1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Betty White sketch opens Emmys

  1. Closed captioning of: Betty White sketch opens Emmys

    >>> back here now in new york, joined by our pals out in los angeles , al and natalie on this morning after the emmy awards and the show is getting some high marks.

    >> that's right. it was a funny skit to start off with with jimmy fallon joined by a lot of other stores including jon hamm and betty white . take a look.

    >> look alive . we need glee club members.

    >> working on sweet new dance moves with my new dance coach.

    >> come on, do the hippety. get that going. all right, now back that mother up. oh, i like that. i like that. i like that.

    >> that's enough.

    >> nice. what the hell are you looking at at?

    >> great. absolutely the best opening of the show.

    >> so fuby.

    >> it was so great, the whole born to run .

    >> so wrong but yet so right. another moment i loved was how george clooney is now going to be part of the "modern family" cast. take a look. no. oh, well, we don't have that.

Image: Jimmy Fallon
Chris Carlson  /  AP
Jimmy Fallon, who sang an opening number as part of his hosting duties, seemed eager to please.
By
updated 8/30/2010 9:09:02 AM ET 2010-08-30T13:09:02

Nice job, Jimmy.

As host of Sunday's Emmy broadcast, Jimmy Fallon struck a clear contrast to last year's host, Neil Patrick Harris, who wowed viewers with his sleek versatility and cool.

Fallon is a versatile performer, too, but the Harris brand of show-biz smooth just isn't part of his skill set.

Story: 'Mad Men' and 'Modern Family' take top awards
  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

Instead, Fallon is puppy-dog eager, a nice guy who wants to accommodate his guests and his audience. He's a TV star who never pulls rank, a celebrity who seems to see himself as an equal to his fans. As he's demonstrated since taking over "Late Night" 18 months ago, that's not the worst thing for a TV personality to be.

He demonstrated it all again on the Emmycast, aired live by NBC from Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre.

Slideshow: Emmy Awards red carpet

The show started with a bang as Fallon bumped into the stars from "Glee," who complained that, in the spirit of the high school students they play, they couldn't afford the tickets to the Emmycast. Solution: Put on a show to raise money! "Glee" stars joined forces with Tina Fey ("30 Rock"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Jorge Garcia ("Lost"), Randy Jackson ("American Idol") and others in a song-and-dance rendition of "Born to Run," complete with Fallon in jeans and white T-shirt channeling Bruce Springsteen.

Then, in brief opening remarks, he scored a bulls-eye when he explained that "NBC asked me, the host of 'Late Night,' to come to Los Angeles to host a different show. What could possibly go wrong?"

Cut to Conan O'Brien, Fallon's "Late Night" predecessor and the short-lived host of "Tonight," seated in the hall giving the camera a world-weary nod.

The broadcast was neatly divided into genres (comedy, reality, drama, variety, and miniseries and movies), each of which Fallon introduced with a few riffs accompanied by guitar and a different star beside him. The reality category was introduced by "they don't have writers and they don't have plots, they're the only thing on TV that people still watch."

Story: Stars do sunset shades on Emmys red carpet

The show's brisk pace was assisted by the occasional brief but funny filmed bit, such as suggestions for how to improve the ABC comedy (and soon-to-be-Emmy-winner) "Modern Family": Have the show's gay couple adopt a second child, Stewie, the tyrannical baby from the cartoon series "Family Guy"; film the show in 3-D to highlight cast member Sofia Vergara's voluptuousness; and swap out one of the male regulars for George Clooney.

Fallon proved himself a quick-change artist as he performed a musical tribute to beloved drama series that ended their runs last season.

Glitzed up as Elton John at a pink piano, he marveled to the tune of "Candle in the Wind" that "24" hero Jack Bauer "never went to the men's room, how did he hold it in?" And as Green Day's Billie Jo Armstrong, he wailed a farewell to "Lost": "The island, it was mystical, and in the end they died. I didn't understand it, but I tried."

Video: Betty White sketch opens Emmys (on this page)

Presenter Ricky Gervais was predictably a hoot. He wondered aloud why the Golden Globes serves alcohol to those in attendance, but not the Emmys.

"Who wants a beer?" he trumpeted as waiters arrived, dispensing beer to the theater's first few rows.

Then he expressed sly delight that the winner of his designated category (directing for a variety, music or comedy special) was named Bucky Gunts.

"I didn't know you could say that on television," Gervais chortled.

