Late Night host Stephen Colbert piloted the Sept. 17 and 69th annual Emmy Awards unsurprisingly down the Trump path, forcing the show into a political atmosphere.
The opening sequence featured Colbert singing an original song “The World’s a Little Better on TV”. The song highlighted the political and social issues plaguing the country, insisting on the necessity of television to drown out reality and bring hope back into society. Many nominees were seen in the video, as well as Chance the Rapper, who had a sequence in the song. The song, suitingly, ended in a kick line of performers in handmaid suits.
Then began the Trump role, with Colbert’s monologue opening with “We know that the biggest television star of the past year is Donald Trump.” He then said America “looked forward to the tweets” the president will likely rebuttal with against the Emmys. Television has undoubtedly been influenced by Trump. Late night talk shows and even programs such as House of Cards and American Horror Story, for example, have been imprinted by the President.
In a clip shown from the elections, Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton said, “There was a time when [Trump] didn’t win an Emmy three years in a row [for his show Celebrity Apprentice] and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged,” connecting the award show to the President. Colbert finished his speech with “Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”
White House Communications Director Sean Spicer was then rolled on stage, proceeding to say, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys period, both in person and around the globe.” He was rolled in to poke fun at actor Melissa McCartney’s portrayal of him on Saturday night Live when he claimed Trump’s inauguration was the most viewed ever despite pictures proving that to be false.
While the opening was loaded with polarity, the night featured a range of honors for national primetime programming, with Saturday Night Live and Westworld leading in nominations.
Representation for streaming services was a record high with NetFlix originals holding 92 nominations alone. Hulu original The Handmaid’s Tale became the first streaming series to win best series.
For the third year in a row, this was the most diverse group of nominees. Upon winning the Emmy for Lead Actor, Donald Glover took to his speech to say “I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the most oppressed list. He’s the reason I’m probably up here.”
Big winners for the night were Saturday Night Live with nine wins, and The Handmaid’s Tale with eight. While Veep‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus went home with one Emmy, she has now won more Emmys for the same role than any actor in history.
One of the more interesting wins was actor Alec Baldwin for his portrayal of the President on Saturday Night Live. When claiming the award, he said, “At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy.” After a night of controversy and historical trends, this was the much needed conclusion to the President’s roasts.
The Emmy Awards were host to an eclectic spread of nominees being awarded for their enhancement of the world of broadcast. While politics could be found intertwined in the three hour program, so could deserving recipients of the awards.