×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jimmy Kimmel to Jeff Probst on Emmy Hosting: ‘You Are Going to Suck, But You Will Survive’

Jeff Probst has the rare distinction of winning his first individual Emmy the same year he co-hosted the awards ceremony. The “Survivor” emcee claimed the inaugural award for reality competition host and then took the prize again the following three years. Though he hasn’t been nominated since, Probst remains one of the most indelible frontmen on TV. And about that ill-
fated Emmy hosting gig? He’s come to terms with it … mostly.

The Emmy host is not usually up for an Emmy, and on top of that you guys bombed.
On paper it seemed like a really good idea to have all five [hosting] nominees host the Emmys. Great idea on paper, horrible idea on stage. Who could have predicted that the five quote unquote best hosts would turn out to be the five underlined worst hosts. I think even my mom, who is my biggest fan, would agree it was the worst hosting performance of any person or persons in the history of any awards show on this planet or any other. It has taken years for me to fully embrace that, but I now completely own it.

Were you concerned it wasn’t going to work?
I have a vivid memory of the night before. I was at an Emmy party and I saw Jimmy Kimmel, I told him what we had planned for the show. I’ll never forget how kind and gracious he was in telling me how badly we were going to bomb. He was really great in making sure I understood that, “Yes, you’re going to suck but you will survive.” It’s the night before the show. I go home thinking, “Oh my God, it’s as bad as I thought.” We all knew it was gonna be bad. We were sitting in Ryan Seacrest’s house, a week before, writing the reviews. Which does beg the question, “Why weren’t you writing better material?”

What do you remember about the actual win?
It’s the very last category to be presented, and the presenter is Jimmy Kimmel — it’s all coming full circle. Kimmel read my name and as he handed me the statue I reminded myself, “This is for your work on ‘Survivor.’” It was a very humbling slash humiliating moment to get an award. The most humbling aspect was I wanted to be a part of the Emmy scene for so long. I wanted to feel included in that family. I finally get recognized and then absolutely blow it in front of all the people I wanted to impress. When I got the award I was really conflicted because I knew everyone in the audience is going, “This is the most ironic thing I’ve ever seen.”

Were you able to appreciate it despite the show?
I didn’t know Jon Hamm, but we were backstage and he was rushing off to do an interview and he stopped, came back to me, grabbed my arm, looked me in the eye and said, “You deserve that.” I felt like he was giving me a hug of love. As if to say, “Everybody’s been there, brother. You had a bad night, but you still deserve that award.” Between Kimmel and Hamm, my takeaway was really positive. It did make me feel like I still belonged in spite of everything.

More TV

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content