Trevor Noah kicked off the 63rd annual
Noah quickly took aim at the royals in his opening monologue on Sunday night, mocking the ‘tension’ inside Buckingham Palace – exactly one week to the hour after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive sit-down aired on CBS, the same network that broadcast this year’s Grammy Awards.
Kicking off the socially-distanced ceremony, Noah joked: ‘…Our impressive nominees will be sitting at those tables for their awards. So right now there is more tension in that tent than at a family reunion at Buckingham Palace.’
Noah also made a quick crack about the Capitol riots, claiming that the Grammy Awards would be the ‘biggest outdoor event this year… besides the storming of the Capitol’.
Mockery: Grammy Awards host Trevor Noah took a swipe at the royal family just seconds into his opening monologue, one week after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell sit-down
Couldn’t wait? The 37-year-old late night host hadn’t even made it to the stage before he trolled the royals, joking about the ‘tension’ in Buckingham Palace
Reaction to the jokes was incredibly mixed, with some slamming Noah as ‘shameful’ and ‘distasteful’ for trying to make light of the Capitol riots – during which five people died – while others applauded his risque humor.
‘I turned off the Grammy Awards as soon as you made that joke about the Capitol attack,’ one viewer wrote on Twitter. ‘You think that was funny? “The largest outdoor event since the attack on the Capitol.” Shameful.’
One person then branded the joke as ‘gauche’ while another outraged spectator chimed in: ‘Totally distasteful comment from @trevornoah regarding the Grammys being the biggest outdoor event since the storming of the Capitol.’
However some praised the host’s decision to bring up such a controversial topic, with one person calling his opening monologue ‘fantastic’ and ‘hilarious’.
One added: ‘@trevornoah with the Capitol riot jokes is the opening I needed.’
‘In first 5 mins, beloved @trevornoah has made a dig at zoom calls, Capitol Insurgency, post-award drugs and the Royal Family. WE LOVE HIM!’ another added.
Upset: Noah’s joke about the Capitol prompted fury from some online, with viewers branding the host ‘distasteful’ and ‘shameful’ for making light of the riots, during which five people died
Amused: Others praised his risque jokes, with one calling the opening monologue ‘fantastic’
The awards show aired just hours after Harry came under furious fire for allowing his interview with the TV mogul to be aired by the same network that caused outrage by showing a photograph of his mother dying.
In 2004 CBS was condemned when it became the first broadcaster or publisher to show the ‘distasteful’ photo of Princess Diana taken moments after the 1997 car crash in Paris in which she died.
When the same photo later appeared in an Italian magazine, Prince William and Prince Harry issued a rare statement condemning it, saying they were ‘deeply saddened that such a low has been reached’.
But Harry allowed CBS to make millions with the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview that was broadcast on March 7.
Connection: The 63rd annual Grammy Awards aired on CBS – the same network that broadcast Oprah’s explosive interview with Meghan and Harry
The broadcaster was unrepentant, saying the photo was ‘not gory’. No British publication has ever published it.
Royal biographer Hugo Vickers said: ‘It is quite embarrassing for Prince Harry. How could he possibly co-operate with an organisation which some years ago was the only outlet to publish a deeply distressing photo of his mother’s dying moment?
‘It is pretty hypocritical of him. I suppose he didn’t remember, or maybe he had no choice because of contracts signed? If he was still being advised by the Palace, they would have spotted this sort of thing a mile off.’
Former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter said: ‘The problem with American networks is that they are all about ratings, and advertising and bringing in money. It is not about decency.
‘In 2004 it was publishing a photograph which was in incredibly bad taste. In 2021 it is running a two-hour interview with Meghan and Harry. Both will have made it a lot of money.’