It had to happen: a comedian has taken to the dais at a major awards show wearing a helmet. Nate Bargatze was the comic who came packing protection as he stepped out to present awards during the Grammys’ premiere ceremony Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Said LeVar Burton, who hosted the webcast in which most of the day’s Grammys were handed out, “Now, I want to warn you all that our next presenter is a comedian, if you know what I mean.” They knew. “So I need to caution everybody, remain in your seats and keep your hands to yourselves. All right?” Burton introduced Bargatze as a comic who is “selling out shows across America with clean family-friendly comedy and reaching another milestone today with a nomination for best comedy album.”
Further referencing Will Smith striking Chris Rock at the Oscars a week ago, Bargatze said, “They said comedians have to wear these now at awards shows during the joke parts. It doesn’t even cover your face, I think it just focuses where you would hit me… All right, this is stupid, I’ll take it off.”
No comedians were harmed during the making of the Grammys’ three-hour-plus pre-telecast, but there are still another three and a half hours to come in prime time on CBS, so the night is still young.
Bargatze was nominated for comedy album this year for his album “The Greatest Average American,” against competition from Lavell Crawford, Chelsea Handler, Louis C.K., Lewis Black and Kevin Hart. The Nashville-based comic’s Netflix specials include “The Tennessee Kid” as well as “The Greatest Average American.”