Stars in music, TV, film and digital gathered at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the People’s Choice Awards, hosted by Joel McHale.
McHale opened with a skit with his cast-mates from “The Great Indoors.” He told them he was hosting the People’s Choice Awards show. His co-stars seemed very skeptical, but McHale said, “I’m the people’s choice, and when have the people ever been wrong.”
“We’re afraid you’re going to... suck,” said Stephen Fry.
When McHale asked who would be better, everyone answered: “Chris Williams.”
“Me?” asked Williams. “But I need to be in a tuxedo. Wait -- look at that,” Williams said as he realized he was indeed wearing a tux.
In spite of his castmates’ concerns, McHale took the stage to host the show with a stroller of eight babies in tow.
“Don’t cry -- they just saw ‘Manchester by the Sea,’” he explained.
McHale called the show “the one night a year when Hollywood reacts positively to what the middle of the country thinks” in his monologue and talked about an egotistical billionaire trying to take over the world -- he assured the audience he was talking about the plot of “Captin America: Civil War.”
He also joked that one of the biggest discoveries of the past year was that there is a third Hemsworth brother, Luke, who is in “Westworld.”
Michael Pena and Dax Shepard, who star in upcoming movie “CHiPs,” presented Favorite TV Crime Drama Actress, which went to Jennifer Lopez. Lopez set the tone for the night and said, “I want to say thank you to the people! Mi gente! Gracias! I love you!”
Favorite Actress in a New Series Kristen Bell and Favorite Actor in a New Series Matt LeBlanc presented Favorite Comedic Movie Actor, which went to Kevin Hart.
“This one goes to all the co-stars I’ve had except the Rock because he hasn’t helped me at all, in fact it’s lessened my talent,” he cracked. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson grinned at Hart from the audience.
McHale presented a mock “Favorite Dwayne Johnson” award, which instead of going to the actor, went to “Dwayne ‘Literally Just a Rock’ Johnson,” a large rock sitting in the audience. Johnson (the actor) did not seem too upset, though.
Ali Larter and Ruby Rose presented Favorite Song, which went to Justin Timberlake for “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The singer joked that he was stuck in traffic earlier in the night and said, “There are way too many people in this city, but I love all of those people.” Timberlake said to his baby son at home, “You’re the reason why I wrote this song.”
Molly Shannon and Fred Armisen took their time as they slowly presented Favorite Premium Series Actor, which went to Dwayne Johnson. He gave his fans advice and said, “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice,” except when it comes to Kevin Hart, apparently: He pointed at Hart and used explicit language that was censored as a shocked Hart looked on.
Favorite Network TV Drama went to “Grey’s Anatomy” before Luke Hemsworth -- the third Hemsworth -- presented Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress, which went to Blake Lively. She thanked her mother for believing in her and talked about how much she admired the Spice Girls as a kid and how they introduced her to the concept of girl power: “You voted for girl power,” she said of her own award.
McHale pointed out that some of the polls were still open for nominations and tried to buy votes off of Tom Hanks so his show, “The Great Indoors,” would win.
Victoria Justice introduced Blake Shelton, who won Favorite Country Male Artist and Favorite Album, onstage to sing “Every Time I Hear That Song.”
McHale returned and claimed that he had enlisted Ken Jeong to help count up the votes for the People’s Choice Awards. Jeong, who McHale kept calling “Ben,” looked miserable and wrote on a slip that he was being held captive by McHale. In the end, McHale bumped all of the ballots off of Jeong’s desk, making him even more miserable.
Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell from “Training Day” presented Tom Hanks with the award for Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor.
Justin Timberlake took the stage to honor Ellen DeGeneres, who made history on Wednesday with the most People’s Choice Awards ever. Wins for Favorite Daytime TV Host, Favorite Animated Movie Voice and Favorite Comedic Collaboration brought her up to 20 awards.
“When it comes to the person the fans love the most … Ellen DeGeneres is the People’s Champ,” said Timberlake as a reel of DeGeneres winning People’s Choice Awards over the years played.
