No big surprise here: The Emmys got political. Most awards shows do, especially since Donald Trump became president and sent liberal-leaning Hollywood into a tailspin.
The show channeled that energy into a mix of pointed jokes, oblique references and one very memorable cameo. Here’s a look at the most politically charged moments, from Alec Baldwin’s acceptance speech to Stephen Colbert’s very special guest.
Colbert’s song-and-dance number
Colbert kicked off his show with a song about how television makes for a great escape from the problems in the world today. When characters dressed like the enslaved women from “The Handmaid’s Tale” showed up, for example, he sang, “at least your health care is free.” Referencing “The Americans,” a series about Russian spies living in the United States during the 1980s, Colbert quipped, “even treason’s better on TV.”
At one point, Julia Louis-Dreyfus showed up in the guise of her “Veep” character Selina Meyer. Stumping for the presidency, she urged the crowd to “imagine if your president was not beloved by Nazis.”
Colbert’s opening monologue
Colbert didn’t let up, making a slew of Trump jokes, poking fun at everything from the president’s television-viewing habits to his lack of an Emmy Award.
“There were over 450 original scripted shows made this year,” Colbert said at one point. “Of course, there is no way anyone could possibly 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 tweet.”
Then Colbert made light of Trump’s obsession with ratings and crowd numbers, at which point the host brought out someone to help gauge the audience size …
Sean Spicer’s out-of-left-field appearance
“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys period,” the former White House spokesman stated, explicitly referencing that time he blatantly lied to the press pool about the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration. Isn’t lying fun? Spicer is currently on an image rehabilitation tour that includes last week’s lighthearted appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Alec Baldwin’s sharp jabs
Baldwin won the award for best supporting actor in a comedy for his portrayal of the president on “Saturday Night Live.”
He began his speech by saying, “I suppose I should say, at long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy.” Trump has a storied feud with the awards show because he was nominated for “The Apprentice” but never won, which continues to be a sore spot.
The speech only got more insulting from there. He told the crowd that he had three children in three years with his wife Hilaria — and yet, she didn’t get pregnant this past year and for that, Baldwin blames the president.
“You put that orange wig on, and its birth control,” he deadpanned. “Trust me.”
Donald Glover’s semi-sincere thanks
Accepting the award for best actor in a comedy for “Atlanta,” Glover gave a shout-out to the president.
“I want to thank Trump for making black people No. 1 on the most oppressed list,” he said. “He’s probably the reason I’m up here.”
The ‘9 to 5’ reunion
The trio of beloved actresses from “9 to 5” — “Grace and Frankie” stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, plus Dolly Parton — reconvened to present an award, and the crowd went wild. They also got in a few pointed remarks — at least Tomlin and the famously political Fonda did.
“Well, back in 1980, in that movie we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” Fonda said.
“And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” Tomlin responded to cheering and applause.
Meanwhile, Parton steered clear of such talk, making an impression instead with a joke about sex toys.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s impeachment reference
For the sixth year in a row, the “Veep” star won the Emmy for best actress. This time, she decided to use her acceptance to make a veiled reference to the current administration.
“We did have a whole story line about impeachment,” she said of “Veep.” “But we abandoned that because we were worried someone else might get to it first.”