Election Grabs Emmy Spotlight

Tom Hanks arrives at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008.
AP Photo
Hollywood once again pulled out its political punching bag on a national stage Sunday, weeks before a new president is elected.

Granted, the platform was served by two HBO shows that ended up winning Emmys - "John Adams," which chronicled the life of the second president, and "Recount," which dealt with the contested 2000 presidential election.

Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who host political satire shows on Comedy Central, told viewers they would avoid talking about the upcoming election.

That promise was short-lived.

"I think right now America needs a prune," said Colbert, who pulled out a bag of the dried fruit and was presumably referring to GOP presidential candidate John McCain. "It may not be a young, sexy plum. But this dried-up fruit has the experience we need."

Tom Hanks, who served as executive producer on "John Adams," noted in his acceptance speech for best miniseries that much hasn't changed in U.S. politics over the past 200 years.

"The election between Jefferson and Adams was filled with innuendo, lies, bitter partisan press and disinformation," Hanks said. "How great we've come so far since then."

While comedian Don Rickles was allowed to riff about his life during an acceptance speech, Emmy producers were not as kind to Kirk Ellis, who was cut off as he accepted an award for writing for a miniseries, movie or a dramatic special for "John Adams."

After thanking Hanks and other producers, Ellis said "John Adams" gave him "this amazing opportunity to talk about a period in our history when articulate men articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences."

Ellis was about to give some examples - but the music drowned him out.

Other winners just wanted to convey how important voting in this upcoming election will be.

"I just want to say it's going to get close again this election," said "Recount" Jay Roach, who won for best director for miniseries, movie or a dramatic special. "Keep your local officials honest. And please vote. Vote, vote, vote."