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After an opening dance number titled “Everything Is Better on TV” — which included the line, “Turn on every channel except the news” — the Emmys host applauded the TV industry’s booming year and plethora of shows, a whopping 450.
“There’s no way anyone could watch that much TV, other than the president,” said Colbert during his monologue. He added with a wave, “Hello sir, thank you for joining us. Looking forward to the tweets!”
He admitted that the biggest star of the year, in fact, is Trump, reminding the audience and viewers at home of the former reality star’s obsession with the Emmys.
“However you feel about the president, you can’t deny that every show was influenced by Donald Trump in some way,” he said, naming House of Cards and the new season of American Horror Story. “We all know the Emmys mean a lot to Donald Trump because he was nominated multiple times for Celebrity Apprentice, but he never won. If he had won an Emmy I bet he wouldn’t have run for president.”
He added, “So in a way, this is all your fault — I thought you people loved morally compromised antiheroes.”
Noting that Trump has repeatedly complained that the Emmys are “rigged” in the past, he displayed an old Trump tweet about former host Seth Meyers having “marbles in his mouth” — cut to Meyers spitting out marbles for a bit from his seat in the audience — and a flashback to when Trump’s Emmys obsession became a topic during a debate with Hillary Clinton.
But the biggest jab came when Colbert welcomed special guest Sean Spicer onto the stage.
“What really matters to Donald Trump is ratings, you have to have the big numbers,” said Colbert, noting that he was flummoxed about how to predict the night’s crowd size. Then, wheeling his own podium, the former White House press secretary appeared to offer his own prediction about the audience size at the awards show.
“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world,” Spicer said, referencing the now-infamous press conference he gave regarding the crowds at Trump’s presidential inauguration in January. Despite the quickly trending audience reactions after a robust welcome, the cameo has since been widely criticized.
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