The pressure was on for Drake when he hosted the ESPYs, ESPN’s annual awards show honoring athletic performances, on Wednesday night: Throughout his 10-minute long opening monologue, the camera zoomed in on audience reactions, which frequently featured zoned-out, stone-cold faces.
Midway through the monologue, Drake made a joke at Donald Sterling’s expense (“Were just a couple hundred yards from Staples Center, which also happens to be as close as Donald Sterling is allowed to get”), drawing only a few laughs until the camera focused on one audience member who was clearly not amused, causing the audience to explode with laughter. But his LeBron James jokes went over a tad better: “You know what 40 million dollars gets you in Miami? A really nice house,” Drake started, “You know what 40 million gets you in Cleveland? Cleveland.”
James and Sterling weren’t Drake’s only victims—he brought up the recent World Cup, noting it was set in Brazil, the plastic surgery capital of the world. “Which is great, because after the way Brazil played, there are 11 guys who need to look way different as soon as possible.”
He ended his monologue with a viral-ready spoof, playing a video of Charlotte Hornets player Lance Stephenson blowing in James’ ear during a game and then replicating the awkward moment by turning the tables and blowing in Stephenson’s ear himself. ”You only blow on the ear of somebody that you truly and deeply respect, and I promised myself—and one other person—that I would do this if I got the chance.” Cue the Lance Cam, a variation on the Kiss Cam, and a chuckling Stephenson.
Later, Drake got into character as boxer Manny Pacquiao—who has also dabbled in a music career—and sang a rendition of Frozen hit “Let It Go” for a pre-recorded short. Bringing back memories of when Drake surprised many with his highly amusing turn on Saturday Night Live back in January, this video showed off Drake’s skills as a character actor—and proved that maybe he would have been better off spoofing on Pacquiao for his entire monologue.