Despite being hosted by first-timer Stephen Colbert, whose late-night surge can be directly attributed to Donald Trump, this year’s Emmys didn’t feel that much more political than usual. At least not compared to the Golden Globes and Oscars, which both aired within weeks of his inauguration.
Women were actually the stars of this year’s show, with female-fronted shows taking top honors in the comedy, drama and limited series categories (Veep, The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies, respectively). Women also took home trophies in the directing and writing categories, including Master of None‘s Lena Waithe, who became the first black woman to win the comedy writing award.
Still, Colbert did acknowledge that Trump was the biggest TV star of the year.
“However you feel about the president — and you do feel about the president, you can’t deny that every show was influenced by Donald Trump in some way,” he noted, pointing to his impact on late-night shows and drama series like Netflix’s House of Cards (whose social media accounts have trolled the president since he declared his candidacy) and FX’s American Horror Story: Cult, which features a post-election theme this season. “And of course, next year’s Latin Grammys, hosted by (recently pardoned) Sheriff Joe Arpaio. ¡Muy caliente!”
Acutely aware that nothing matters to Trump more than his ratings, Colbert turned to former White House press secretary Sean Spicer for a ratings update.
Spicer rolled on what might have been the same motorized podium made famous in Melisssa McCarthy’s Emmy-winning portrayal of him.
“This will be the largest audience to witness the Emmys, period, both in person and around the world,” he proclaimed, parroting the declaration that cost him his credibilityon the second day of the administration. But he seemed to be having much more fun at the podium this time around — plus, his suit actually fit.
“Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego,” Colbert noted. “I can see why you’d want one of these guys around.”