Maybe Stephen Colbert thought having Sean Spicer spoof himself at the Emmy Awards would be funny. Or perhaps he relished the thought of a former White House staffer looking for work. Or maybe he just felt sorry for him.
All we know is that a lot of Americans didn’t seem amused. For starters, as the camera zoomed in on Melissa McCarthy, she looked stunned at the sight of the former White House press secretary reprising her appearances as him on Saturday Night Live. Especially after Sean Spicer rolled his podium onto the stage like in the SNL skits and declared, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys period, both in person and around the world, period.”
He was, of course, referring to his blatant lies about the less than massive crowds at the popular vote-losing president”s inauguration.
Sean Spicer's Greatest Hits: "This was the largest audience, period, to witness a presidential inauguration." pic.twitter.com/Jbon7pJv5b
— UrNoJackKennedy (@UrNoJackKennedy) July 21, 2017
Spicey definitely didn’t get much in terms of accolades. AP reports the Internet was not amused.
“The former White House press secretary’s cameo was Colbert’s idea, and they arranged to maximize the surprise factor through Chris Licht, the Colbert producer who knew Spicer from his background in news. Colbert set the joke up by saying there was no way of knowing how many people would be watching the Emmys, then Spicer wheeled out from behind a podium to say “this will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys period, both in person and around the world.”
Actually, a lot of us were ticked off at Stephen Colbert for appearing to normalize Sean Spicer and condone his outrageous abuse of public office and spreading lies for Donald Trump.
Sean Spicer shows up at the Emmys and makes fun about himself lying to the world about Trump's crowd size. Funny? pic.twitter.com/tZinWDxYam
— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) September 18, 2017
Now, AP reports Sean Spicer “says his surprise Emmy Awards appearance was a chance to have some fun.” Then, according to AP, he “suggested Tuesday that people who were upset by it were taking things too seriously.”
Joy Behar from The View suggested he apologize for his lies before trying to win us over, saying. “Then I’ll have fun with you, Sean.” GQ pundit Keith Olbermann also chimed in to point out that giving Sean Spicer a free pass undermines the Emmy Awards’ credibility.
Memorializing Roger Ailes and lionizing Sean Spicer – who stands against the 1st Amendment and our craft – the Emmys lost all credibility pic.twitter.com/ZLuyGLPG9j
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 18, 2017
But when AP finally got hold of Sean Spicer while he was on an airplane, he snapped, “people are reading too much into this.” He added that while he was doing the social butterfly thing and flitting to various parties in Hollywood, he was amazed by the friendly greetings and requests for selfies.
“I was surprised at how nice people were to me. even the people who I know don’t agree with me politically.”
But still, many of Stephen Colbert’s fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Especially since the success of his “Late Show” is due in great part to his frequent skewering of Team Trump. Being buddies with Sean Spicer is not a good look.
After all, Jimmy Fallon still hasn’t quite recovered from that hair-mussing incident.
Jimmy Fallon, nice monologue re Trump and Nazis. However, think back to when you mussed his hair and ask if u helped him seem more normal. pic.twitter.com/ckkJSARDKF
— SwampDrainNow (@SwampDrainNow) August 18, 2017
As The New Yorker‘s Emily Nussbaum so succinctly puts it, watching Stephen Colbert pal around with Sean Spicer was like “having cake, eating it too, then throwing it up again. There’s a lot going on.” Meanwhile, Sean Spicer told the New York Times he regrets his lies about Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd, but it’s too little, too late.
Saturday Night Live‘s Melissa McCarthy reacts as Sean Spicer makes a cameo appearance at the Emmy Awards.