Since the election of Donald Trump, star-studded awards ceremonies have gotten political. So it came as no surprise when host Stephen Colbert took aim at the president during the Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday.
Colbert has consistently used Trump as a foil to boost the ratings of his late-night TV show, and the president was center stage once again.
Colbert’s song-and-dance number to open the show included many TV personalities, most notably Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose character on the satirical show “Veep” is a narcissistic former president but one with at least SOME redeeming qualities, took aim at the president for his recent remarks about race relations: “Imagine if your president was not beloved by Nazis.”
The monologue that followed featured a somewhat controversial appearance by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Doing his best impersonation of Melissa McCarthy’s doing her “Saturday Night Live” impersonation of him, Spicer rolled his podium onstage and announced to Colbert, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys. Period. Both in person and around the world” – a reference to his own [untrue] assertion that the crowd at Trump’s inaugural address was the biggest in history.
Colbert, implying it had been Spicer’s job to say whatever the thin-skinned president wanted to hear, sarcastically thanked Spicer for the boost to his own fragile self-esteem. While somewhat cool to see Spicer poking fun at himself, the idea that the President of the United States lies to the American people can be a sensitive subject.
Referring to another hilarious SNL impersonation, Colbert said Trump was “the biggest TV star of last year.” After pausing for affect, he deadpanned, “and Alec Baldwin, obviously.”
Colbert then drew a large round of applause when he declared, “Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”
The evening’s most cutting remarks came when Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin, talking about their hit film “9 to 5″, noted how little things had changed: “Back in 1980 in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” Fonda said. Then Tomlin jumped in adding, “and in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” Ouch.
Despite Colbert’s insistence the president was watching the live broadcast, as of this writing, there was no word, via twitter or otherwise, on Trump’s reaction to the beat-downs.