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Michael Che and Colin Jost’s Emmys monologue takes aim at Roseanne, Netflix and Hollywood creeps

Hosts Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che speak at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Michael Che and Colin Jost said they wouldn’t get too political during their Emmy Awards monologue — and indeed, the “Saturday Night Live” cast members didn’t utter the name “Trump” once. (Though they did allude to his reality TV past in one joke.)

Here are some of their targets from this year’s monologue:

Emmy Awards 2018: Red carpet, winners and biggest moments

Hollywood creeps

Che: “It is an honor to be here sharing this night with the many, many talented and creative people in Hollywood who haven’t been caught yet.”

Jost: “This year, the audience is allowed to drink in their seats. Hope you’re excited about that. Because the one thing Hollywood needs right now is people losing their inhibitions at a work function.”

Jost: “Netflix, of course, has the most nominations tonight. And if you’re a network executive, that’s the scariest thing you can possibly hear. Except maybe, ‘Sir, Ronan Farrow is on line one.’ ”

Roseanne Barr

Jost: “There were several dramatic rescues for TV shows this summer. ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ was canceled by Fox, but picked up by NBC.”

Che: “ ‘Last Man Standing’ was canceled by ABC and picked up by Fox.”

Jost: “And ‘Roseanne’ was canceled by herself, but picked up by white nationalists.”

Che: “I heard Roseanne is actually moving to Israel. I mean, damn. How messed up is your life when you have to go to the Middle East just to get peace of mind?”

Che: “By the way, congratulations to Laurie Metcalf. I mean, wow. That’s incredible. You know how great an actress you have to be to get nominated for ‘Roseanne’ now? That’s like nominating a cop for a BET Award.”

The state of our culture

Jost: “I don’t know if you know this: The first Emmys were held back in 1949. Things were very different back then. Gas was 17 cents a gallon. A new home cost $7,000. And we all agreed that Nazis were bad. Mostly.”

The sad state of broadcast TV

Jost: “We just want to say a quick hello to the thousands of you here in the audience tonight and to the hundreds watching at home. Hi, Silver Linings Senior Center!”

Che: “Our network, NBC, has the most nominations of any broadcast network. Which is kind of like being the sexiest person on life support. It’s not great.”

Jost: “With the amazing contributions from everyone in this room tonight, I think we can keep television going for another five, six years tops.”

“Diversity” on TV

Che: “Things are getting better, but as we all know, TV has always had a diversity problem. Can you believe they did 15 seasons of ‘ER’ without one Filipino nurse? Have you been to a hospital?”

Che: “Even on a great show like ‘Cheers.’ I mean, ‘Cheers,’ I love ‘Cheers,’ but you’re telling me they made a show about an all-white sports bar in 1980s Boston, and not one black dude walked in, saw all these white people, and then walked right back out?”

Jost: “There’s even more diversity coming to TV. There’s a Latino ‘Magnum P.I.’ There’s going to be a black Samantha in a reboot of ‘Bewitched.’ But it’s going to get balanced out by an all-white reboot of ‘Atlanta’ called ‘15 miles outside of Atlanta.’ And it focuses on white women who call the police on the cast of ‘Atlanta.’ ”

Very sad shows

Jost: “One of our favorite shows, ‘This Is Us,’ is nominated for best drama. . . . The next season of ‘This Is Us’ will explore Jack’s experiences in Vietnam. This was in response to viewers who wrote in and said, ‘Sadder, please.’ ”

Che: “Speaking of sad, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is nominated for best drama. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ takes place in an imaginary future where an entire group of people are violently forced to work and make babies against their will. It’s what black people call ‘history.’ It’s ‘Roots’ for white women, that’s what it is. ‘Roots’ with bonnets.


Jost: “This year, Netflix will spend $8 billion on programming. They now have 700 original series. Which makes me realize that the show I pitched them must have really sucked. I mean, it’s like being turned down for a CVS rewards card.”

Che: “How is Netflix getting all that money? It’s like $9 a month and everybody I know is sharing the same account. Netflix is like that Instagram model that’s always in Dubai and you’re like, ‘Yeah, but what do you really do?’ ”

Jost: “The Obamas now even have their own production deal at Netflix. And my dream is that the only thing they produce is their own version of ‘The Apprentice.’ And it gets way higher ratings.”