TV has always been a form of escapism, as Stephen Colbert's opening number proved at the Emmy Awards. And you won't believe the range of cameos from the 2017 Emmys opening video. The song was over before you knew it, but there were more than enough stars to go around.
The news is more stressful than ever in 2017, so thank the Lord of Light for television. That's the message that Colbert used to start the show, singing about how much better TV is than the real world, bopping from scene to scene with lots of swaying. There were plenty of savage lyrics about current events, from police violence to calling out Nazis to the Russia inquiry to trans military rights. The lyrics were so real, that the song even suggested that audiences "record the show and try and show up to the protest" for once. It's a valid suggestion, even if it felt like a dig to some viewers.
There were also plenty of hilarious TV references to HBO Go passwords and popular shows like This Is Us, Stranger Things, Bob's Burgers, Veep, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Americans. Those references were assisted by the following singing and dancing special guests, of course.
Anthony Anderson & Allison Janney
From black-ish, in case you didn't know. Plus, the Mom star is always a calming (and hilarious) presence on screen. They set up the song with some pointedly cheesy dialogue — but hey, now you've heard Janney say the words "Jon Snow's butt" out loud and you can never unhear that.
H. Jon Benjamin's animated character was next. That's right. This opening number mixed mediums.
The This Is Us Big Three
Justin Hartley, Sterling K. Brown, and Chrissy Metz were bopping on the couch together. Did Kate kill her Dad? That's Stephen's fan theory, at least.
Millie Bobby Brown
She appeared Eleven from Stranger Things — and the Demogorgon was there too, jazz hands and all! Honestly, it's surprising she didn't sing more. Those Hawkins Junior High kids love a good musical moment.
Julia Louis Dreyfus & Tony Hale
The two Veep stars appeared in character as well and, if the gif above is any indication, clearly had the sickest dance moves.
Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell appeared, spy wings and all. Your parents, who watch the show and keep telling you that the '80s period drama is so eerily relevant now will finally be vindicated. Russian spies aren't a thing of the past anymore, as their cameo appearance reminds us.
The Actual News
They may not be your favorite celebrities, but both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin appeared in some clips as well. Of course, it was old news footage, not filmed specifically for this segment.
Chance The Rapper
Every catchy song needs a rap break, and Chance had it covered, appearing as himself — or a musical guest, perhaps. His lyrics provided the bulk of the social commentary, and should have gone on much longer. Alas, it was only a taste.
Sure, handmaids turning into a chorus line sends a potentially confusing message given the content of the Margaret Atwood novel, but the men and women who closed the show were still fun.
In 2017, everyone has compared the news to their favorite show — only crazier. House of Cards, Scandal, Veep, American Gods The Handmaid's Tale, etc. We're all talking about it. All shows seem surreal in times like these. So not only was Colbert's song catchy, it was too relatable, and set the tone for an entertaining and occasionally pointed evening of Emmy.