When Stephen Colbert spoke to E! News last week ahead of his big gig hosting the 2017 Emmys, he promised an open bar for all the losers. But during tonight's monologue, at least, everyone was a winner.
The hotly-anticipated host kicked things off with a pre-edited montage video in which he brought out a few of his closest celebrity friends. Like "Anthony Anderson from ABC's Black-ish." And Allison Janney, who made a few quips about the state of the world (and HBO's controversial new Confederacy program). The gang then launched into the requisite song-and-dance number that took a slightly more political turn than in year's past.
No topic was safe from Colbert's musical: Not global warming, not the Russia inquiry, not treason. "Everything's better on TV" was the theme of the song, and the biggest stars made cameos to joke about how television can be an escape from the crazy reality we live in right now.
Colbert really dug right in, even bringing the Handmaid's Tale characters to lead him onto the Emmys stage. The crowd seemed to eat it right up, giving him a huge welcome as he launched into the formal monologue. "The room is crackling with the collective energy of people who have consumed nothing but distilled water and Crest White Strips," he quipped to kick things off.
The late-night host took no prisoners, offering up jabs at traditional TV ("Broadcast also has some nominations this year. Remember broadcast?"), his own network ("CBS will have twice as many Sheldons as any other network in history") and, well, Ted Cruz ("Everybody loves streaming video. Just ask Ted Cruz. But knock first; you don't wanna just walk in.")
Colbert also recruited some Saturday Night Live alum to help in rag on the president. After joking about his theory that Trump never would have run if he had just won that Emmy a few years ago, he showed an old tweet of the president's that bullied former host Seth Meyers for having "marbles in his mouth." The camera then cut to Meyers for a response, which consisted of the comic simply spitting out a mouthful of marbles.
Maybe you had to be there, but the bit got the second-biggest reaction of the monologue.
The biggest reaction of course went to the surprise guest Sean Spicer.
When the former press secretary rolled onto the Emmys stage with his White House podium in tow, the crowd went wild. Or, should we say, they went shocked. Jaws hit the floor and there were more than a few squirms.
The bit also gave Colbert another chance to bring in some SNL cast members.
"If we're honest with ourselves, the biggest TV star of the year is Donald Trump," he quipped. "We may not like it, but it's true. And Alec Baldwin, obviously. You guys are neck and neck. And Alec, you're up against a lot of neck."