Tomorrow night, when the spotlight finds him at the beginning of The 2013 ESPYS Presented by Capital One (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET), Jon Hamm might harken back to the start of his acting on AMC’s critically-acclaimed Mad Men.
“I remember my first scene on Mad Men,” Hamm said. “[It] was me walking into my office, taking a new shirt out, putting it on, lighting a cigarette. . . all the while saying these lines, and I thought, ‘If I can do this, I can get through anything.'”
That theory will be put to the test on during the 21st annual celebration of the best moments from the year in sports, live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.
“Hosting an awards show is not like hosting Saturday Night Live,” said Hamm, who has hosted SNL multiple times. “It’s a whole different skill set. Hopefully, I’m up to the task.”
Hamm’s preparation has come in the midst of shooting the forthcoming Disney film, Million Dollar Arm, but the work overload has been eased with the help of the ESPYS’ experienced team.
“[ESPYS Producer] Maura Mandt is such an excellent producer because she basically solves problems and makes it easy on the people she hires,” said Hamm. “It’s certainly not going to be ‘The Jon Hamm Show,’ nor should it be. I know Seth [Meyers] and Rob [Riggle], who hosted the past couple of years, and what both of those guys have that I hope to bring to it is innate charisma. Those guys happen to be professional comedians and I am not, so that’s a little daunting.”
Still, Hamm understands his role and as a huge sports fan himself, he totally gets what the ESPYS are about.
“The ESPYS are an award show, and first and foremost they’re to celebrate the achievements of the athletes in attendance,” Hamm said. “Ideally if it can be entertaining and funny and lighthearted, that can be a plus. I think the ESPYS does a pretty good job – more so than most – of having a good time and celebrating.”
Note: Fans can still vote for their favorites up to the start of the show by visiting ESPN.com/ESPYS. The 21st annual celebration of the best moments from the year in sports will be televised live from Los Angeles and the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN HD.