Drake is hosting ESPN’s annual sports awards show the ESPYS tonight, and he got off to a rocky start. First, nobody seemed to be laughing at his monologue despite some genuinely funny cracks. Regarding his buddy Johnny Manziel, a notorious party animal: “Right before I came out here, I got a text from him asking if I wanted to do mushrooms and watch the ESPYS tonight.” Regarding the veteran-heavy NBA champion San Antonio Spurs: “To celebrate, the Spurs all stayed up past 10 p.m. and had a beer.” Regarding the NCAA champion Connecticut Huskies basketball team: “You’ll always have the memories. Well, technically the NCAA owns the memories, but at least you got that meal plan, right?” That said, OK, some of his jokes were terrible, and he lived up to several Drake stereotypes when he told Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman “You’re a cocky son of a b, Richie!” The nadir, though, had to be when Drake stepped into the crowd to approach former Indiana Pacers guard (and new Charlotte Hornets signee) Lance Stephenson, who caused a stir during the playoffs last spring by blowing in LeBron James’ ear. Drake summoned a heart-shaped “Lance Cam!” and, of course, blew in Stephenson’s ear. Watch the full monologue below:
Things got considerably funnier later when Drake co-starred in a “Drake vs. Blake” sketch with Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin, which featured a cameo by Drake’s (former?) rival Chris Brown. The sketch involves Drake and Griffin impersonating each other and also features a cameo by ESPN commentator and Grantland founder Bill Simmons. At one point Drake utters the phrase, “Anyway, I’m Blake Griffin, part of the dominant white race.” Watch that sketch below.
He also performed a handful of joke songs that were also very funny. First up was “Honorable Mention,” a ballad about being second-best, featuring a serious burn on Macklemore and some playful ribbing for Iggy Azalea and her NBA boyfriend Nick Young AKA Swaggy P:
Next came “Side Pieces,” a self-explanatory ballad that featured a guest appearance by Brian McKnight:
And he revised “Worst Behavior” to be about disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling:
Later in the show, Drake impersonated Manny Pacquiao singing “Let It Go” from Frozen.
Throughout the night he poked fun at basketball star Russell Westbrook’s outlandish fashion sense:
Russell Westbrook is FEELIN' the Russell Westbrook collection… pic.twitter.com/dJQWX7rwz0
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) July 17, 2014
He also read a poem for WNBA star Skylar Diggins that won him a kiss (on the forehead):
— ESPYS 2014 (@ESPYS) July 17, 2014
Notably, Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” was used in a moving sequence about ESPN anchor Stuart Scott’s battle with cancer.