A look back at the highs and lows of 2017’s Emmy Awards

"Atlanta's" Donald Glover at the 2017 Emmy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The 2018 Emmy Awards have already made some history. Black actors swept the guest-acting categories for the first time ever, while “Jesus Christ Superstar” producers John Legend, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber became members of the elusive EGOT club.

This follows the tone set by the 2017 Emmys, which also had its fair share of groundbreaking moments. “Atlanta’s” Donald Glover became the first black director to win an Emmy for comedy direction, “Master of None’s” Lena Waithe became the first black woman ever to win for comedy writing (she was also the first black woman ever nominated in the category) and Reed Morano became just the second woman to win for drama directing.

Ahead of the 70th Emmy Awards on Monday night (click here for everything you need to know), here’s a look back at some memorable moments from the 2017 ceremony.


Stephen Colbert as host

Host Stephen Colbert leads a dance number during the 69th Emmy Awards.
Host Stephen Colbert leads a dance number during the 69th Emmy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Last year’s Emmys saw “The Late Show” host showcase his late-night charm as emcee of the event. The genial host did not shy away from ribbing his fellow TV stars, as well as taking plenty of jabs at President Trump.

In addition to an opening musical number where he extolled the virtues of television, which featured a surprise appearance by Chance the Rapper, Colbert had an “exclusive interview” with the real-life Emmy (played by RuPaul) and was dragged away by people in hazmat suits only to wake up naked in a “Westworld” diagnostic facility.

The Trump burns

Hollywood came for President Trump at the 2017 Emmy Awards. Many nominees, presenters and winners took aim at the president from the Microfost Theater stage. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin even pulled out old quotes from their 1980 classic “9 to 5” call

Everyone from Colbert to the winners had something to say about the president during last year’s telecast. And they didn’t hold back.

“Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote,” joked Colbert in his monologue. He also remarked that Trump probably wouldn’t have run for president if he had just been given an Emmy.

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“I want to thank Trump for making black people No. 1 on the most oppressed list,” said Donald Glover, when accepting his award for lead actor in a comedy for “Atlanta.”

Alec Baldwin, who won the supporting actor in a comedy Emmy for portraying Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” also couldn’t help but gloat a bit when accepting his award: “At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy.”


Lena Waithe’s speech

"Master of None’'s" Lena Waithe with her Emmy Award.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Emmys are expected to have their share of humorous scripted moments, but sometimes the winners steal the spotlight as they accept their award.

Waithe’s speech was one that stood out from last year’s ceremony. She won the comedy writing Emmy for co-writing an episode of “Master of None” inspired by her own coming-out story with the show’s co-creator, Aziz Ansari.

Among those she thanked as she accepted the award were her mother, her girlfriend and her community.

“Last, but certainly not least, my LGBQTIA family. I see each and every one of you,” said Waithe. “The things that make us different, those are superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world. Because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if you weren’t in it.”

Jackie Hoffman, #soreloser

"Feud: Bette and Joan's" Jackie Hoffman arrives at the 2017 Emmy Awards.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Jackie Hoffman pulled off the the difficult feat of getting noticed because she didn’t win.

The “Feud: Bette and Joan” actress was up for an Emmy in the category of supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie, which went to “Big Little Lies” star Laura Dern.

Hoffman was visibly disappointed onscreen, appearing to yell out “damn it” while hitting the seat in front of her as the winner was announced. She then played up her faux drama on Twitter along with a #soreloser hashtag. Yes, she was in on the joke.

Sean Spicer’s cameo

Perhaps nobody was more surprised than the actors present at the Emmys when Sean Spicer appeared onstage behind a rolling podium during Colbert’s opening monologue.

The former White House press secretary was on hand to declare that it “will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world.”

The cameo was an homage to actress Melissa McCarthy’s acclaimed portrayal of Spicer on “SNL.”

Spicer’s appearance garnered mixed reactions, but it was definitely memorable.

Twitter: @tracycbrown