Tuesday, Mar. 01, 2011

Bryant Gumbel, 1997 Emmys

The president of CBS Entertainment, Leslie Moonves, didn't want a comedian for the 1997 Emmy Awards. He wanted Bryant Gumbel, who had just left NBC after 15 years to join his network. But it was a strange move, considering most hosts are recruited for their joke-delivering chops. In the months before the show, the newscaster promised to play it straight, and that he did. Gumbel didn't engage in any fancy dance numbers or a meaty monologue full of one-liners. In fact, you could say that Gumbel's hosting duties went off without a hitch. But that's because in order for there to be a hitch, there has to be some sort of movement. Gumbel played it right down the middle.