UPDATED with Trump reaction: Donald Trump exercised uncharacteristic restraint this morning, declining to respond on Twitter to the orgy of ridicule he took at last night’s Emmy Awards ceremony, both onstage and backstage. But he could not resist bringing it up, unsolicited, while phoning in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends this morning.
“I watched the Emmys last night, and there were so many skits about Trump!” the candidate said, third-personally, while answering a question about his Tonight Show appearance last week.
“I think it’s great,” Trump beamed verbally.
Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel kicked if off by nicking The Apprentice exec producer Mark Burnett for gifting America with GOP presidential nominee Trump, in a scorched-earth opening monologue that included one of the rawest, can’t-forget-it images of Trump yet heard on network television, and a cameo by former presumed heir to the Oval Office, Jeb Bush. Kimmel also wondered if Burnett, with his connection to Trump, would make sure Miley Cyrus or Cee-Lo Green would be appointed our next Supreme Court justice – Burnett also being EP of NBC’s Emmy-winning reality competition series The Voice.
Kimmel had suggested, ahead of Sunday’s awards ceremony, he would not go in for politics too heavily because viewers have “probably had an ass full of that kind of stuff on every show for the last 18 to 94 months.”
Appears nobody at the Emmy ceremony got that memo, including winners in acceptance speeches onstage and again backstage at the urging of reporters.
Picking up The Voice‘s second consecutive (and third overall) Emmy for best reality competition series, EP Burnett anticipated Trump’s reaction this morning, responding to Kimmel’s opening snark by saying, “Hillary Clinton called me in the last few minutes and said to personally thank Jimmy Kimmel for an extra free five minutes of ABC publicity for Donald Trump. Thanks, Jimmy.”
Burnett also plugged The Voice’s return tonight with new celebrity mentors Miley Cyrus and Cee-Lo Green, aka “Your next Supreme Court justices.”
Backstage at the Emmys, reporter egged on Burnett to say more about Kimmel’s opening monologue remarks and his role in setting up Trump’s campaign. “It’s easy to be a good sport. … I’m sure Donald is thrilled,” Burnett said (accurately), adding, “I bet you he’s emailing Jimmy now.”
Accepting her Emmy for comedy series actress, Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus said, “I’d like to personally apologize for the current political climate. I think Veep has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as political satire but now feels more like a sobering documentary. So I certainly do promise to rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it.”
Sterling K Brown, who won supporting actor in a limited series/movie for The People v. O.J. Simpson, began his acceptance speech with, “I was talking to Melania Trump, asking her what should I say?”
Best comedy series writing winner Aziz Ansari said he “wanted everyone to know, after careful consideration, I’m going with Trump.” He demanded that they remove all Muslim and Hispanic nominees from the Emmy ceremony which he said would make things so much easier – “like the Oscars.”
Transparent creator Jill Soloway, an Emmy winner for comedy directing, called Trump “the most dangerous monster to ever approach our lifetime. He’s a complete dangerous monster, and at any moment that I have to call him out for being an inheritor of Hitler, I will.” She said the GOP nominee is “otherizing people. He calls women pigs if they don’t look like beauty pageant contestants. He blames Muslims and Mexicans for our problems. He makes fun of disabled people.”
“Obama out – Hillary in!” Courtney B. Vance shouted onstage as he became the third People v. O.J. Simpson actor feted Sunday night.
Backstage, after Last Week Tonight won the Emmy for best variety talk series, a member of the press shouted at John Oliver, “Donald Trump: Go!”
“Sure, I’ll agree with that,” Oliver quipped. The Brit said he cannot vote but, as host of HBO’s weekly late-night show, he will continue to weigh in as the country continues to “dance on the lip of a volcano.”
When some numbskull asked Oliver if, as a member of the media, he feels in some way responsible for Trump’s candidacy, Oliver shot back, “No, of course I f*cking don’t.” But, noting his disappointment that Beyonce didn’t show up at the Emmy ceremony, the late-night host noted comedy can be “a soothing balm on an open sore – which is the quickest way to describe this election process so far.”
Diane Haithman, Anthony D’ Alessandro and Amanda N’Duka contributed to this report.