Host Stephen Colbert delivered a smart and snarky monologue at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday night that ribbed Hollywood's self-congratulatory streak but devoted a big chunk of time to the biggest TV star of them all, President Donald Trump.
After opening the show with a very cynical, very political and very funny musical number about how "Everything Is Better on TV," The Late Show host delivered a witty monologue that was heavy on political commentary.
He started by joking about Game of Thrones' ineligibility this year, shouting out the Harvey and Irma first responders, and listing off all the different ways people have to watch TV — "You have broadcast, you have cable, you have Amazon, you have YouTube, Hulu, Vudu, Netflix, Vitamix, Vimeo, Crackle, Crunchle, Twerk, Glorp, Flerp, Uber Eyeball and DintyMooreStew.com."
He took a shot at Ted Cruz's love of streaming video - "But knock first, you don't wanna just walk in" — before shouting out Netlfix, Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown ("There are roles in Hollywood for Emmys for women over 12."), broadcast TV ("Broadcast TV is breaking new ground; in fact, this season, CBS will have twice as many Sheldons as any other network in history."), This Is Us' Milo Ventimiglia ("Your fans want to see you dead. It's a compliment."), the fact that for the third year in a row this is the most diverse group of nominees in history ("That's impressive, I did not know you could applaud while patting yourself on the back at the same time."), and beloved black television personality Bill Maher ("I assume he's black since he's so comfortable using the n-word").
Shortly after that, he moved on to the main event — his roast of Donald Trump.
"If we're honest with ourselves, we know the biggest TV star of the past year is Donald Trump," he said. "You can't deny that every show is influenced by Trump in some way — all late night shows, obviously; House of Cards; the new season of American Horror Story; and of course next year's Latin Grammys hosted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio," the racist Arizona sheriff whose criminal contempt conviction Donald Trump threw out. "It'll be muy caliente."
Then he laid into the Television Academy for not giving Trump an Emmy when he was nominated for The Celebrity Apprentice, which could have avoided this whole Presidency thing. "I thought you people loved morally compromised antiheroes!"
He said Trump has not forgotten the slight and never will, noting that he insulted Seth Meyers when he was hosting, saying he had "marbles in his mouth." Colbert asked Meyers for a response, and Meyers of course dribbled literal marbles out of his mouth.
He brought up the time Trump said, "I should have gotten it" during a Presidential debate. "But he didn't," Colbert said. "Because unlike the Presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote."
Then he did something really surprising, bringing out Trump's former press secretary Sean Spicer to say this was "the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world."
The studio audience was pretty shocked. Modern Family's Julie Bowen and Sarah Hyland looked like this:
"Melissa McCarthy, everybody, give it up," Colbert joked.
All in all, very solid monologue.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)