Presidential politics plays big role at Emmy Awards
NEW YORK (AP) — Since it often seems like the most entertaining limited series on television, there was little surprise that the presidential campaign made its presence felt at the Emmy Awards.
Jokes and politicking took place onstage and off Sunday. Former Republican candidate Jeb Bush made an appearance in Jimmy Kimmel’s opening comedy skit and Hillary Clinton tweeted congratulations to her impersonator, Kate McKinnon of “Saturday Night Live.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, accepting her fifth consecutive best actress Emmy for HBO’s “Veep,” jokingly lamented that real politics is beginning to resemble the Washington world her comedy series pokes fun at.
“Our show started out as political satire,” she said, “but now it feels like a sober documentary.”
She promised to rebuild the wall between comedy and politics and “make Mexico pay for it.”
Yes, Donald Trump was a featured player at the Emmys. Host Jimmy Kimmel pointed out the man in the audience who made Trump a television star.
“Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore, because we’re living them,” Kimmel said. Burnett cast Trump in “The Apprentice,” the hit series that gave him a catchphrase (“you’re fired”) and a larger public profile. Both Kimmel and Burnett, who accepted an award later for another one of his shows, “The Voice,” joked about that series’ stars being future Supreme Court nominees.
It wasn’t much of a surprise to hear Trump didn’t have many friends in Hollywood. Courtney B. Vance did some politicking after accepting an Emmy for his role in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” ″Obama out,” he said. “Hillary in.”
Aziz Ansari referenced some of Trump’s controversial comments about minorities in a brief routine, jokingly suggesting his parents had to be thrown out of the hall.
“America Ferrera,” he said to the actress. “Nice try changing your name to America. Out!”
Emmy winner Jill Soloway, creator of “Transparent,” told reporters backstage that Trump was a dangerous monster.
“Any moment that I have to call Trump out for being an heir to Hitler, I will,” Soloway said.
Bush poked fun at Trump, but mostly at himself in a skit where he portrayed the limo driver for Louis-Dreyfus. “Did you know you can make $12 an hour driving for Uber?′ he said to Kimmel.
Bush asked Kimmel if he was a nominee for an Emmy award, and when Kimmel said yes, Bush said, “Wow, what’s that like?” He told Kimmel that if he ran a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice. “That was a joke,” he quickly added.
Bush’s limo had a “Jeb! 2016” bumper sticker with the “16″ crossed out and replaced by “20.”
McKinnon, a tearful winner of a supporting actress award in comedy for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” thanked Clinton upon accepting. Her brittle portrayal of the Democratic nominee is one of her signature roles on the NBC comedy.
On Twitter, Clinton returned the compliment.
“Big fan of you, too!” Clinton tweeted later, with a clip of McKinnon impersonating her.
Associated Press writers Lindsey Bahr in Los Angeles and Donna Cassata in Washington contributed to this report.