It was just a given that we were going to get something amazing out of Stephen Colbert as Emmys host, but most fans likely weren't expecting something this amazing. Colbert's 2017 Emmys song lyrics were hilarious, thoughtful, political, and catchy. Featuring a Chance the Rapper guest spot and too many references to count, the opening monologue song it was at once reassuring and passionate, encouraging viewers to get out there and make a difference offscreen. Of course, that Chance cameo should have you wondering why he isn't hosting the Emmys — but that's neither here nor there.
The song opened with Anthony Anderson and Allison Janney talking to Colbert about things like HBO greenlighting Confederate (they all agreed to cancel their subscriptions, but only after Game of Thrones was over) and why the host was talking for this monologue instead of singing it. Colbert quickly realized that they were absolutely right, and launched into a song that began:
Dear friends, the next time the world’s problems
Make you feel the blues
Turn on any channel
Well, except the news
'Cause troubles aren't so troubling
If you see them in HD
The world’s a little better on TV
That should have been the clue that we all needed to realize this wasn't going to be an entirely lighthearted song. But it only got better (and more political) from there.
Colbert continued with verse after verse of amazing TV references, "So don’t you worry about global warming or the Middle East / Walk on the bright side with the recently deceased /My HBO Go Password is sexbot123 / Everything is better on TV."
The number of people trying to log into his HBO Go account at the moment has to be through the roof, right? But the host went on,
"When the world’s so scary / You close your door and hide / Open up let Archer slip inside."
And then he probably spoiled This Is Us for people waiting for Season 2:
Watch This Is Us you’ll learn
It feels so good to feel so sad
With Randall, Kev, and Kate
She probably killed her dad
Stranger Things is much less stranger
Than our reality
Everything is better on TV
Praised Veep and burned Trump in a few lines, with help from Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale:
I’d like to vote for Selina Meyer
She’s pretty foxy
Imagine if your president
Was not beloved by Nazis
And, finally, segued into the unexpected:
The Americans has hotter spies
Than the Russia inquiry
Even treason’s better on TV
You don’t have to take it from my song and dance
It’s time to give this thing a Chance
Enter Chance the Rapper, who delivered the hands down best part of the song. "Yo, Stephen, what a beautiful segue. Let me take over. I can make some headway. I love television, it’s a pleasant distraction, but just imagine taking action," the rapper said. "I like Brooklyn Nine-Nine; in fact, I’m addicted. But where’s the cop show where one gets convicted? I miss the classics. I still think MASH rocks, but, if Hawkeye can be a soldier, why not Laverne Cox? Bob’s Burgers makes you smile, but please don’t ignore the decline of the independent family-run store. I get it. The finales, they got you focused. Just record the show and try to show up at the protest, you know?"
There's nothing at all to be added to that that can make it any better than it is. Because, yes, everyone is at the Emmys to have a good time, but getting off your butt and making a difference is still important. And who better to point that out to you than Chance the Rapper, who has put his money where his mouth is in the past with acts like co-creating the Warmest Winter campaign to raise money to buy coats for the homeless?
After Chance said his piece, Colbert returned with more truthbombs — and women and men behind him dressed like handmaids from The Handmaid's Tale:
The nightly news might fill you with fears and phobias
Calm yourself by watching this dystopia
Look on the bright side, handmaids, at least your health care’s free
But our future’s always brighter on TV
So, friends, I know that the world may be the worst we’ve ever seen
But it’s never been better on your TV screen
'Cause even though old Kimmy agrees we’re up Schmidt creek
You can just whip out your smartphone and steam shows while you pee
You can binge until your muscles start to atrophy
'Till you can’t tell the difference between fact and fantasy
When everything is better on TV
Yes, everything is better on TV
Yeah, that was deep. But, then again, we shouldn't have expected anything less from Stephen Colbert and Chance the Rapper.