With less than a week to go before the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, returning host Seth Meyers is hoping the pro-sports world will provide him with some good monologue material.
“We really want to get it out there to the athletes that if any of them want to have a sex scandal in the next few days, that would be great,” he says.
The “Saturday Night Live” star – who helmed the celebration of all things sports last summer – says he agreed to return as host in hopes of someday having a career in professional athletics.
“I would love to be a baseball player for the Boston Red Sox,” he told reporters during a conference call on Thursday. “That would be a dream come true. And not a dream I have given up on.”
Here’s what else he had to share:
You hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner. Who is more intimidating to make fun of: Obama or athletes?
I think probably, Obama is more intimidating. Even though the athletes can physically hurt me, I feel like Obama has the power of the I.R.S. and that is more intimidating.
So politicians are a tougher crowd?
I feel think politicians are harder as a comedy audience because I feel like politicians take themselves very seriously. I think athletes take themselves very seriously on the field of play. But my experience with them off the field is that they are a more fun-loving bunch.
Who is the funniest athlete you have worked with?
This is almost kind of an obvious answer, but I will stick with Peyton Manning. It is no surprise he is in so many commercials. He is really one of the funniest guys I have ever met. With that said, Charles Barkley might be more fun to talk to. He is in that really nice place now where he has been so outrageous that no one is surprised anymore and that gives him a lot of freedom to say what he wants.
Watch Peyton Manning’s SNL Digital Short:
Will you try to get him on the ESPYs?
I would happily have him on the ESPYs. Barkley is always a winner.
What about your pals from ‘SNL’? Will we see them?
Absolutely. I am so lucky to work with so many talented people. We sort of share the same shorthand and best of all, we are really good at pulling things together in a week.
What is the most nerve-wracking part about hosting a live show like this?
The weirdest thing about the ESPY’s versus “Saturday Night Live” is that there is no dress rehearsal. So sometimes you are telling jokes for the first time. So that I think is probably the most stressful.
Is anything off limits?
I don’t think anything is off limits. One of the tricks this year, with so much labor strife, is finding the humor in that.
Is there any athlete in particular on your radar?
There are a lot of athletes. If you look at our corkboard right now, there are a lot of athletes that we have our target on. But there is still six days before the ESPYs and a lot of things can happen.
The ESPYs air July 13 at 9/8c on ESPN.