Awards shows may seem to be mostly about showering the entertainment industry's best actors, movies, and TV series with gold trophies, but that doesn't mean they aren't to be taken seriously or that they don't cover real, important issues outside of Hollywood. Just look at the 2017 Emmy Awards, where there were many political jokes just in Stephen Colbert's monologue alone. The intro covered everything from Donald Trump's endless tweeting to that Ted Cruz porn video, and to say Colbert didn't hold back is most certainly an understatement.
Of course, it's not like anyone expected that the always politically outspoken Colbert would start off the Emmys without making some extremely pointed jokes aimed at our government and current political climate, but it still felt satisfying to hear him deliver. And the Emmys audience clearly agreed, as the cameras showed countless celebs hysterically laughing at Colbert's jokes throughout his opening monologue, like Anthony Anderson and Sarah Hyland. It's clear that practically everyone was thrilled by Colbert getting political during that intro, and was saddened when it had to come to an end — even if it was followed by the appearance of Big Little Lies' biggest stars.
But man, Colbert's jokes were seriously great. The host started off his monologue poking fun not at the government, but at more entertainment-focused entities like Game of Thrones and CBS' chairman, Les Moonves. The speech then turned political but in a serious manner, with Colbert noting the first responders who've helped out during Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. But then the political jokes came in, and oh, were they good. Let's go through the list.
1. "What a year it has been for television, the industry is booming, there are over 450 original scripted shows made this year. Of course there’s no way anyone could actually watch that much TV, other than the president, who seems to have a lot of time for that sort of thing. Hello sir, thank you for joining us! Looking forward to the tweets."
Calling out Trump for his endless TV watching and tweets about said TV watching? So necessary, and so good.
2. "Of course these days everybody loves streaming video. Just ask Ted Cruz. But knock first, you don’t want to just walk in."
LOL — this shout-out to Cruz's porn video scandal is the best.
3. "There are so many talented African-American nominees. Jeffrey Wright. Viola Davis. Samira Wiley. Uzo Aduba. Anthony Anderson from ABC’s black-ish. And of course Bill Maher. I assume he’s black since he’s so comfortable using the n-word. I don’t know."
The audience loved this one.
4. "We know that the biggest TV star of the last year is Donald Trump. I mean, I like him. He’s the biggest star. And Alec Baldwin, obviously. You guys are neck and neck. And Alec you’re up against a lot of neck. However you feel about the president and you do feel about the president, you can’t deny that every show is influenced by Donald Trump in some way. All the 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. Muy caliente."
There's so much to unpack from this joke, and it's all so damn good.
5. "And we all know the Emmys mean a lot to Donald Trump, because he was nominated multiple times for The Apprentice, but he never won. Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? I tell you this, if he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. So in a way, this is all your fault. I thought you people loved morally compromised antiheroes. You like Walter White. He’s just Walter Much Whiter. And he never forgave you and he never will. The president has complained repeatedly that the Emmys are rigged. He even went after the host a few years back tweeting, 'That Seth Meyers is hosting the Emmy Awards is a total joke. He is very awkward with almost no talent. Marbles in his mouth.' Well, 'marbles in his mouth,' that’s harsh. That’s quite an accusation. Any response, Seth?"
Same for this one — making fun of The Apprentice, Trump's racism, and Seth Meyers all in one joke? Yup.
6. "Even during the campaign, Trump would not let it go. This exchange actually happened in the debates. (Colbert then cut to a clip from the debate where Hillary Clinton said, 'There was even a time when he didn’t win an Emmy for his show three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged.', to which Trump responded, 'Should’ve gotten it.') But he didn’t. Because unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote."
7. "Of course what really matters to Donald Trump is ratings. You gotta have the big numbers. I certainly hope we achieve that tonight. Unfortunately, at this point, we have no way of knowing how big our audience is? Sean, do you know?"
Sean Spicer appeared, you guys. SEAN SPICER. Should we be celebrating a man who enabled Trump? Maybe not, but it sure was a funny moment.
Colbert truly killed it in his monologue when it came to calling out the U.S. government, and the audience couldn't have been happier about it.