The day was still young, but at press time Sept. 18, President Donald Trump had failed to take the Tweetbait of Emmys host Stephen Colbert at the awards ceremony Sunday night and react to a show that focused much negative attention on him.
The President has signaled Hollywood was the enemy, but the shots fired Sunday were mostly in a comic vein.
During his opening monologue, Colbert pointed out that there had been 450 news scripted shows produced, but that no one had time to watch all of them, except perhaps the President.
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Colbert thanked the President for watching and said he would be watching for the tweets. By midday the day after, Sept. 18, the President, who has not been shy about responding to TV mockery in the past, had confined himself to a pair Happy 70th Birthday CIA tweets.
There were references in Colbert's opening musical number to treason being better on TV, and the hypothetical of having a President not beloved by Nazis.
There was also Colbert opining that if Trump had gotten the Emmy for which he was nominated three years running—his Emmy loss was even referred to in one of the debates by Hillary Clinton—perhaps he would never have run for President.
"I thought you loved morally compromised antiheroes," Colbert said to the audience, upbraiding them for not giving the President an Emmy and joking that what ensued was their fault. You liked [Breaking Bad's] Walter White, he said, well the President is just "Walter much whiter."
Then there was the joke about the election, which remains a sore spot for Trump.
"Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote," said Colbert to the monologue's loudest applause and at least one fist raised in camera view.
The biggest surprise of the opening was the appearance of the real Sean Spicer on a motorized podium hearkening to Melissa McCarthy's Saturday Night Live skit. The camera panned to McCarthy's jaw-drop. Spicer said it would be the largest audience ever to witness the Emmys, a send up of his defense of the Inauguration crowd size.
Colbert asked the audience to thank "Melissa McCarthy," as Sean exited the stage after his brief bit.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.