LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Emmy awards show was peppered with political jokes and pointed speeches on Sunday, as host Stephen Colbert took shots at U.S. President Donald Trump, Sean Spicer made a surprise appearance and Trump won an Emmy – sort of.
Alec Baldwin, who won a comedy supporting actor Emmy for parodying Trump on NBC’s sketch series “Saturday Night Live,” accepted his award on stage and said, “I suppose I should say, at long last Mr. President, here is your Emmy.”
Trump’s lack of an Emmy win during his long-running stint hosting NBC’s “The Apprentice” and “The Celebrity Apprentice” has been a sore spot for the now president, who has bemoaned not winning in previous years.
Colbert opened Sunday’s Emmys ceremony with a musical number that touched on climate change, news media and included Julia Louis-Dreyfus, dressed as her foul-mouthed fictitious president Selina Meyer from “Veep,” singing “Imagine if your president was not beloved by Nazis.”
Colbert later poked fun at Trump, calling him “the biggest TV star of the last year,” and criticizing the television academy for not previously giving Trump an Emmy award.
“Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president,” Colbert quipped.
Many of the stars taking the Emmys stage on Sunday also threw jabs at the president.
Donald Glover, who won two Emmys including best comedy actor for his FX show “Atlanta,” joked on stage, “I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the most oppressed list, he’s the reason I‘m up here I think.”
Louis-Dreyfus, who won best comedy actress for a record sixth time for her role as Meyer on “Veep,” said of the upcoming season, “We did have whole storyline about an impeachment, but we abandoned that because we were worried that someone else might get to it first.”
Former White House press secretary Spicer walked onto the Emmy stage wheeling a podium and stunning the star-studded audience, including Melissa McCarthy, who won a guest actress Emmy for portraying him on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world,” Spicer said while pointing his finger at Colbert.
“Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego,” the host deadpanned, before pointing at Spicer and saying, “Melissa McCarthy everyone, give it up,” as Spicer laughed and shook his head.
Spicer burst onto the public stage in January as Trump’s first press secretary, with a scolding rant against reporters accusing them of lowballing the size of the Inauguration Day crowd. He left the White House this summer, sparking a flurry of speculation as to his next career move.
Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Mary Milliken