Trevor Noah opened the 2024 Grammys by shouting out A-list attendees like Olivia Rodrigo and Lenny Kravitz before joking about Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift and the singer's NFL coverage.
The 39-year-old began his monologue by applauding Dua Lipa's opening performance of her song "Houdini" before making his way through the audience.
As he mentioned that Swift was one of seven women nominated for best album this year, the "Anti-Hero" singer happened to be making her way to her table in her black-and-white outfit for the evening.
"Are you seeing what's happening right now as Taylor Swift moves through the room? Local economy around those tables improves," he joked.
Behind the scenes, though, Noah was getting stressed that the star had yet to arrive at her table, as well as Streep who was seen rushing to her table.
"Were you worried when you started your monologue that literally no one who you were making jokes about was in the room because everybody was stuck outside?" Grammy's executive producer Ben Winston asked Noah during a chat on the "What Now? with Trevor Noah" podcast.
"It was not fine," Noah cracked, explaining how the show was live and the Crypto.com Arena where the Grammys took place is a difficult place to get to. "So this is all stressful."
"In my head, I'm going, 'Well, ride this thing out and then hope for the best,'" he said. "But nobody's there."
Noah scanned the room to make sure that at least there were other celebrities he could joke about as the others made their way in. Then Streep comes running in and saves the day.
"Like when Meryl Streep came in, I was already a fan of Meryl Streep's, and now I will fight somebody for Meryl Streep. Now, I will go to bat for her," Noah said. "First of all, she's Meryl Streep. She didn't need to like run in because she was late. This is something Meryl Streep does not need to do."
"She apologized for being late in a really nice, respectful, human way. And I was just like, this is Meryl Streep. She was fun with it. She played with it. She had a good time with it," he continued. "In that moment, I was like, 'OK, everything is going to be OK, and thank you, Jesus. I think we're gonna get through this thing.'"
Noah added that he "was stressed for like three minutes."
Winston also brought up it was a "coincidence" that when Noah got to the Swift NFL joke, the pop star also made her way towards her seat.
"As our parents would say, Ben, 'Look at God,'" Noah said, touching on the luck he had during the monologue.
As Noah's monologue continued, not missing a beat despite the unexpected moment, the comedian referenced how it is "unfair" that some "NFL fans have been complaining about the cameras cutting to Swift."
He said Swift doesn't control the cameras, so to defend her, he would have the cameras instead cut to a football player every time she was mentioned at the award show.
As he said her name, the cameras zoomed in on actor Terry Crews, who previously played in the NFL for teams like the Los Angeles Rams.
At the joke, Swift, and Crews, both erupted into laughter.
Noah also pointed out that Swift joins Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder as the only artists who have won album of the year three times, but she could break the record that night — which she did.
Noah then teased performances from Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell and Wonder before introducing Mariah Carey to present the Grammy for best pop solo performance.
This marked the fourth year in a row that the former host of “The Daily Show” emceed the star-studded event.
He announced his return to the Grammys stage in December. “I’m hosting the Grammys,” he revealed on his podcast, “What Now? with Trevor Noah,” at the time.
Noah added, “I’m excited about that. It’s a lot of fun.”
While some hosts might worry about something unexpected happening during a live award show, he said he enjoys navigating tricky moments.
“I’ll be honest and I know that the producers of the Grammys won’t like this: I like it when something goes off the rails at the Grammys because I’m experiencing it first hand,” he shared. “Normally, I’d be at home tweeting it like, ‘Ooooo.’ Now I get to be in the audience being like ‘Oooooo.’ It’s live and it’s happening. I like (it).”