Not in 2016. The opening bit featured Jeb Bush as a limo driver taking Kimmel, running late, to the show. “If you run a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice.” Then, he quipped, “Jimmy, that was a joke,” and threw him out of the limo.
Then Kimmel used his opening monologue to pick on “Apprentice” creator and co-producer Mark Burnett, saying he was the reason Trump was running.
“If it wasn’t for television, would Donald Trump be running for president? No, he would be at home right now quietly rubbing up against his wife, Malaria, while she pretends to be asleep,” Kimmel said. “Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore because we’re living one. If Donald Trump gets elected and he builds that wall, the first person we’re throwing over is Mark Burnett.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won for best lead actress in a comedy series for “Veep,” came prepared with political commentary for her acceptance speech. Reading from paper, she said, “I would also like to take this opportunity to personally apologize for the current political climate.” She then raised her eyebrows, giving the audience a knowing look.
“I think ‘Veep’ has torn down the wall between comedy and politics,” she continued. “Our show started out as a political satire, but it now feels more like a sobering documentary.” The Emmy camera immediately cut to Burnett. Louis-Dreyfus finished: “So I certainly do promise to rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it.”
Backstage, things got even more specific, and harsh.
Jill Soloway of “Transparent,” who won for outstanding director for a comedy series, compared Trump to Adolf Hitler.
“So Jews were otherized in Nazi Germany to gain political power for Hitler, and right now Donald Trump is doing the same thing,” she said backstage, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “He’s otherizing people. He calls women pigs if they don’t look like beauty-pageant contestants. He blames Muslim and Mexicans for our problems. He makes fun of disabled people.”
She continued: “This is otherizing with a capital O, and has been used in our history before to start and win wars, and he needs to be called out every chance he gets for being one of the most dangerous monsters to ever approach our lifetimes. He’s a complete dangerous monster, and any moment that I have to call Trump out for being an inheritor to Hitler, I will.”
“Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor, who had also just won for his role on the show and was backstage, then said, “By the way, ditto, ditto and ditto on everything you said.”
Aziz Ansari (who wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled “Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family“) was sarcastic as he presented an award, saying he was endorsing Trump, “which is why I’m recommending we get rid of all Muslim and Hispanic nominees from the ceremony, immediately.”
“Mom, dad, I know I just thanked you but you need to be escorted out right now, I’m so sorry,” Ansari said. “America Ferrera, nice try changing your name to America. You’re not fooling anybody — you’re out.”
The only mention Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received during the night was a quick thank you from Clinton impersonator Kate McKinnon, who won for her role on “Saturday Night Live.”
Clinton tweeted back: