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Colbert has had much better nights than as Emmy host

Stephen Colbert has had better nights and better Donald Trump jokes nightly on his CBS' "Late Show" than he did on Sunday night's Emmy monologue.

But to his credit, he was willing to be upstaged by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer came on near the end of Colbert's opening to laughably declare the Emmy audience would be the largest in the world, which was similar to what he said on the day of Trump's inauguration.

In our polarized world, even that funny joke sparked some Twitter outrage by people offended that Spicer would make fun of misleading the country to soothe the ego of his boss.

I had the over/under on Trump jokes by Colbert at 10 and he exceeded that in 20 minutes. An amusing clip of Trump saying he should have won an Emmy during a presidential debate with Hillary Clinton was a highlight.

Many of the presenters and winners later had better Trump lines than Colbert. His best line might have been "unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote."

But actually that is fake news. Many Emmy winners aren't popular shows. They are little-watched cable and streaming shows. I'm sure many CBS viewers were asking Sunday what's "A Handmaid's Tale"?

Many of Colbert's jokes seemed more directed at the audience in the theater than watching on TV. That includes one deserved shot at Bill Maher.

Alec Baldwin had a better line than Colbert directed at Trump after he won an Emmy for playing him: "I suppose I should say at long last, Mr. President, here's your Emmy."

Colbert's song-and-dance opening to the theme "Everything is Better on TV" was mildly amusing, but I would have preferred the lyrics would have been shown on a crawl at the bottom of the screen to understand them all.

Here are more highs and lows of the Emmy telecast in which HBO's "Veep" and "Big Little Lies" and Hulu's "A Handmaid's Tale" were the predictable early big winners.

Best Speech: Lorne Michaels of "Saturday Night Live," who referenced winning the show's first Emmy in its first year. He said he thought at the time "it was a crazy, exhausting, fearful, exhilarating season" that couldn't be topped. "Turns out I was wrong," he said

Best Presenter: David Chappelle, who after admitting he missed rehearsal, said "shout out to D.C. schools" before reading the nominees. It quickly trended on Twitter, with the help of John Oliver of "Last Week Tonight" after he won an Emmy.

Worst Promos: I'm sick of tired of all the marriage promos for "Big Bang Theory." And a Channel 4 promo caused the station to miss the return of the show, which meant it missed a Colbert joke. That might not have been much of a loss the way things were going.

Happy Thanksgiving: Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari won for the wonderful episode of Netflix's "Master of None" that revolved around Waithe's character coming out to her family over multiple Thanksgivings.

One-Two Comedy Punch: After winning as best actor in a comedy, Donald Glover thanked Trump "for making black people No. 1 on the most oppressed list. He is the reason I'm probably up here." After winning her sixth Emmy for "Veep," Julia Louis-Dreyfus said writers scrapped the impeachment story line for the final season of the show because "we were worried somebody else might get to it first."  I doubt worried was the right word there for those writers.

Best Line About a Male-Dominated World:  After winning a supporting actress Emmy for "Big Little Lies," Laura Dern cracked: "I've been acting since I was 11 and worked with maybe 12 women."

Hillary Finally -- Sort of -- Wins: After winning for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton, "SNL's" Kate McKinnon cracked. "It is all about the writing guys." Since much of the "SNL" dialogue was practically word for word from Trump speeches, maybe he should have gotten an Emmy.

Emmy Loses: Colbert's supposed interview with an actress playing "Emmy" fell flat. His bit with Jeffrey Wright of "Westwood" was funnier and included another Trump joke. Asked if he ever questioned his reality, a robotic Colbert answered "Every day since Nov.8." Actually, Trump's election may have saved Colbert's late night show. It just didn't help Sunday night. Contrary to the opening theme, the Emmy show didn't make everything better.



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