Anthony Anderson Opens Emmys with Sitcom Song Medley & Travis Barker Cameo

Emmy night unfolds with unexpected musical tributes and nostalgia.

by Nouman Rasool
Anthony Anderson Opens Emmys with Sitcom Song Medley & Travis Barker Cameo
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Anthony Anderson turned the 75th Emmy Awards stage into a nostalgic sitcom haven, marking a stark contrast from the more traditional award show openings. His clever and engaging approach resonated with the audience, steering clear of the controversy that fellow comedian Jo Koy faced at the Golden Globes for his sharp jabs at attendees.

Eschewing the usual monologue, Anderson opted for a skit-styled opening that playfully evolved throughout the evening. His entrance onto the stage was not just as a host but as a storyteller, acknowledging the significance of the event coinciding with Martin Luther King Jr.

Day. He spoke of a celebration that honored contemporary television masterpieces while reminiscing about iconic shows that hold a special place in our collective hearts.

Compton to Classics

Growing up in Compton, California, Anderson shared his childhood memories of being engrossed in sitcoms.

In a magical moment, he sat at a piano, accompanied by a choir, and melodiously revisited theme songs from cherished series. The crowd was treated to a heartfelt tribute to the late Norman Lear as Anderson played the "Good Times" theme, followed by a nostalgic rendition of "The Facts of Life" theme, acknowledging his childhood crushes on characters Tutti and Mrs.

Garrett. The night's surprise element was the appearance of Travis Barker, who earlier graced the red carpet with wife Kourtney Kardashian Barker. Barker's drum solo seamlessly fused with Anderson's rendition of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," captivating the audience.

Post-performance, Anderson humorously hinted at inviting Barker to his next wedding, given his recent divorce. The familial warmth extended to Anderson's mother and "We Are Family" co-host Doris Bowman. As Anderson began to express gratitude towards his mother, Bowman's playful interruption from the audience, "Time's up, baby!

Cut to the chase!" added a lighthearted touch. He promptly transitioned to introducing Christina Applegate, who announced the evening's first award. He humorously warned nominees that overextended speeches would be curtailed not by music, but by an interruption from his mother—a promise amusingly fulfilled during Jennifer Coolidge's acceptance speech for her outstanding supporting actress award in "White Lotus." The 75th Emmys, under Anderson's charismatic stewardship, struck a perfect balance between honoring television's finest and celebrating the timeless charm of sitcoms.

Travis Barker