Trevor Noah opened Sunday night’s Grammys with a monologue that touched on everything from the show’s location change because of the coronavirus pandemic, to the deadly Jan. 6 riot when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The Daily Show host, who for the first time served as emcee of “music’s biggest night,” welcomed viewers as he stood outside the L.A. Convention Center.
With a view of the nearby Staples Center, where the Grammys are normally held, Noah assured viewers he was standing in downtown L.A. — not in front of a virtual Zoom background.
“Welcome to the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. My name is Trevor Noah and I’ll be your host tonight as we celebrate the last ten years of music that got us through the last ten years of coronavirus,” the comedian quipped. “I know it’s been one year, but it feels like ten.”
He pointed to the Staples Center and said the Grammys decided to “distance” from the venue.
“As you can see here, we’re outside, meaning we get to enjoy the great Los Angeles air, which I know may be as dangerous as COVID, but we’re willing to take the risk,” he joked.
Noah also got political and called the Grammys “the biggest outdoor event this year, besides the storming of the Capitol.”
Hey then walked into an open-air tent filled with people wearing masks and evening attire — including some of the night’s nominees — as they sat socially-distanced at tables.
Pop star Harry Styles turned in the first performance of the night by belting out his hit single “Watermelon Sugar.”
The Grammys aired on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.