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Cedric The Entertainer's Worst Moments At The 2021 Emmys

The 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards featured plenty of highlights, from Evan Peters' huge Emmy win to "Ted Lasso" star Brett Goldstein's magnificent acceptance speech. Of course, there's no such thing as a perfect award show, and plenty of people were also infuriated about things like "Queen's Gambit" director Scott Frank's overlong speech and "Saturday Night Live" bigshot Lorne Michaels' tribute to Norm Macdonald, who was famously once fired from "SNL." 

One of the biggest factors in any award show worth its salt is, of course, the host. Unfortunately, many viewers felt that Cedric the Entertainer, who hosted the 2021 Emmys, didn't quite rise up to the occasion.

"These Cedric the Entertainer segments are just ... bad," @paulkraff wrote. "Cedric the Entertainer might be the worst comedian on Earth," @jruss6490 agreed. "The Emmy for worst host goes to Cedric the Entertainer. So lame and self indulgent," @ASMcMillan concurred, complete with a thumbs down emoji. Twitter user @lizziebelle went even further: "Best part of the Emmys: Jean Smart winning," they wrote. "Second best part: Conan O'Brien stealing the show. Worst part: Cedric the Entertainer. He needs to change his name now. Seriously."

While it seems clear that many viewers found the Emmys host patently underwhelming, one can't help but wonder what made viewers think so. Let's take a look at Cedric the Entertainers' worst moments at the 2021 Emmys.

The fly joke didn't fly

One of Cedric the Entertainer's comedy skits during the show involved a dialogue with a fly, which Cedric instructed to stay away from "shenanigans" before releasing it. The fly, it was clear, wasn't about to listen. 

The joke alluded to the famous incident in October 7, 2020, when a fly landed on then-Vice President Mike Pence's head during a televised debate with Kamala Harris (via The New York Times). However, many viewers felt that this particular joke was well past its sell-by date. "Sorry but like Cedric's bits were really unfunny ... like ... the Mike Pence fly joke is a million years old already??" @ivorymood tweeted and added a yawning emoji for emphasis. Even some of the viewers who otherwise greatly enjoyed the host's antics thought this particular bit was a complete miss. "I love Cedric the Entertainer but the fly skit is funny 2 years ago ... who pitched this ... I blame them," @shhhgrownfolks opined.  

Viewers didn't appreciate the Lombardi Trophy skit

One of the award show's "Cedric in TV" sketches was a flashback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' post-Super Bowl boat parade, during which Tom Brady threw the Lombardi Trophy from one boat to another (via USA Today). In this version, Cedric the Entertainer was about to act as the receiver, but didn't get the chance, as the prestigious trophy got eaten by a shark mid-air, and Cedric used the opportunity to throw in a "Baby Shark" reference. 

Many viewers felt that this particular skit again reached rather deeper into the well of timely references than was absolutely necessary, seeing as the incident happened in early 2021 — making it outright ancient in terms of today's hectic media cycle. As such, Twitter users weren't shy of making their opinions known. "I don't think I'll ever recover from watching that Tom Brady-Lombardi Trophy-shark sketch that Cedric the Entertainer did on the Emmys. It was so unfunny that it will haunt me for the rest of my life," user @fullsteve tweeted. "That Cedric the Entertainer bit with Tom Brady and the shark was beyond painful," @RonWaxman wrote. 

Cedric himself actually had fairly high-concept aspirations for sketches like this and the one about the Mike Pence fly, as he told Entertainment Tonight. "I wanted to take advantage of some of these big, iconic moments that took place on Television," the host explained. "So in a very 'Forrest Gump' way, you'll see that Ced was actually there for the Mike Pence fly situation, and I was there when Tom Brady was throwing the trophy." Unfortunately, it seems that the viewers failed to see the funny side of this idea. 

