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Keegan-Michael Key Teases NFL Honors Surprises (Exclusive)

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Keegan-Michael Key is teasing an unforgettable show for this year’s NFL Honors, which he’s hosting ahead of Super Bowl LVIII. 

Sitting down with ET’s Kevin Frazier in Las Vegas on Wednesday, the comedian and actor, 52, opened up about the exciting show he and the producing staff — which includes his wife, Elle Key — have planned for the NFL awards ceremony. 

“So I don’t ruin anything, I think the best thing I can tell you is that this is going to be a show worthy of Vegas,” the Wonka actor said. “It’s gonna be the most Vegas-y show that we’ve ever done for the NFL Honors and that’s kind of the majority of what I can say about it without ruining any of the surprises.” 

Key has previously hosted the NFL Honors twice, once in 2017 and more recently in 2022. 

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The awards show is held each year as a way to honor the players. The event, which is held by the NFL and the Associated Press, is reminiscent of other major awards shows like the Academy Awards and the GRAMMYs, which nominate individuals in various categories. For the NFL Honors, categories include Most Valuable Player, Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.

Additionally, during the broadcast, the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy is awarded to one lucky individual. 2024’s recipient will follow Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who won the award in 2023.

As for how many jokes Key has written about Taylor Swift, the girlfriend of Mahomes’ teammate Travis Kelce, the comedian said his lips are sealed until the show takes place. 

“That’s, again, confidential, but I mean, you can’t ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the room, so I’ll tell you that much,” Key said. “I’ll say that much.” 

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Key said that he’s most looking forward to the unveiling of this year’s MVP as a big football fan. His favorite team, the Detroit Lions, narrowly missed out on a Super Bowl spot in their final playoff game of the season, ultimately losing to the San Francisco 49ers who will go toe to toe with the Chiefs on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. 

The comedian, who was at the game between the Lions and the 49ers, joked that he is still “in denial” when it comes to his team’s loss and that he has been wearing blue every day to feed into the delusion. Despite the tough loss — and referring to the 49ers as the “other team” — Key said he is very much excited to see the night and big game play out successively. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing who’s gonna win MVP this year, I feel like Lamar Jackson is kind of the front runner, but there’s a lot of really good candidates in that category,” Key said. “It’s always really inspiring to see who wins the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, that’s the highlight of the show and there’s always a guy who is lauded and awarded for the philanthropic work that he does off the field. I think that’s really — it’s a hallmark of the awards and such a special moment and gives me goosebumps every year.” 

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Key is hoping to give the audience goosebumps with his bits on stage, of which he shared very little details but said that there’s a little something for everyone who is tuning in, including a tribute to a “particular artist who used to perform in Vegas often, who is an icon.”

“It’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be a smorgasbord just like just like at the Venetian,” the host joked. “Apparently, Ventian has the best smorgasbord — that’s what I’ve been told.” 

The NFL Honors air live Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS & NFL and stream on Paramount+ and NFL+. 

Super Bowl LVIII – which is airing on CBS and streaming live on Paramount+ – is at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the San Francisco 49ers. Keep checking ETonline for more from the big game, including photos, exclusive interviews and more.

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