The night's biggest letdown, at least for anyone who cared (and that probably included Fallon, a champion of social media): the much-touted intros solicited from the tweeting public. The few chosen for reading on-air ranged from stupid to nonsensical. (Sample: "Tina Fey — I'd hit that.") As a Twitter showcase for a mainstream TV audience, it was a missed opportunity.

But that was a minor shortcoming in a show that moved with slick efficiency, nicely energized by Fallon. "The fact that I get to work in TV is beyond belief," he told viewers at the start, and his delight in being there was infectious throughout.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: 2010 Emmy Awards

loading photos...
  1. Jimmy Fallon, Randy Jackson

    Host Jimmy Fallon, right, performs "Born to Run" with "American Idol's" Randy Jackson to open the 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 29. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Eric Stonestreet

    Actor Eric Stonestreet accepts the first Emmy Award of the night for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in "Modern Family" at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 29. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Jane Lynch

    "Glee" star Jane Lynch accepts the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series award on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Edie Falco

    Actress Edie Falco accepts the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series award for "Nurse Jackie" at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Aug. 29. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Jim Parsons

    "Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons accepts the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series award on Sunday. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Aaron Paul

    "Breaking Bad" actor Aaron Paul accepts the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 'Top Chef'

    Cast and producers of "Top Chef," winners of Outstanding Reality-Competition Program Award, pose for photographers backstage at the Emmy Awards on Sunday. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Bryan Cranston

    Actor Bryan Cranston accepts the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award onstage for "Breaking Bad" on Sunday. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Kyra Sedgwick

    Actress Kyra Sedgwick accepts the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for "The Closer." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Jimmy Fallon

    Host Jimmy Fallon performs a musical skit dressed as Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong during the Emmy Awards on Sunday. (Chris Carlson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. John Lithgow

    Actor John Lithgow holds his Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series award for his role in "Dexter" backstage at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Ricky Gervais

    Bucky Gunts! Actor Ricky Gervais reacts while presenting the Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special Award to director Bucky Gunts for his work on "Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

    Actor George Clooney accepts the Bob Hope Humanitarian award on Sunday from his old "E.R." co-star Julianna Margulies. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. John Krasinski, January Jones

    John Krasinski of "The Office" and January Jones of "Mad Men" make a presentation onstage on Sunday. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Alexander Skarsgard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer

    The stars of "True Blood," from left, Alexander Skarsgard, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, present the award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries or Movie at the Emmy Awards. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Al Pacino

    Al Pacino accepts the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for "You Don't Know Jack." (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin waves in the audience as the HBO movie about her life racked up numerous awards on Sunday night. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Remembrance

    Singer Jewel performs "Shape of You" during a memorial segment as the late actor Dennis Hopper appears on screen at the Emmy Awards. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. 'Mad Men'

    Matthew Weiner, fifth from right, accepts the award for Outstanding Drama Series for "Mad Men" while accompanied by the cast onstage at the Emmy Awards. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. 'Modern Family'

    Steven Levitan and the cast of "Modern Family" accept the award for Outstanding Comedy Series to close the Emmy Awards on Sunday, Aug. 29. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  1. Image: Host Jimmy Fallon performs 'Born to Run' with American Idol's Randy Jackson at the 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    Above: Slideshow (20) 2010 Emmy Awards - 2010 Emmy Awards
  2. Image: 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
    Slideshow (40) 2010 Emmy Awards - Emmy Awards red carpet

Interactive: Rate the dresses

TODAY show style editor Bobbie Thomas shares her opinion on some of the red-carpet gowns. Rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 and see how other readers voted.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Sesame Street

    Jon Hamm gets emotional on 'Sesame Street'

    4/15/2014 3:57:55 PM +00:00 2014-04-15T15:57:55
  1. Istock

    Best cheap cities for raising a family

    4/15/2014 10:07:46 PM +00:00 2014-04-15T22:07:46
  1. ‘Boston is ready to run again’: City revisits tragedy, looks ahead

    TODAY’s Natalie Morales, who will run in the marathon on Monday, has been in Boston speaking with survivors, victims’ families and officials.

    4/15/2014 3:08:07 PM +00:00 2014-04-15T15:08:07
  2. video Survivor: April 15 is ‘not an easy day’
  3. Uta Pippig’s advice for Boston: Run with joy
  4. Victims remembered on anniversary
  5. Michael Dwyer / AP