Hollywood’s best came out in droves for the 69th annual Emmy Awards, but they were all outshined by an unlikely surprise guest: Sean Spicer.
The former White House press secretary rolled onto stage with a faux presidential podium Sunday, echoing his infamous scolding of journalists who reported on the number of people who attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“This will be the largest audience ever to witness an Emmys. Period. Both in person and around the world,” he said, in remarks nearly identical to his defense of the crowd size at President Trump's inauguration.
Some in the audience laughed. Others gasped. Melissa McCarthy, who lampooned Spicer on Saturday Night Live, looked stunned.
Spicer looked like he was having the time of his life.
Backstage, he posed with host Stephen Colbert, James Corden and Alec Baldwin.
But outside the show, many weren’t laughing.
“So, we are rewarding @seanspicer for lying through his teeth day after day in the name of the trump? The Republican Party? It's not cute,” Chelsea Handler wrote on Twitter.
The Spicer moment was just the beginning of what’s been described as a “Trump bashing fest,” as the president was the target of joke after joke.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who made history by winning a sixth Emmy in a row for her performance in Veep, also zinged Trump, saying, “We did have a whole storyline about impeachment, but we abandoned that because we thought someone else would get to it first.”
Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, hit back, criticizing the tone of the awards show during an appearance on Fox & Friends Monday.
“You are alienating at least 63 million Americans who supported this president last time,” she said. “But you are alienating many more who want the president to succeed. And you are showing the world that you are so easy with an insult about our leader. I think that's really unfortunate, actually.”
But she was pleased with Spicer, saying: “I'm very happy my former White House colleague Sean Spicer is a man of good humor. He's been quoted recently as saying life outside is much more relaxed. So I'm very happy for him. This is something that a lot of folks in Hollywood sometimes lack, which is introspection and good humor."