I'd offer up a spoiler warning for this story, but I seriously doubt anyone is going to be catching up with the Emmy Awards tomorrow or the next day. But it would be worth it, as Stephen Colbert took the stage for the first time, not as a winner, but as the host. And it was quite a night for the satire-embracing and politically motivated Late Show host, who made an indelible mark on the yearly telecast. Your mileage may vary, but we were quite impressed with him, as well as all of the winners. (Also, with Oprah, because obviously.)
The night kicked off in the most fabulous way, with Stephen Colbert nowhere near the Emmy stage, but rather in his "dressing room" creating Emmy trophies over fire. (Already proving his worth as a multi-tasker, right?) And after bringing in two of primetime TV's biggest names, Anthony Anderson and Allison Janney (who has an appreciation for the buttocks region of Game of Thrones' Jon Snow), Colbert then launched a fantastic musical number that spoke directly to his entertainment outlook, playing up the critique that everything happening on TV is way better than what's happening in the real world. And it all ended with a polarizing appearance from former White House Communications Director Sean Spicer, who came out behind a rolling podium and earned a slew of dropped jaws from the audience.
While Colbert didn't make any obvious rips on Sean Spicer, he definitely did not hold back on the political angles, and a whole lot of his opening monologue got extremely political, as he called out current POTUS Donald Trump for his Twitter habits, his TV-viewing habits and more. Colbert even brought out a clip from one of the Presidential debates where Trump lamented not having won an Emmy before. That ended up opening the door for a lot of other political swipes and jabs over the course of the night. Definitely not something that everyone watching enjoyed, but his jokes were funny.
Stephen Colbert is quite used to sketch work, having come up through the Second City comedy ranks, and he's so seasoned at this point that it's kind of hard to tell when he's being someone other than "Stephen Colbert." It's a good thing that he only had to be himself tonight, as he was during that excellent (if somewhat superfluous) Westworld segment in which the host got to become a "host" opposite Jeffrey Wright's Bernard. (Check it out here.)
Not that Stephen Colbert went without poking fun at himself, and that was arguably showcased best during the post-Outstanding Variety Series win for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He went and had a drink with Jimmy Kimmel at the ABC host's seat, and the two made some pretty brilliant jokes about how the booze they were drinking was a dry British drink called "Last Week Tonight." Colbert slyly mocked the wildly popular and viral HBO series by saying it only came out once a week. You know, as opposed to fellow nominees The Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Per tradition with awards shows, the night got a little too busy for Stephen Colbert to do a whole lot during the latter part of the telecast, although he did make a nice joke about there being a three-hour-long aftershow hosted by Chris Hardwick and Andy Cohen. As such a show would be.
If Stephen Colbert ends up getting chosen as the host for next year's Primetime Emmy awards, we won't be putting on a big protest. Everyone can catch Colbert on a nightly basis on CBS on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and to see everything else that's hitting the small screen in the near future, head to our fall premiere schedule.