So with the 69th Primetime Emmy awards over and done with, and the winning shows and actors celebrating their new statuettes, there is time now to reflect on some of the highlights of the award ceremony. It certainly true to form when the evening’s host Stephen Colbert took potshots at the President and his administration during his opening monologue, but nobody could have expected him to call on a familiar and divisive face from the White House Office to punctuate one of his jokes. But the sudden appearance of former WH press secretary Sean Spicer in a self-depreciative gag certainly got a lot of attention, with building rumors having it that his Emmy cameo is a try at rebranding himself.

‘Biggest audience in history’

Everybody knows the history of Sean Spicer as White House press secretary. One can easily recall how he described a photo of the National Mall crowd for Donald Trump’s inauguration as the “largest audience to witness” such an event, “period,” despite analysis and crowd counts to the contrary. Well during Stephen Colbert’s monologue, Spicer abruptly rolled out onto the stage atop a familiar wheeled podium to echo is a heavily-criticized statement from before, but to the Emmy audience this time.

The wheeled podium should be familiar, considering it was a close copy of the same prop used on “Saturday Night Live” with the Sean Spicer spoofs, as portrayed by Melissa McCarthy since May.

The comedienne was sitting in the audience at the time, visibly awkward even as Colbert dismissed the former White House official by comically misidentifying him as her. That brief appearance was not the end of Spicer’s involvement at the Emmys (he was approached to do the bit on Tuesday last week). He was later present at the lobby of the Microsoft Theater where the awards were held, posing for photographs with Colbert and a surprising number of admirers.

Accusations of ‘normalizing’

Sean Spicer’s tenure as press secretary for the White House under Donald Trump was heavily lambasted, notably for him making statements, that are often contradictory of presented facts, with a great deal of conviction.

By July however, he announced his resignation from the post, followed by leaving the White House staff altogether by the end of August. With how he has been lampooned by the likes of “Saturday Night Live,” it was incredible that Spicer would deign to jump in for some deliberate self-depreciation alongside Stephen Colbert, a noted Trump critic.

But there were also some viewers who were not pleased by Spicer’s stunt at the 69th Emmys. These critics have taken the awards broadcaster NBC to a task, accusing them of “normalizing” a known public liar and a polarizing figure like Sean Spicer.