While Kenan Thompson gears up to host the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, the show was almost emceed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
“It was just schedule,” the former wrestler, 50, told Entertainment Tonight last month. “I was really, truly honored when they came to me and asked, but it was just a scheduling thing. That’s all. That’s really what it comes down to.”
After Johnson passed on the opportunity to present trophies during the live broadcast, producers eventually asked the 44-year-old Saturday Night Live star to tackle hosting duties.
“Y’all heard ya boy is hosting the #Emmys?!!! It’s gonna be a great night. See you there,” Thompson captioned an August Instagram post, confirming his role. “We goin up!!!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 Can’t wait to celebrate the creatives that entertain us daily.”
The Mighty Ducks actor later teased that several of his fan-favorite SNL characters or costars could pop by during the ceremony.
“SNL taught me to always be ready, always be thinking. Especially when you’re around those kinds of people,” Thompson told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month, noting he’d be interested in kicking off the show with a large-scale musical number. “That’s always where everything seems very grand and talent is definitely on display.”
While the All That alum presides over the awards ceremony, Johnson has a busy schedule of his own including multiple film projects, producing NBC’s Young Rock about his childhood and raising his three daughters. (The Jungle Cruise star shares Simone, 21, with ex-wife Dany Garcia and Jasmine, 6, and Tiana, 4, with wife Lauren Hashian.)
Johnson is also preparing to suit up as the titular character in DC’s Black Adam, which is set for an October release.
“When you pull Black Adam out of the pantheon of superheroes in the DC Universe, he is blessed with these incredible superpowers from the gods that rival Superman,” Johnson told Vanity Fair earlier this month. “The difference is, well, a few things. Number one, Superman’s greatest weakness is magic, and one of Black Adam’s greatest superpowers is magic.”
He added at the time: “Superman won’t kill anybody. There’s a code that he lives by and he honors, “Black Adam has a unique code of ethics too. He will not hesitate — and I like to have a little fun when I’m explaining this — to rip somebody in half. Literally, he’ll grab someone by the neck and by the thigh and then rip them up, tear them apart.”
The Emmys air live on NBC Monday, September 12, at 8:00 p.m. ET. The broadcast will also stream on Peacock.
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