2024 Emmys host Anthony Anderson enlists mom to ‘play off’ long-winded winners

There’s no way to know for sure, but comedian Jo Koy may have been watching TV on Monday — and taking notes on how to win over a Hollywood awards show audience.

Anthony Anderson, the veteran actor who spent several years as star of ABC’s “black-ish,” scored several laughs and appreciative applause as he started his hosting gig at the 75th Emmy Awards with a musical monologue that riffed on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

On a set that resembled the classic children’s show, Anderson — aided by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and a choir from Compton — joked and sang tributes to “Good Times,” “The Facts of Life” and “Miami Vice” as he talked about how TV shaped him growing up.

“I love TV and learned a great deal from TV,” he said, quipping how although he had a crush on Tootie, he speculated that he could learn the real “facts of life” from her housekeeper, the older Mrs. Garrett.

He warned winners that long acceptance speeches would not be tolerated. Instead of music to play off the guests, though, he recruited his mother, Doris Hancox: “When you see my mama coming, just thank Jesus and your family, and wrap it up,” he said.

Hancox, who was sitting in the audience, stood up and yelled at her son to end the monologue, telling him she wanted to get “to the after party.” Shortly thereafter, she followed through on Anderson’s promise and cut off “The White Lotus” winner Jennifer Coolidge.

The reception by the star-studded audience at the Peacock Theater was a sharp contrast to the cold response Koy received when he hosted the Golden Globes on Jan. 7. Several of Koy’s jokes aimed at “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer” and singer Taylor Swift bombed; sensing the tension, Ko, a popular stand-up comedian, blamed the show’s writers for his material and emphasized the short time he had to prepare.

Although he is not a professional comic or singer, Anderson, who has starred in several comedies through his decades-long career, showed impressive singing and comedic chops. He was hosting the Emmys for the first time, but has previously hosted several NAACP Image Awards. He also hosts the new Fox game show “We Are Family.”

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