Speculation is growing as to what will happen on September 17, when Stephen Colbert hosts the 69th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
Colbert, an anti-Trump zealot, has seen his ratings on "The Late Show" soar in the last year due to the leftward political turn his show has taken - most recently when he mocked the president by giving a Nazi salute.
So will Colbert attack on Sunday night?
Writing in the Hollywood Reporter, Frank Scheck speculates that Colbert will tell some Trump jokes, but focus mostly on television - after all, the audience for the Emmys is larger than just the coastal elites. “The anti-Trumpers in the room will be laughing hysterically and the pro-Trumpers (if any) will probably pretend to,” Scheck writes. “But what about all those people in the red states who've made NCIS TV's top-rated drama? The president still enjoys the support of more than a third of the electorate, and that translates to a lot of viewers. And even among liberals, a certain amount of Trump fatigue may be setting in.”
Writing in Variety, Bryan Steinberg agrees. Colbert is “well aware…that he’s walking a tightrope. The people who tune in to ‘Late Show’ want to hear his take on the headlines, and they know he will rail incessantly at President Trump. But the people who watch the Emmy Awards come from a larger cross-section of the country. They want to laugh, sure, but they may not want the politics.”
Talking to Variety, Colbert says, “We are storytellers: The story we are telling is what happened on television this year. It’s not a political monologue, but you can’t keep politics out of it, because politics was the biggest TV story this year. The biggest story of the year is not ‘Westworld.’ It’s not ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ It’s not Milo Ventimiglia’s luscious abs. That’s not what we cared about. The biggest TV star of the year is Donald Trump.”
Colbert also sees the limit of his shtick. “Comedy will not stop him,” he says, referring to Trump. “The democratic process — that’s it,” he adds. “The democratic process will stop this guy. It’s the only way. That’s it, for the Republican Party to grow a pair. Just drop a ’nad, and do what you know is right. And that won’t happen until they lose the House or the Senate. And then, ‘Katie bar the door.’”
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