President Trump Becomes an Emmy Punching Bag

The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards took place yesterday and were riddled with political jokes from start to finish. From Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue to President Trump’s previous press secretary, Sean Spicer’s parody of himself, the Emmys weren’t something to be missed.

The Emmy Awards

Photo: LA Times

Stephen Colbert Sets a Trump-Centric Tone

Leaning heavily on Trump jokes, Stephen Colbert has become the late-night rating king. It was no surprise that he opened the Emmy’s with a fizzy opening song-and-dance number that poked fun at the President. The number positioned TV as an escape from the world President Trump has created. It featured prime-time stars like Anthony Anderson, Allison Janney, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and FX’s animated Archer. It also featured a hip-hop interlude by Chance the Rapper and a troupe of tap-dancing female and male “handmaids.”

“The world may be the worst we’ve ever seen,” Mr. Colbert sang. “But it’s never been better on your TV screen.”

The sequence gave way to a monologue that set a Trump-bashing tone for the evening, as Mr. Colbert mocked the president less for his leadership than for being a former reality star who still resented the fact he was never awarded TV’s top prize.

“If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president,” Mr. Colbert said. “So in a way, this is all your fault.”

Sean Spicer Goes Hollywood

The star of one of 2017’s most buzzworthy shows, Sean Spicer, made an appearance at the Emmy’s as well. Sean was not only the former press secretary, but the star of a short-lived comedy-drama that blurred the lines between fact and fiction. The Emmys couldn’t resist calling the former White House press secretary out to parody his own performance.

“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period!” Spicer said, recalling his stone-faced exaggeration about Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. It was a jarring to see the former press secratry in this light, but if the appearance was an attempt to rehab Mr. Spicer’s public image, the price was admitting that his credibility was now a punch line.

Alec Baldwin Wins Award For Trump Impersonation

“You can’t deny that every show was influenced by Donald Trump in some way,” Mr. Colbert said in his opening monologue. This statement is more than true when it comes to Alec Baldwin’s performance in Saturday Night Live.

After Mr. Colbert razzed President Trump for never winning an Emmy for “Celebrity Apprentice,” Alec Baldwin, who won best supporting actor in a comedy for his portrayal of Mr. Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” picked up the theme.

“I suppose I should say at long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy,” he said.

Other Noteworthy Emmy Moments

Outside of the presidental humor, the Emmy’s were full of noteworhty moments from start to finish. Donald Glover and Lena Waithe both made history with their wins. Mr. Glover was the first African-American to win in the best comedy series director category for “Atlanta”. Ms. Waithe is the first African-American woman to win in the best comedy series writer category. (She shared the award with “Master of None” series star and co-creator Aziz Ansari.)

Saturday Night Live did very well as they always do following an election year. Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin all won for their political impressions. Ms. McKinnon even thanked Hillary Clinton in her acceptance speech. Dave Chappelle won for his guest hosting on the first “S.N.L.” after the election.

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