TV Guide: What makes you most qualified to be an Emmy host?
Ryan: The fact that I’m unqualified.
Heidi: I don’t necessarily see myself as being the most qualified, but I have to say it is an honor to be recognized, especially in the company of so many great hosts. I think, collectively, we make a good team of Emmy hosts, no?
Jeff: Absolutely nothing. I was as shocked as anybody. I think all of us sense there’s a certain bit of skepticism — like, really? I think it’s important to establish early that we’re in on the joke — that we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Tom: The fact that I said yes when they asked me. Although I’ve heard rumors that they’re now thinking of Michael Phelps.
Howie: Probably my singing and dancing skills. And no, I will not be utilizing them. I promise not to utilize them, and that’s what most qualifies me.
TV Guide: If you won an Emmy, whom would you thank?
Heidi: I would be so excited. But the show is obviously a real team effort, so I would be speaking on behalf of our whole Runway family.
Jeff: My speech begins with my kindergarten teacher and concludes with the universe, which is my god —and I don’t care if the band starts playing. I’ll keep talking because I’m a host. And if I lose, I will tackle Seacrest, and I will take that Emmy one way or another.
Tom: I think I’d go the purely egotistical route and just get there and say, “None of you slobs had anything to do with this.”
Howie: Ikea, for the shelving. No, I would have to thank everybody at Deal or No Deal because they created this possibility of a win — which is not going to happen, by the way, so I don’t have to think about this.
TV Guide: What would you change about the Emmys if you could?
Ryan: They are on so late. I go to bed at 8.
Heidi: I don’t know. I’m pretty excited this year. It’s me and four guys in charge. For sure, I’m not complaining!
Jeff: Well, I’m working on it this year, so I guess I have to be careful, but I would like it to be less scripted. And a little riskier.
Tom: I’d make it pay-per-view. Then we could say anything we wanted to. You’d have people getting on stage to tell other people to f--- off.
Howie: I would emphasize the gifting booth more than the actual awards ceremony. [Gifting] goes on in various hotels throughout the city. They say, “Show up at the Howard Johnson, Room 6, and we have some velour shorts for you.” It’s good to be in this business.
TV Guide: What would be your Emmy dream moment?
Ryan: One where I look taller than Jeff Probst on stage.
Heidi: I think you know the answer to this — winning an Emmy for Project Runway!
Jeff: Mary-Louise Parker comes over and says, “Hey, you’re kinda cute. What’s your story?”
Tom: That I win, of course, but No. 2 would be that Heidi Klum wins and decides to take me home. And my wife understands.
Howie: I would think just hand-feeding Dame Judi Dench chocolate-dipped strawberries at the Governors Ball after the ceremony. But then, that has to be everybody’s dream.
TV Guide: How is the Emmy show like Dancing with the Stars?
Tom: It’s like Dancing with the Stars in that there’s judging going on, and a lot of it involves muttering under people’s breaths.
TV Guide: What is the biggest Emmy snub, in your opinion?
Heidi: I’d love to see my good friend Jay [Leno] win an Emmy sometime. He’s one of the hardest-working guys in the business.
TV Guide: What is your favorite Emmy-nominated show and why?
Howie: It would have to be St. Elsewhere, and the why is because it was my first serious job in television and not only did it thrill me, but it thrilled my mortgage holder.
TV Guide: How are the Emmys like Survivor?
Jeff: The Emmys are a reality elimination show. You start with 100 people in a category, whittle it down to five and then, on live national TV, four of them have to figure out how in the f--- to put on a smile.
TV Guide: What is your favorite past Emmy moment?
Ryan: When they announced our new category.