For its 69th festival of self-benediction, broadcast Sunday on CBS, the Television Academy brought on Stephen Colbert as its master of ceremonies. Already on the CBS payroll, already schooled in hosting — it is two years almost to the day that, having abandoned his ironic “Colbert Report” persona, he took over “The Late Show” — he was an obvious choice for this job. It was a choice made even easier, to be sure, as his numbers improved and the narrative surrounding “The Late Show” turned from disappointment to delight.
As a comedian, it’s Colbert’s job to take things apart, but he is temperamentally a thoughtful, philosophical, gracious, happy sort of humorist. Like “The Late Show,” where Colbert shows himself more interested in philosophy than celebrity self-promotion, Colbert’s Emmys show was, not surprisingly, genial, pointed, exuberant, just a little bit outrageous and marked by a kind of bemused patience with the vanities of Hollywood that did not exempt the host. When he led the audience in “the traditional Hollywood prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us talent and beauty and the gaping hole inside of each of us that craves love and will never be filled,” that was not meant just in fun. . . .
. . .The monologue began as a mix of good and bad jokes, like any late-night monologue, mostly on lightweight topics. There was the usual engaging with selected stars in the front row seats. But it was the Donald Trump jokes — the current administration being the source of much of “The Late Show’s” invigorated focus — that one awaited.
Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. This is all your fault.
Here it is, the obligatory roundup of Emmy favs kissing on their Atom lady. But what sparks this trophy love between recipient and award? Is this genuine joy from an ecstatic winner, or was it prompted by the red carpet photographers angling for a quality photo-op?
Truly this is the chicken and the egg conundrum of award season. We may never know the answer, but also who cares Lena Waithe looks great holding gold.
Riz Ahmed, Emmy winner for best actor in a limited series for playing the role of “Naz” in the bleak HBO drama “The Night Of” fielded questions about the importance of diversity onscreen.
“I don’t know if any one person’s win of an award, or one person’s snagging one role, or one person doing really well, changes anything when it comes to a systemic lack of inclusion,” he said. “I think what we’re starting to see is more awareness around how beneficial it can be to tell a diverse range of stories in a way that is authentic.”
Still, he was very pleased to be standing right where he was.
When “Big Little Lies” director Jean-Marc Vallee and the star-studded cast of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” appeared backstage after winning the Emmy for best limited series, everyone wanted to know one thing: Just how “limited” did the show’s creators intend to keep it? Would there be a Season 2?
“I’m just like the audience, and like these girls and everyone else,” Vallee said, gesturing to two of his leading ladies, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who stood smiling beside him. “It would be great to reunite the team. Are we gonna be able to do it? I wish. We’ll see what the future holds.”
Witherspoon giddily interjected, “You already know we’re liars, I don’t think you should trust anything we say.”
Sean Spicer's cameo during the Emmy Awards generated a mixture of emotions.
There was surprise, of course, when Spicer made an appearance during Stephen Colbert's opening monologue. But inside the Microsoft Theater on Sunday evening there also appeared to be a bit of consternation. Cameras, for instance, caught Melissa McCarthy, who impersonated the embattled former White House press secretary on "Saturday Night Live," appearing less than amused.
Colbert wheeled out Spicer at the end of his monologue for a gag that recalled Spicer's presser about President Trump's inauguration attendance.
NBC’s “This Is Us,” which follows the story of a family at different stages in their lives, is nothing if not a tearjerker. So it was appropriate that when Sterling K. Brown took the podium in the press room on Sunday, his eyes were seemingly bloodshot, as if he had been crying.
When asked if he had more to say after his acceptance speech was cut off, he quickly brightened.
“I wouldn’t mind finishing, thank you for the invitation. I want to thank our writers,” said Brown, who won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series. “You guys are our life supply.” He then went on to thank the show’s producers and directors and his family members.
Sunday was a good night for HBO’s “Veep.” The political satire and two-time Emmy-winning comedy series about the first female POTUS not only received 17 Emmy nominations, but took home one of the evening’s top prizes, the Emmy for best comedy series.
With a mix of cast and show creatives behind them, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series, and executive producer David Mandel addressed the crowd.
“In our show, when Selina does something horrible or lies, she gets caught and actually pays a price for it,” Mandel said right off the bat, alluding, with a verbal wink, to President Trump.