In a show of support, confidence or maybe recognition that his favorite presidential target will still be a fount of material this September, CBS has named Stephen Colbert to host the 69th annual telecast of the Primetime Emmy Awards. The live program will air Sept. 17.
“As we’ve seen the past few months, he has a fearless passion for live television,” said Jack Sussman, CBS chief of specials and live events, in a statement also calling Colbert “the ultimate master of ceremonies.”
That “fearless passion” is the phrase that sticks: Colbert and his “Late Show” mounted a handful of live telecasts after last summer’s political conventions and on election night that were bracing, exotic, entertaining and invariably piñatas for a certain presidential candidate. Since then, president-elect and now President Donald Trump has usually been front and center of monologues on most nights.
Topical humor — and political humor — certainly aren’t unknown at the Emmys, or by the hosts themselves. But “industry” humor is the norm. Will Colbert break that norm? (Will he break that piñata again?)
Per TV Academy chief Hayma Washington, in a statement, “He’s a formidable showman and we are delighted to begin working with him and the entire CBS team.” And per the formidable showman himself, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the globe.”