Trevor Noah opened the 2023 Grammy Awards with a pointed dig at Donald Trump. Reacting to Bad Bunny’s sizzling opening performance, Noah raved, “Absolutely incredible! You know, every time I listen to him, I get hips I never knew I had. It even makes Trump want to learn Spanish.”
“My job is to be your eyes and ears,” Noah continued, addressing viewers directly. “Think of me like a Chinese spy balloon. This is the room where it all goes down!”
As Noah made his way through the star-studded floor at the Grammys, he started calling out individual celebrities, like Harry Styles. “Women throw their panties at this man and then he puts them on and he looks better in them than they do,” Noah joked. “He’s the sex symbol of the globe, especially now that they’ve killed off the green M&M.”
Noah then shouted out Beyoncé, saying, “Her album ‘Renaissance’ was better than anything from the actual Renaissance, in my opinion. The Renaissance was just pictures of grapes and stuff.”
Addressing Taylor Swift, Noah said the Grammy winner “sold more albums than any other human on the planet this year. That’s right. More than anybody. The only music we listen to more than Taylor’s music was the hold music for Southwest Airlines.”
The opening monologue built to a first meeting between Adele and Dwayne Johnson. “The person that Adele has always wanted to meet, but never has, is Dwayne Johnson,” Noah told the audience, with Adele nodding in approval. “You’ve never met him. And then I found out he’s a huge fan of yours, too. And I don’t have Dwayne Johnson here tonight, but I do someone called The Rock.”
Johnson snuck up behind Adele and surprised her. Adele look visibly surprised and delighted.
The 2023 Grammys marked the third consecutive year Noah has served as host of the annual ceremony, but it was his first time emceeing the awards from its traditional venue: The Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The first time Noah hosted the Grammys in 2020, it was held as a small gathering outside the Los Angeles Convention Center with a rotating set of nominees in attendance due to the COVID pandemic. The 2021 ceremony moved to Las Vegas due to a serious Omicron spike in Los Angeles at the time.
“Last year was fantastic,” Noah told Variety ahead of hosting the 2023 ceremony. “I mean, I only had one previous year to base it on and that was a Covid year, so it was completely different. We didn’t have any unnecessary drama.”
Noah’s 2022 hosting stint was highlighted by his joke about Will Smith’s Oscars slap, as the 2022 Grammys was the first major awards ceremony to air following the shocking Oscars moment. Noah told viewers at the time, “Don’t even think of this as an award show. It’s a concert where we are giving out awards, we will be listening to music, dancing, sing, keeping people’s names out of our mouths and we are going to give people awards all throughout the night. So let’s get straight into it.” Noah referenced Smith yelling at Chris Rock to keep “my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.”
“Neutralizing [the elephant in the room] wasn’t really my aim, if anything it was more acknowledging it,” Noah told Variety this year about the joke. “I think that’s what I enjoy doing in my comedy, and I’ll do the same thing at this show, as well as talk about what’s happening.”