Last night’s Emmy Awards were full of well-deserved wins and searing jokes, but there was one surprise appearance that fell pretty flat — and with good reason. Early in the program, Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took the stage, surprising celebrity attendees and viewers at home alike.
Spicer, fresh off an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week, took the stage alongside a podium similar to the one Saturday Night Live had used to mock the embattled press secretary for much of past six months. He told the audience, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys. Period. Both in person and around the world.”
Even the Emmy audience didn’t know what to make of his surprise appearance. Melissa McCarthy, who recently won an Emmy for portraying Spicer on SNL looked *very* uncomfortable, while Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky remained SHOOK the entire time he was on stage.
For Spicer, the move was a blatant attempt to become part of the joke he’d spent the last six months as the butt of, but for most, it came off as tasteless and frustrating.
Twitter was quick to point out that the Emmys were asking viewers to laugh along with a man, who, among many, many things, spent six months lying to the American people.
While the joke itself was not well received — it was both too soon, considering the abhorrent policies and human rights positions the Trump administration, including Spicer himself, have advocated for, and simply not funny — many were left wondering what Spicer was doing at the show.
So, how did Spicer end up on stage at the Emmys? The Trump White House alum to told The Hollywood Reporter that his appearance was host Stephen Colbert’s idea.
He added that he wasn’t concerned with a negative reception, saying he was more concerned with the logistics of wheeling out the podium. While Spicer appeared to have a lot of fun mingling with celebrities (many of whom, including James Corden, seem to embrace his presence), it doesn’t look like he’ll be making the award show circuit a regular thing.
Future Emmys hosts take note, not everyone deserves a Hollywood redemption story.