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Political Speech at 2008 Emmy Awards Ceremony

Politics Take Center Stage at the Emmys: The Real Winner?

The group-effort, let's-have-everybody-host format at last night's Emmys isn't earning raves in the cold light of day, but the election can surely be counted as one of the stars, swiping at least as much stage time as some of the winners despite rumors of a ban. Behold as Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart turn an innocent snack into a juicy metaphor for the political landscape.

Colbert said, “America needs prunes. It may not be a young, sexy plum. Granted, it's shriveled and at times hard to swallow. But this dried-up old prune has the experience we need.” He forgot that prunes also have, er, medicinal qualities. Perhaps we need those too?

Jon Stewart, whose Daily Show won last night for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy series, also had this to say perhaps hinting that whoever wins this fall, the show and the funnies will go on: “I really look forward to the next administration whoever it is. I have nothing to follow that up with. I'm just saying I really look forward to the next administration whoever it is." Stewart and Colbert were gentle here, but the political opinions got much more heated as the night went on.

To see who invoked the bridge to nowhere, and other political winners,


One of the (five!) co-hosts Howie Mandel said this of the. . . undisciplined brand of hosting: “We are like on Sarah Palin's bridge to nowhere, that's where we are right now. The government can't even bail us out of this. We have nothing.” Funny?

But political programming was an actual winner too, with the HBO political dramas John Adams and Recount taking home statues, leading to a discussion of who actually got the freedom of speech during the ceremony. Kirk Ellis who won last night for writing John Adams was cut of mid-speech while he was praising the era of oratory where politicians, "articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences." Adding the pointed jab, "I love freedom of expression, and as soon as I opened my mouth they were signaling to wrap it up. I find it interesting we can do 30 minutes devoted to reality show hosts but none for the people who actually (write the programs)."

Laura Linney won for her role in John Adams and took her speech as an opportunity to dig at Sarah Palin's mention of community organizers at the convention. Linney said onstage, "so grateful and thankful for the community organizers that helped found our country." And later in the media tent, "Our founding fathers were community organizers. just feel it's been disparaged a bit. I don't feel anyone should be disrespected, no matter what party they're in. No matter who they are."

The most cutting Palin line last night could have come from the only one whose career could benefit from a McCain win. Winner Tina Fey said, "I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5. So, if anyone can help me be done playing this lady, that would be good for me."

Is it inevitable that politics will be taking over everything for the next 43 days? Were the political statements at the Emmys appropriate?

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