Seth Meyers wasn’t wrong in his opening monologue when he compared himself to the first dog shot into space as being the first awards host in the #MeToo era. Especially as a straight white guy, Meyers could have easily fallen into too somber a tone or been too cavalier, ignoring elephants in the room and going for the easy jokes. Instead, he and his writers delivered the same razor-sharp comedy fans of Late Night with Seth Meyers have come to expect. Meyers was respectful of the attitude in the room and didn’t shy away from taking shots at those who deserved it.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Meyers didn’t take too many shots at Donald Trump. Yes, he did get a pretty good laugh with “Hollywood Foreign Press…the only three words Donald Trump hates more are Hillary Mexico Salad,” but despite the President’s ongoing buffoonery, Meyers recognized that Hollywood had its own issues to deal with and put his focus there. That made the monologue even more exceptional, especially when he employed the great “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” bit from his show.
However, it’s also telling that on a night where abuse towards women was finally being addressed, Meyers was the only man that night to say anything about the issue at hand. Yes, awards shows are hectic and it can be hard to know what to say if you hear your name, but no other man said a single word about how important it is that everyone—women and men—work together to stop systemic harassment and abuse. But there are more awards shows in the months ahead so hopefully they’ll take advantage of those opportunities.
And as for future awards shows hosts, look to Meyers’ performance as a textbook example of how to do your job. The dog returned safely to Earth.