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K.D. Burns, Ad Plugs & Old Folks: Peyton Manning's Extravagant Night As ESPYS Host

Intro: Peyton Manning took on a new role on Wednesday night, as he played host to the 25th ESPYS awards show. And, like everything else he does, Manning excelled.


INDIANAPOLIS — We laughed. We cried. We laughed again.

Peyton Manning on Wednesday night dove head-first into the high-pressure world of awards show hosting, and, like pretty much everything else he touches, he turned in pure gold.

Manning hosted the 25th ESPYS at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where his famous self-deprecating humor was on full display from his opening monologue — 10 minutes straight of zingers — to the closing of the show.

Here are some of the highlights from No. 18's big night:

Opening Monologue

Perhaps what got the social media world talking most the entire night was Manning's dig at Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant.

Durant, of course, made the decision to join an already-powerful Warriors squad prior to the beginning of the 2016-17 NBA season, earning some jeers from many who thought the former MVP was being a front-runner. That conversation only got louder after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA title a couple weeks back.

Manning couldn't help but add to the noise when addressing the U.S. women's gymnastics team during his opening remarks:

"I love that the final five," Manning said. "Won the most Olympic medals as any U.S. gymnastics team ever. And our gymnastics team was so dominant that Kevin Durant told me he wants to play for them next year."

The look on Durant's face. Yikes.

Then, Manning went there, referring to the recent feud between Durant and his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, Russell Westbrook.

"And I gotta tell you — I don't think you'd start for that team Kevin. Russell Westbrook, what do you think?"

The look on Westbrook's face. Yikes.

Durant, who later won the ESPY for "Best Championship Performance," decided not to address the Manning joke in his brief acceptance speech.

…But he later tweeted this out:

Manning also, of course, made sure to continue adding to the jokes about his seemingly never-ending list of advertisements:

Retirement home

No longer a quarterback in the NFL, Manning accordingly went to live in a retirement home.

In this bit, he becomes a pain in the behind for the other residents, including his arch rival — the grandmother of a longtime counterpart.

Super Bowl party

Speaking of retirement — and that longtime counterpart — Manning also had an extremely funny bit in which he was able to host a Super Bowl party for the very first time.

His bias ultimately came out, however — as did his singing skills, thanks to Lady Gaga. (Not to mention a Colts plug towards the end.)

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