Sean Spicer Makes a Surprise Appearance, Plus 15 More Times the Emmys Got Political
The former White House Press Secretary just so happened to crash the awards ceremony
With Donald Trump in the White House and Stephen Colbert hosting the show, it’s no surprise this year’s Emmy Awards took a turn for the political. Acceptance speeches, the show’s opener and the bits in between — they all talked Trump, in terms both obvious and subtle. (Also, a former member of his administration showed up.)
See all the notable moments below.
1. It started off early.
Like, in the opening monologue early. Host Stephen Colbert acknowledged that Trump must be watching the show, and addressed him directly: “I’ll look forward to the tweets.”
2. Ted Cruz’s porn video scandal even got a mention.
Trump wasn’t the only politico on Colbert’s comedic chopping block. He also made a dig at Cruz’s recent Twitter “like” of a pornographic video, saying: “These days, everybody loves streaming video — just ask Ted Cruz.”
3. And the Bill Maher scandal.
Listing off names of black actors and figures on TV, Colbert included Maher. Why? “I assume he’s black because he’s so comfortable using the N-word.”
4. Then it was back to Trump.
And his recent controversial actions in office: “Next year’s Latin Grammys, hosted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio!”
5. Colbert berated the members of the Television Academy — the entire audience — for not letting Trump win.
An Emmy, that is. “Why didn’t you give him an Emmy?” he said. “I bet if he had won an Emmy, he wouldn’t have run for president.”
6. They ran an actual clip of the presidential debates.
Because Trump talked about not winning an Emmy during a debate: “Should’ve gotten it.”
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7. He read a few of Trump’s old tweets.
And got Seth Meyers in on the joke, having him actually place marbles in his mouth, because in 2014, Trump tweeted that Meyers had “marbles in his mouth.” (He also said that Meyers is “so unnatural and uncomfortable doing his show that you have to feel sorry for him.”)
8. He knocked the Electoral College.
Both the Emmys and the election involve voting, so the comparison was inevitable, right? “Unlike the presidency, the Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”
9. SEAN SPICER ACTUALLY APPEARED ON STAGE.
Forget the awards, this was the biggest shock of the night. And Spicer showed that he has quite a sense of humor, saying: “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world.”
10. John Lithgow thanked Winston Churchill.
After Colbert’s hilarious, politically packed opene, The Crown star made a more serious political remark, thanking Churchill, who he portrays on the show. “In these crazy times, his life, even as an old man, reminds us what courage and leadership in government really looks like,” he said.
11. That Westworld bit.
Colbert snuck a Trump reference into almost everything, including a sketch inspired by Westworld. The show’s star, Jeffrey Wright, asked (in character), “Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” to which Colbert replied, “Every day since November 8.”
12. Alec Baldwin won an Emmy for his Trump impersonation.
Trump may never have won an Emmy, but Baldwin did for playing him on SNL, which is almost the same thing.
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13. Kate McKinnon won, too.
McKinnon, who played Hillary Clinton on SNL, thanked the former Secretary of State for her “grace and grit.”
14. Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda made a veiled reference.
The 9 to 5 stars got up on stage and kept things vague, saying, “We still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” The statement was met with applause.
15. Julia Louis-Dreyfus speculated an impeachment.
Winning her sixth Emmy for Veep (and 11th overall), Louis-Dreyfus gave a hint for what’s to come on the show’s final season: “We were going to do an impeachment, but didn’t because we thought someone else might get to it first.”
16. The Handmaid’s Tale producer and writer ended the show with a push.
Accepting the award for outstanding drama series, Bruce Miller kept it short, sweet and political: “Go home. Get to work. We have a lot of things to fight for.”