It was not more than 10 minutes into Sunday’s Emmy Awards show, and host Stephen Colbert was already ranting about President Trump. He even gave the president a shout-out during his opening monologue.
Colbert applauded the TV industry’s booming year and the fact that they put out a whopping 450 shows. “There’s no way anyone could watch that much TV, other than the president,” said the comedian during his monologue. Ostensibly waving at the president, he added, “Hello sir, thank you for joining us. Looking forward to the tweets!”
He admitted that the biggest star of the year, in fact, is Trump, telling the audience and viewers at home that President Trump has an obsession with the Emmys.
“However, you feel about the president, you can’t deny that every show was influenced by Donald Trump in some way,” he said, pointing to House of Cards and the new season of American Horror Story. “We all know the Emmys mean a lot to Donald Trump because he was nominated multiple times for Celebrity Apprentice, but he never won. If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president.”
Colbert added, “So, in a way, this is all your fault — I thought you people loved morally compromised antiheroes.”
Noting that Trump has repeatedly complained that the Emmys are “rigged” in the past, Colbert displayed an old Trump tweet about former host Seth Meyers having “marbles in his mouth” — cut to Meyers spitting out marbles for a bit from his seat in the audience — and a flashback to when Trump’s Emmys obsession became a topic during a debate with Hillary Clinton.
Then, Colbert welcomed special guest Sean Spicer onto the stage.
“What really matters to Donald Trump is ratings, you have to have the big numbers,” said Colbert, noting that he was flummoxed about how to predict the night’s crowd size. Then, wheeling his own podium, the former White House press secretary appeared to offer his own prediction about the audience size at the awards show.
“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world,” Spicer said, referencing the press conference he gave regarding the crowds at Trump’s presidential inauguration in January.
Colbert’s Late Show was nominated for best variety series, as well as directing and writing for a variety series. The host’s 2016 presidential election special, which aired on Showtime, was also up for best variety special. If Colbert had won, he would join a small list of hosts who have also brought home a statuette. He has previously won for The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.
Late Show has benefited from what’s known as the “Trump bump,” seeming to have made a comeback as The Late Show finished the season at the top the late-night ratings for the first time in 22 years.
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Emmy stars trash Trump, accuse him of treason