Picking up the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) on Sunday night for his show Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020, Stephen Colbert focused on congratulating his writing and producing team for negotiating a pandemic and essentially running their own mini live shows from home.
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He quipped to much laughter from the audience, “I want to thank Ted Lasso and Last Week Tonight for not being in this category.”
Fronting the large team behind the show as they all gathered onstage to accept the award, he also joked, “Wow, I haven’t seen some of these people before” – probably in part a reference to Conan O’Brien, a nominee this year in the final season of his late-night talk show, who somehow joined the Election Night party on the stage during the speech.
He paid tribute to the resourcefulness and dedication of the team who put out his nightly show and the live election-night special for which they were being recognized.
“I am so glad that we got honored for a live show because there are many nights when we do this show when we say, ‘This is like a live show,’ especially over the last four years, when something would happen at four o’clock or five o’clock and five-fifteen and we had to go on at five-thirty and we would write a whole new show in 20 minutes. And most of the people behind me really deserve this Emmy right now.”
“The most amazing thing is these people did this show not just in their own individual Zoom rooms, like everybody did over the past year,” he said. “They did a live show in their Zoom rooms and that meant everybody in the show had to be their own leader and ask everything of themselves and do more than I could ever have expected. And that leadership starts at the top and I want to thank Chris Licht my showrunner for always having the ambition of the show in mind, like doing a live show when the ambition of just doing a show every night is ambition enough.”
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