The two comedians walked out arm in arm and appeared to be keen to set a serious tone for the evening, with Kenan celebrating the people of colour who were up for top honours.
"This year's Emmy Awards has the most diverse group of nominees in Emmy history...," he said, before joking, "I'm gonna go ahead a say it, we solved it...".
"Sandra Oh is the first Asian woman to be nominated for a Lead Actress Emmy ever," Kenan said, pointing the star out in the audience.
Oh responded by saying, "Thank you but it's an honour just to be Asian!".
The comedy 'We Solved It' song and dance routine also featured Kristen Bell, Sterling K. Brown, Ru Paul, Milo Ventimiglia, and Ricky Martin, who walked onstage at the Microsoft Theatre and said, "You haven't solved it. This song is way too white".
The track then became a salsa tune before Ru Paul announced there was a call for "Mr. Thompson".
Kenan picked up a phone and said, "Hello. Oh, we did not solve it. I see. Long way to go. OK. Cart before the horse...".
The grand opening ended with John Legend, as 2018 Emmy co-hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che hit the stage.
The two SNL stars kicked off the show by poking fun at Hollywood's sexual misconduct scandals from the past year.
"This year the audience is allowed to drink in their seats... because the one thing Hollywood needs right now is people losing their inhibitions at a work function," Jost said.