Stephen Colbert & Samantha Bee Snag Emmy Love Mining Donald Trump For Parody Gold

Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee, largely overlooked at last year’s Emmy nominations, got lots of love this morning as the TV Academy, per usual, finally got caught up in a very big way.

The respective Late Show and Full Frontal hosts both received overdue noms in the Variety Talk Series category, joining a list that noticeably lacks a nom for NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Some industry insiders suggested that might have been payback for Fallon’s infamous Donald Trump-humanizing hair-muss on the show that some political pundits had insisted was a game-changer and helped secure GOP nominee the White House.


Meanwhile, Colbert’s live Election Night gobsmack, which aired on Showtime, is in the running for Variety Series Special. It’s one of three noms for Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?, which also got nommed for Best Variety Special Directing and Writing.

Bee also extended her powerful see-women-can-do-late-night-TV voice into the Variety Specials category, with a nom for her Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner special among its several acknowledgements this morning.

In the Variety Talk Series race, Colbert and Bee were feted along with last year’s winner and fellow The Daily Show alum John Oliver hosting HBO’s Last Week Tonight and Real Time With Bill Maher, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well a last year’s big nominee headliner, CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden. But The Daily Show with Trevor Noah itself did not get a nom today, for the second year running.

CBS’ Colbert and Corden nominations mark the first time since 2003 that two daily broadcast late-night shows from one network got nommed in this derby.

Perennially nominated Colbert was a big surprise non-nom in the category last year – his first year hosting Late Show –  having won the category in 2013 and 2014 for The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. But whereas last year Colbert struggled to find the new show’s voice in the bigger broadcast TV arena, he definitely got back his mojo with the election of Trump and now has the most watched late-night show on all of television.

Today’s nomination puts Colbert in a position to bring the Emmy back to Late Show for the first time in more than a dozen years. Before last year’s win for Last Week Tonight and Comedy Central’s 13-year reign before that, Late Show with David Letterman had dominated this derby five years running.


Bee surprisingly also was not nommed last year in the category for her then-new TBS late-night show Full Frontal; the show received just one 2016 Emmy nom, for writing. This year’s nom comes after Bee made big headlines with her Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, capitalizing on Trump’s decision to boycott Actual WHCD, out of his deep and abiding hatred of the Non-Fox News media.

Daily Show is a repeat non-nom, though the franchise had been a TV Academy favorite, winning in this category 11 times with Jon Stewart as host. Noah got snubbed in his inaugural year as host, marking the first time in 15 years Comedy Central did not land a player in the category, The Daily Show having nabbed its first nomination in 2001, back when the category was called Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series.

Maher’s HBO show has done some of the most biting and headline-grabbing late-night commentary on Trump during the Emmy eligibility period. This morning’s noms puts to rest prognostication his off-the-cuff crack on a June telecast that included a racial slur might have cost him some TV Academy member good will. HBO said it would remove from all future airings the moment in which, during his opening interview, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse had surprised him with an invitation to come to his state and “work in the fields with us,” to which Maher shot back, “Work in the fields? I’m a house –.”

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