He won’t be too hard on celebrities in the audience. “No one should be afraid. Everyone’s going to have a good time… I get a chance to play with all these great celebrities and stars of television—it’s going to be fun in that way. I want to get them involved a lot. It’s not just going to be me… New shows like Modern Family, Glee—it’s the fresh faces this year. And then your favorites like Tina Fey and Jon Hamm and Betty White will be there. Also, you have shows going away—Lost, 24, and Law & Order—so I’ve got a lot of material to play with. This is the perfect year for me to be asked to host, because I’m so psyched.”
He’s prepared. Really prepared. “I had six writers from our show work on stuff, and we submitted all these ideas. I said to the producer, Don Mischer, ‘Here are our ideas,’ and he said, ‘These are great, but we still need to have time to give out awards.’ I was like, ‘Okay… forgot about that part.’ So we had to cut back a little bit.
He believes that it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how much fun you have. “Eighty percent of the audience are losers, let’s be honest. It’s just math. One out of five wins, so that means you’re stuck with four losers. Last year I was lucky enough to sit next to Will Arnett. He goes, ‘Oh god, look at this loser coming over here,’ and I go, ‘Will, that’s your wife, that’s Amy Pohler, that’s so not nice,’ and he goes, ‘I just call it like I see it, man.’ (laughs) If everyone goes in with that attitude, it’s going to be a fun night, no matter who wins or loses.”
He hopes no one in the audience phones it in. “It’s at the Nokia Theatre—I hope the theater’s on vibrate that night because that would be awkward. People could think it’s an earthquake. I never know what to do with that phone setting. Silent is probably the best. Turn all your phones off at the Nokia Theatre.”
He has a message for all trophy winners. “They’re going to run a backstage camera live the whole show. Keep your speech short and you can go do a whole long speech when you’re done with that speech if you want. You can thank your dog, you can thank your car, you can thank anything.”
He’s not wagering on or handicapping any of the races. “I can’t legally bet or give handicaps this year, which I’m upset about. Don’t get me wrong, people should bet on the Emmys. That’s a fact. But it can’t be me this year.”
Seriously, don’t push him on this. “You want me to get arrested? You want those dudes from Ernst & Young to handcuff me to a briefcase for a year?”