Emmy kept things current this year, going green and awarding an interactive award in primetime — two firsts.
Show was so “current” that it was Al Gore’s Current TV that won the interactive prize, for its user-generated Website (which also helps fuel the cable channel’s on-screen programming).
“We are trying to open up the television medium, so that viewers can help to make television and join the conversation of democracy and reclaim American democracy by talking about the choices we have to make,” Gore said in his acceptance speech.
Gore tripped, however, and gave out the wrong website address — it’s current.tv, not “current.com,” as the former veep shouted out at the end of his speech.
Gore’s acceptance speech was one of several political mentions throughout the evening, most of which were subtle or visual gags (such as “Late Show with David Letterman’s” use of George W. Bush goofs while an announcer read the names of its nommed writers). Most overt political statement of the night came from Sally Field, who closed her outstanding actress Emmy thanks by referencing the Iraq war.
“Let’s face it, if the mothers ruled the world, there would be no god damn wars in the first place,” she said — leaving the Fox censors scrambling for the “mute” button.
Later, David Chase, picking up the drama Emmy for “The Sopranos,” referenced Field’s speech in his own subtle way.
“Let’s face it, if mobsters ruled the world … maybe they do,” he said, before turning away from the mic.
The men’s room saga of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig inspired a few gags, including the pre-taped writers reel for “Real Time with Bill Maher” and a joke by “‘Til Death” star Joely Fisher.
Then there was the night’s overall green theme. The TV Academy made a big deal over the fact that the red carpet was made of 100% post-consumer waste plastic bottles and cast and crew were shuttled around in hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, among other initiatives. A solar canopy used to cover the red carpet will even be donated to a middle school in Chatsworth.
“To power tonight’s show we’ve got the entire cast of ‘Kid Nation’ backstage on treadmills,” joked host Ryan Seacrest, in one of his few comedic moments.
Later, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert also riffed on the night’s green message, as Colbert walked on stage wearing a leaf blower.
“This baby runs on alternative fuel — Al Gore’s tears,” Colbert gagged in his usual deadpan way. “He’s a crybaby. We’re so lucky he’s not our president.”
Stewart then riffed on how the entire idea of an awards show flies in the face of conservation — and jokingly wondered whether one was really necessary.