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Scripted Variety Competition: Two Emmy Stars, a Comedy Showdown

Since 2015, when Emmy Awards Divided what was supposed to be an excellent variety show category into two – variety talk and variety show – with two shows dominating. In variety shows, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver won for the seventh straight year. “Saturday Night Live” has been taken six times in the variety sketch .

but in 667, this The two giants will be competing against each other, thanks to another rule change. Both now fall under the banner of the Outstanding Scripted Variety Series, described as “shows that are primarily scripted or feature loosely scripted improvisation, consisting of discrete scenes, musical snippets, monologues, comedic stand-up comedy, skits Wait for composition.” So who will prevail? For years, voters seemed to just shrug and vote for Last Week Tonight and SNL no really think. Now, they must choose between a category with a volatile array of choices.

In many ways, last week tonight still prevails, even though it’s in new condition category. In Variety, it beat late night’s biggest names, including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert , Jimmy Kimmel Live ! and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah .

SNL Admittedly, there is much less ground to conquer. be with2015, there are only two nominees for Variety Sketch: SNL and Black Ladies Sketch Show . It would be exciting if voters chose Robin Thede’s HBO series, but instead they chose longtime star producer Lorne Michaels.

Robin Thede and Skye Townsend on HBO/Max’s A Black Lady Sketch Show.

Robin Thede and Skye Townsend on HBO/Max’s Black Ladies Sketch Show.

Presented by HBO


Compare last week tonight ) and SNL feel like a case of apples and oranges. This season, the former features segments on cryptocurrencies, farm workers and artificial intelligence. SNL This year’s breakout skit is Ego Nwodim’s brilliant “Lisa From Temecula” in which she declares her restaurant steak “cooks my meat” and tells Ped Lo Pascal she won’t “give up ass tonight”. Oliver’s work is a well-researched piece with jokes; SNL relies mostly on silliness.

Of course, they’re not the only two shows competing in this category, and in fact, in a weird way, it’s formidable. In addition to the latest season of The Black Ladies Sketch Show , this category may also include Inside Amy Schumer , Mel Brooks’ long-mocked History of the World: Part II , delightfully confrontational Ziwe , former writing category nominee The Amber Ruffin Show and esoteric movie parodies Enterprise Documentary Now! The musical comedy series Schmigadoon! also tried to disrupt the category, but the TV Academy reportedly rejected its petition and the show remains Enter a comedy competition.

2023 Amy Schumer on Paramount+ “Inside Amy Schumer”. Matt ·Wilson/Paramount+

Even without Jane Krakowski wearing Schmigadoon hits the belt and does the splits! Courtroom Scene, Contenders includes a really wide selection of comedy styles – from world history borsch belt style to Ziwe Shrewd trap question. It might be a bit of a disappointment if Oliver or SNL wins again. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine that one of these two won’t emerge victorious. The Emmys love an institution, and these shows have proven their mettle.

With heavyweights dueling in scripted variety shows, what does variety talk look like now that lacks Oliver’s insight? The last time Oliver didn’t win in that category, the trophy went to Jon Stewart for the final season of The Daily Show . Trevor Noah’s ‘Daily Show’ swan song could be nominated, but his departure is more worrying than Stewart’s; Noah’s midseason Departed, a string of guest hosts took charge, while Stewart bid farewell as a media hero. (Stewart, anyway, there is another show running, his Apple TV+ show, Jon Stewart Questions .)

This category could always go to one of the late night stalwarts – Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel, neither of whom has won gold for his current talk show Time slot Emmys. or12: 519 morning time can finally receive what it deserves Seth Meyers late night go all out.

Both stand-up and scripted variety shows will be affected by the WGA strike. SNL and Last Week Tonight shortened their seasons. The late-night shows — with the exception of Gutfeld! on Fox News) — were all dark. Of course, that doesn’t negate what was on screen before the shutdown, but it highlights that this is a corner of the industry that was immediately forced into a corner.

Even without the strike break, the TV Academy had a hard time knowing what to do with the shows, which have grown beyond the typical monologue interview – over time, Musical guest or monologue-sketch-musical guest format. Yep, trying to compare Last Week Tonight to SNL is weird, But the Emmys are forcing their voters to try. It’s a battle of Goofy for Goofy and Goofy for education.

This story first appeared in June 35 An issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 2205Click here to subscribe.



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