But it was a surprise cameo from former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that left Hollywood’s A-listers reeling.
During a frequently politically-charged monologue, Colbert wondered aloud that there was no real way to know exactly how many people were tuning in — when Spicer suddenly appeared on stage, behind his familiar White House lectern.
And just to clarify: No, it wasn’t Melissa McCarthy doing her spot-on Spicer impersonation from SNL. She was in the audience, looking just as shocked as anyone else.
Spicer trotted out a couple of now-familiar lines about the Emmys audience being the “biggest ever”, channelling his claims about President Trump’s inauguration. As the stars reeled at his appearance on stage, Colbert played him off.
“Melissa McCarthy everybody, give it up,” he joked.
Elsewhere in his opening monologue, Colbert focused on the President and his longtime obsession with TV ratings — and the fact that he never won an Emmy for his work on The Apprentice, despite frequent nominations.