The Saturday Night Live co-stars hosted the 70th annual awards show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday, but proved they weren't messing around in their opening monologue.
A musical number, led by Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Bell and Sterling K. Brown, opened the show with a string of zingers about TV's changing diversity landscape -- and Jost and Che continued that theme when they took the stage.
Race was a big topic for the pair, who didn't waste any time in commenting on the current landscape.
"The first Emmys were held back in 1949. Things were very different back then. Gas was 17 cents a gallon, a new home cost $7,000 and we all agreed that Nazis were bad," Jost said.
The two took a brief turn to point out the continued #MeToo movement -- "Netflix has the most nominations tonight, and if you're a network executive, that's the scariest thing you could possibly hear. Except maybe, 'Sir, Ronan Farrow's on line one,'" Jost said -- before pivoting back to race.
"Black-ish is how I've been asked to behave tonight," Che joked, before focusing on another TV series, The Handmaid's Tale, which is set in "an imaginary future." "It's what black people call history," he said. "It's Roots for white women. That's what it is. It's Roots with bonnets."
The two then took aim at the recent Roseanne scandal. While mentioning the string of shows that have switched networks lately, Jost cracked, "Roseanne was canceled by herself, but picked up by white nationalists."
"She's had a rough year," Che added. "I heard Roseanne's actually moving to Israel. How messed up is your life when you have to move to the Middle East just to get peace of mind?"
After a couple more jabs, Che and Jost agreed that "it's not perfect, but TV has come a long way in the past 70 years."
"I think we can keep television going for another 5, 6 years, tops," Jost quipped.
Jost and Che teased there might be some shade thrown during the awards show while speaking with ET at the official roll out of the Emmys golden carpet on Thursday.
"He has got a lot of jokes about some TV legends, I mean some people that have maybe never been made fun of before," Che revealed of Jost.
"Yeah, tons of Merv Griffin jokes," Jost quipped. "Just wait!"