Treason, a Whiter Walter White and a Sore Loser: Stephen Colbert Goes Hard Against Trump in Emmys Opening Number
He’s been one of the most outspoken critics of President Donald Trump, using his popular late-night talk show to mock the former Apprentice star and his administration. So it was no surprise on Sunday when Stephen Colbert used his platform as host of the 2017 Emmy Awards to get political.
The digs began early, when the 53-year-old began with a song and dance number singing about how “everything is better on TV” — moving his way through famous TV shows and joking with Julia Louis Dreyfus’s character on Veep, “Imagine if your president is not beloved by Nazis?”
He then got into a car with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys from The Americans, shaking hands with Vladimir Putin while singing, “Even treason is better on TV”
The Trump jokes continued in his opening monologue.
First Colbert joked Trump “seems to have that much time” to watch TV. “Hello sir, thank you for joining us. Look forward to the tweets. ”
Then Colbert pointed out that Trump and Alec Baldwin, who played Trump on Saturday Night Live, where the two biggest stars at the show.
“You guys are neck and neck, and Alec you’re up against a lot of neck,” Colbert said. “And however you feel about the pesident, and you do feel about the president, you can’t deny it,” Colbert said.
“Even during the campaign, Trump would not let it go,” Colbert said. “But he didn’t because unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winners of the popular vote.”
“He was nominated multiple times for Celebrity Apprentice but he never won,” Colbert added. “If he had won an Emmy, I bet he never would have run for president. Trump is like Walter White. He’s just like Walter and much whiter.”
To top it all off, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer made an appearance — the camera quickly panning to Melissa McCarthy, who played him on Saturday Night Live.
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It’s no surprise that Colbert lampooned the commander-in-chief: In a recent Variety interview, called Trump “the TV star of the year.”
“It’s not a political monologue, but you can’t keep politics out of it, because politics was the biggest TV story this year,” he explained.
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The Emmys mark Colbert’s first time hosting a major awards show. It’s also a big night for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which is nominated for two Emmys — outstanding variety talk series and outstanding writing for a variety series. Colbert’s election night coverage is also nominated for outstanding variety special and outstanding writing for a variety special.
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Dozens of A-listers have descended on Hollywood for TV’s biggest night.
TV shows battling it out for the night’s top awards include The Crown, Better Call Saul, The Handmaid’s Tale, House of Cards, Stranger Things, This Is Us and Westworld for outstanding drama series and Atlanta, black-ish, Master of None, Modern Family, Silicon Valley, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Veep for outstanding comedy series.
For full Emmys coverage, click here.
Other awards to watch include outstanding limited series (which pits Big Little Lies, The Night Of, Feud: Bette and Joan, Genius and Fargo against one another) and the major acting categories, like outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie and lead actor in a drama series.
The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Colbert, are airing live on CBS from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.