“This is amazing,” said DeGeneres. “Twenty is -- I mean 17, I get it. Eighteen, sure. Nineteen -- I can see that. But 20 is outrageous … You are the people who are responsible for me being up here, so thank you, people.”
John Stamos and Kaitlin Olson took the stage to present Favorite Comedic Movie Actress. Things got awkward when Olson kept looking at Stamos and saying, “Freeze all motor functions,” much to his annoyance. “I’m not a sex robot [from ‘Westworld’],” he said. “That’s Bob Saget.”
The award went to Melissa McCarthy, who thanked the other actresses who were nominated and claimed that it was a cutthroat fight: “[Anna] Kendrick’s too quick. She’s wiry,” said McCarthy of the competition before she said that she and Kristen Wiig got into a brawl when they found out they were both nominated. “What you may not know about Kristen [Wiig] is that her wingspan is incredible.”
“Teen Wolf” star Tyler Posey and Yara Shahidi of “Black-ish” presented Favorite Premium Series Actress, which went to Sarah Jessica Parker.
“This is just the most perfect opportunity to express a very personal and longfelt bit of gratitude,” said Parker. “There are many who have been not just an audience but a companion to me over the course of a lot of years, and I feel indebted to them for their commitment and devotion and time and interest.”
Jamie Chung and Adam Rodriguez presented Favorite Dramatic TV Actress, which went to “Quantico” star Priyanka Chopra.
“I’m just really psyched. Can I do a little wiggle?” she asked as she danced onstage and referred to her injury last week. “It’s the concussion talking.”
The mood turned serious when McHale talked about the country’s hunger problem and Enterprise’s work to end the issue, which includes a $60 million donation over the next 10 years.
He then passed off the stage to Kristen Bell, who presented Tyler Perry with Favorite Humanitarian for his work with the NAACP, with Charity: Water to bring clean drinking water to villages in Africa and Cambodia and more. She talked about his random acts of kindness in particular, saying that when he reads stories in the news, he calls directly to repair schools and churches.
Bell tripped up when the teleprompter malfunctioned, but improvised: “With this guardian angel at our side -- and the teleprompter has gone out ... I think we’re all incredibly grateful to have someone like him that can teach us to grow and give back as an example.”
After playing a heartwarming video of people talking about Perry’s charity work -- with some referring to him as a “guardian angel” -- Bell announced that Enterprise was donating $100,000 to Perry’s charity of choice, Global Medical Relief Fund.
Perry talked about the importance of light, literally and metaphorically: “It is so important for us to know that no matter how dark it gets, we all have to be light for each other,” he said.
“The Voice” won Favorite Competition Show for the fourth year in a row, with producer Mark Burnett accepting from backstage, as he was also producing Wednesday’s awards show.
Ashley Greene presented Favorite Action Movie Actor, which went to Robert Downey Jr., his sixth People’s Choice Award.
DJ Khaled introduced Fifth Harmony to the stage to perform “Work From Home.” The group rocked the stage without a hitch even though former member Camila Cabello recently left. Afterward, the four thanked their fans for voting them Favorite Group.
Favorite New TV Comedy went to “Man with a Plan” and Favorite New TV Drama went to “This Is Us.”
Jordana Brewster and Johnny Galecki presented Favorite Comedic TV Actress, which went to Sofia Vergara.
“Never I thought in a million years with this ridiculous accent, I would be able to be part of something so successful,” said the “Modern Family” star. “It has opened so many doors for me. It changed my life.” She said it especially opened opportunities for Latino actors: “We will not disappoint you,” she promised.
WIlmer Valderrama and Emily Wickersham presented Favorite Network TV Comedy, which went to “The Big Bang Theory”
“It is a dream to go to work every day,” said Kaley Cuoco as she pointed out that the show has been on air for 10 seasons.
Jada Pinkett Smith presented the award for Favorite Movie Icon, which went to Johnny Depp, who sported a blond mustache and several earrings.
“It’s especially meaningful for me to be here in front of you to say thank you and to tell you that I truly feel that need to thank you because we all know that none of us, especially me, would be standing up here if it weren’t for you tonight,” he said, closing out the night.