Television is intractable in the story of Donald Trump, with his run on reality TV serving as the lead-in to his political rise.
And television’s 69th Emmy Awards seemed all about Trump Sunday night.
The tone of the award show was set from host Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue, in which he noted, “However you feel about the president, and you do feel about the president, you can’t deny that every show was influenced by Donald Trump in some way. All the late-night shows, obviously.”
Colbert went on:
We all know the Emmys mean a lot to Donald Trump. Because he was nominated multiple times for Celebrity Apprentice but he never won. Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? I tell you this. If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. So in a way this is all your fault.
And Colbert’s biggest zinger: “Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”
Soon after, who should appear on stage, pushing out a lectern but former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, joking about the size of the Emmy audience. It was both a reference to his much-lampooned statement about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd and a shout-out to actress Melissa McCarthy’s stinging portrayal of “Spicey” on Saturday Night Live:
Several of the award winners also delivered political one liners. Alec Baldwin won a supporting actor Emmy for his impression of Trump on SNL. Holding the award Baldwin said, “At long last Mr. President, here is your Emmy.”
After receiving her Emmy for best comedy actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus of HBO’s Veep, said the show had prepared “a whole story line about impeachment, but we abandoned it because we were worried that someone else might get to it first.”
And Donald Glover, who won as star and director of the FX show Atlanta thanked the president for his award, saying he had made “black people number one on the most oppressed list.”
As of Monday morning, Trump had not weighed in on the show with any tweets.