Tonys: Kevin Spacey jokes about CNN as 'fake news,' Colbert pokes fun at D.C. revival that 'could close early'


It was 90 minutes into the Tonys when the show took its first obvious dig at President Trump. Remarking on James Earl Jones receiving a special Tony for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, host Kevin Spacey quoted a few of Jones' famous lines.

"I am your father," Spacey said in a deep, Jones-esque voice, referencing his Jones' memorable turn as the voice of Darth Vader. And, Spacey added, "This is CNN, the most trusted name in fake news."

Indeed, Jones is the voice of CNN's famous on-air slogan, "This is CNN," but the cable network does not refer to itself in promos as "fake news." Instead, that criticism is beloved by Trump, which has branded the network as "fake news" since his first press conference as president-elect.

Spacey continued to go for the sharp digs when he reappeared later in the show dressed as Bill Clinton, showing off his impression of the former president.

Spacey's Clinton began by saying, "we've had some surprising winners," before adding, "I'm not even talking about the Tony Awards," likely an allusion to his wife Hillary Clinton's expected win of the 2016 presidential election.

18 PHOTOS
Kevin Spacey dazzles as host of the 2017 Tony Awards
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Kevin Spacey dazzles as host of the 2017 Tony Awards
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey and Stephen Colbert perform onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey speaks onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey and Stephen Colbert perform onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: (L-R) Kevin Spacey, Michael Kelly, Robin Wright, and Lin-Manuel Miranda speak onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright attend the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey speaks onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey and Chazz Palminteri speak onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Spacey and Orlando Bloom attend the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
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Read more: Tony Awards: The Winners List (Updating Live)

Hillary continued to serve as a punchline as Spacey's Bill Clinton pointed out that Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt bumped Hillary off of Time magazine's "Most Influential" list, but he said she still topped the musical star in one area.

"There's no doubt Hillary's better at creating fake email accounts than you," Spacey's Clinton said to Platt before observing, "I'm going to get in trouble when I get home."

There were some subtle political comments earlier in the show from Cynthia Nixon, Sally Field and Kevin Kline, who praised the National Endowment for the Arts.

Nixon, accepting her Tony for best featured actress in a play, turned political at the end of her speech. The actress said it was a "privilege" to appear in Lillian Hellman's "eerily prescient play at this specific moment in history."

Nixon continued, "Eighty years ago, [Hellman] wrote, 'There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it and other people who just stand around and watch them do it.' My love, my gratitude and my undying respect go out to all of the people in 2017 who are refusing to just stand and watch them do it."

Later, speaking about the American Theatre Wing, Sally Field said, "[the American story] reminds us of our strength in diversity, our common bonds and our enduring national spirit that has always guided us through adversity. Born in perilous times, the wing in its next century will do what it's always done, illuminate the darkness with the blazing truth of art."

Jill Biden, who introduced a performance from Bandstand, received a standing ovation from the Tonys audience, which included her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden.

But leave it to best revival of a musical presenter and Late Show host Stephen Colbert to really go after the current administration. Colbert prefaced his introduction of this year's nominees by talking about another revival, down in Washington, of an off-Broadway show from the '80s that had massive production values.

But, there are a couple problems with the show, Colbert said, "The main character is totally unbelievable and hair and makeup: Yeesh."

"It's supposed to have a four-year run," Colbert added, "but reviews have not been kind. It could close early. Best of luck to everyone involved."

PHOTOS: Inside the 2017 Tony Awards

27 PHOTOS
Inside the 2017 Tony Awards
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Inside the 2017 Tony Awards
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: James Earl Jones accepts the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Scarlett Johansson speaks onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jane Greenwood accepts the award for Best Costume Design of a Play for Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: James Earl Jones accepts the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Michael Aronov accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for �Oslo� onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Stephen Colbert and Host Kevin Spacey perform onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Stephen Colbert performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Stephen Colbert performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Mimi Lien accepts the award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Santo Loquasto accepts the award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Hello, Dolly! onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James speak onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Alex Lacamoire accepts the award for Best Orchestrations for �Dear Evan Hansen� onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Kevin Kline accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for �Present Laughter� onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Host Kevin Spacey speaks onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: David Oyelowo and Sarah Paulson speak onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Andy Karl performs onstage with the cast of 'Groundhog Day' during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Andy Karl performs onstage with the cast of 'Groundhog Day' during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Andy Karl performs onstage with the cast of 'Groundhog Day' during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
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