blouse after the third wash. The good ones — maybe we recall their schtick a little. But, essentially, presenters are there just there to do a silly bit, say some names, open an envelope, and then get the hell out of there. Of course, we’re talking about stars with busy schedules, so, to save them some thinking time, here are some tips on how they could be awesome.
Be Game: If you are a star above the caliber of a semi-regular performer on a later season of Gossip Girl, the producers of the show are going to make you do some silly bit where you engage in banter with your co-presenter. Get into it. Get really into it. Give it your all. Even if it is stupid, which it probably will be. Just go for the gusto like this is your final at the New York Academy for the Dramatic Arts (or NYADA as it’s known). That is the only way it will work. Otherwise you look like an ungrateful kid that had to star in the school play to get off of probation. No one wants that.
Stay on Script: Nothing good ever happened to someone who tried to ad lib better banter. Well, there was the time Robert Downey, Jr. called out host Ricky Gervais for his mean jokes at the Golden Globes. But other than that, celebs always look stupid if they go off book. There’s a reason every show has a writer’s room. It takes that many people to make a handful of actors sound smart and funny. Leave it to the professionals.
Rehearse: There is nothing worse than the guy who is like, “Oh, I can’t see the Teleprompter, I don’t know what to say.” Or the lady who is like, “Oh wait, I just read your line.” This is live TV, people. Even if you go over the script on the limo ride over, that’s better than nothing. If you mess it up, everyone is going to hate you. Let me remind you that you just rode in a limo, so a wide swath of the population is already predisposed to hate your 1% ass. And you rode in a limo! Earn the damn trip.
Open the Envelope Early: I’m not saying to read the winner before the nominees. No, just get your finger under that little seal and give it a good nudge while your co-presenter reads out those vying for the awards. There is nothing worse than, “And the…Emmy…goes…tooooooooooooooo…” while you struggle with a stupid sticker and everyone is waiting for a pronouncement and then you’re like, “I can’t get it open. AH! Oh! It’s Christina Hendricks, Mad Men!” That is so freaking annoying.
Get out of the Way: This is the winner’s moment. Don’t hug them, don’t try to dance with them, don’t celebrate like a crazy person. Just shuffle off back to your seat and give that seat filler a thanks. She really earned it.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: AP Photo]