In a lot of ways, it was business as usual: glammed-up actors, cut-short acceptance speeches, (many) musical interludes and contrived, if well-meaning, comic bits.
But two factors set apart the 60th annual Primetime Emmy Awards from Emmy ceremonies past: The changing landscape of television -- the rising cache of basic-cable and reality shows and the ever-evolving means of consuming TV -- and the looming presidential election that, arguably, has made Hollywood more politicized than ever before.
CLICK HERE for the full list of 2008 Emmy winners.
The punches to the right came fast and frequent. Talking about how he and his co-hosts hadn't bothered to prepare an opening monologue and were getting no help from the teleprompter in front of them, Howie Mandel quipped,"We are like on Sarah Palin's 'bridge to nowhere,' that's where we are right now. The government can't even bail us out of this. We have nothing."
"I really look forward to the next administration, whoever it is," Jon Stewart said, accepting the best variety, music or comedy series award for "The Daily Show." "I have nothing to follow that. I just really look forward to the next administration."
Stephen Colbert relished his role as Stewart's conservative foil on "Comedy Central" when the the two took the stage to present. Cracking open a bag of prunes, Colbert drew a comparison between the wrinkly fruit and one presidential candidate saying, "America needs prunes. It may not be a young, sexy plum. Granted, it's shriveled and at times hard to swallow. But this dried-up, old prune has the experience we need."