No love for The Neighborhood skit

One of the many skits in the 2021 Emmys was a lengthy reference to Cedric the Entertainer's show "The Neighborhood." The host was rudely interrupted by two of his co-stars from the show, Tichina Arnold and Beth Behrs, who stopped Cedric mid-speech to demand better seating. The two were dressed in their "full Met gala" gear, which involved gadgets like a horse mask and a green baby doll, and accused the host of not doing right by them. 

According to some viewers, the show indeed didn't do right by the actresses, as they felt the skit fell flat because few people realized what was going on. "What the f*** was that 'ladies of The Neighborhood' bit?? Who wrote these horrible bits? Cedric 'the Entertainer'?" @SantaInc tweeted. Other Twitter users were in sarcasm mode, pointing out that the audience wasn't necessarily familiar with the show, so the entire skit came across as very random. "Ah yes, an extended reference to 'The Neighborhood,' a show that the #Emmys audience is extremely familiar with and aware of," @ChrisBerg25 wrote. "I love that the actresses from The Neighborhood showed up for a bit with their co-star, who is also the Emmys host, but no one knew it was a bit because no one knows that this is a show," Kevin Fallon of the Daily Beast tweeted

Getting upstaged by Conan O'Brien

One of the biggest "ouch" moments the 2021 Emmys delivered to its host was a swift and accidental one, and didn't even directly involve poor Cedric the Entertainer. However, when a former host manages to upstage you and get arguably the biggest laughs of the night without even setting foot on stage, the current host should probably take a good, hard look in the mirror. 

Legendary comedy writer and talk show host Conan O'Brien, a two-time Emmy host himself, set Twitter ablaze with his hilarious, seemingly improvised bit during Television Academy President Frank Scherma's speech. While the rest of the audience reacted to the speech pretty much as you'd expect, the towering O'Brien stood at attention and saluted Scherma with exaggerated admiration, while practically vibrating with concentration and energy. The guests who noticed what was going on couldn't help but crack up, and the audiences followed suite. "Conan is the best part of this show and he hasn't even been on stage," user @annevclark tweeted. 

Of course, O'Brien also eventually made his way to the stage, casually inserting himself in Stephen Colbert's celebrations for receiving the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special. Again, the Twitterati were delighted. "Conan accompanying Colbert's team on stage when they receive an Emmy. Love both guys for the moment,"  user @_Souppy_ wrote. "Conan crashing is my favorite thing of the night," @Dan_Fogelman agreed.

Though O'Brien's rogue antics almost certainly weren't meant to upstage Cedric the Entertainer, and didn't take place during any of his bits, the fact that viewers were ready to deem a former host's rogue antics the best thing the Emmys had to offer doesn't really reflect too well on the actual host. 

Many viewers feel Cedric the Entertainer's jokes were simply unfunny as a whole

Cedric the Entertainer delivered some fairly neat moments over the course of the Emmys, and many fans were no doubt amused by the fun, star-studded Biz Markie tribute that opened the show, as well as the skit in which he ran into his three "TV wives" — Tichina Arnold from "The Neighborhood," Niecy Nash from "The Soul Man," and Terri J. Vaughn from "The Steve Harvey Show" — at the same time. 

Unfortunately, many viewers seemed to think that as a whole, Cedric's hosting gig amounted to a net negative, and that he simply failed to deliver on the entertainment front. "Has anyone tweeted 'Cedric the Entertainer isn't a good entertainer' yet? If not, I'm happy to be the first," @ryanmer tweeted. "Folks I promise, Cedric the Entertainer is normally much funnier. My guy is off tonight. Bombing on the Emmys," @Waynesprat wrote. "Oh no. Someone help Cedric the Entertainer. He's bombing this ish," @conlin_lauren opined. 

Some viewers noted that Cedric himself was doing well, but the material he was working with was somewhat sub-par. "Not all of Cedric the Entertainer's comedy bits are landing tonight, but I like him as the Emmy's host. He's doing a good job," @BMovieBryan1140 shared his thoughts. 

Regardless of how you feel about Cedric the Entertainer and his performance as the host of the 2021 Emmys, all these comments make it seem that he's unlikely to top the list of all-time great award ceremony hosts with this performance.