Dave Chapelle used his turn as presenter at the 2017 Prime-Time Emmys to joke about what host Stephen Colbert had said is the most diverse group of Emmy nominees ever.
Taking the stage to present the Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Emmy with Melissa McCarthy, Chappelle said he was honored, as a winner along with McCarthy, to be at the ceremony.
“It is an honor to be amongst you all,” Chappelle said. “And I’m truly amazed how many Black people are here. I counted 11 on the monitor.”
Colbert had earlier mentioned during his opening monologue that the Emmys had its most diverse group of nominees for the third year in the row. He mentioned several of the Emmys’ African American nominees, adding Bill Maher to the list in a reference to his controversial use of the n-word on “Real Time With Bill Maher” earlier this year.
As laughs rippled through the audience, Chappelle leaned into the microphone to add a quick caveat to his turn as an Emmys presenter.
“I should also tell you that I skipped rehearsal,” Chappelle admitted.
“You can’t tell at all,” said McCarthy, quipping along with him. “This is going exactly how we planned it to go.”
Chappelle dispelled a little more of the magic of the Emmys in his last moments on stage before reading the nominees for the award.
“We’re dancing, Melissa. Now we’re going to read this teleprompter. Shout-out to DC Public Schools,” Chappelle said, referencing the fact he grew up in Washington D.C.
Donald Glover took home the Emmy for Best Directing in a Comedy Series for his work on his FX Network show, “Atlanta,” for the episode “B.A.N.” “Silicon Valley” directors Jamie Babbit and Mike Judge and “Veep” directors Morgan Sackett, David Mandel and Dale Stern were also nominated for the Emmy.