Actor Kevin Spacey donned a gray wig to play Bill Clinton during his hosting gig at Sunday night’s Tony Awards and cracked a joke about Hillary Clinton’s email controversy in between award presentations.
“We’ve had some exciting young performers this season,” Spacey-as-Clinton said, imitating the former president’s Arkansas drawl. “Ben Platt was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. That’s very impressive. I was on that list a couple times.”
“But Ben, you know who you bumped off that list? My wife,” Spacey continued, as Platt — the star of the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen — sank down in his seat in mock embarrassment. “Between you and me, you might be a better singer, but after seeing your show, there’s no doubt Hillary is much better at creating fake email accounts than you!”
The joke drew a loud response from the Tonys audience:
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“I just wanted to do a joke nobody would ever think I’d do. But I’m gonna get in trouble when I get home,” a laughing Spacey added, still in character as Clinton.
Platt had performed earlier in the broadcast. Dear Evan Hansen won three Tonys in the early going; Best Orchestrations for Alex Lacamoire, Best Score Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Rachel Bay Jones. Platt himself was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical, while Dear Evan Hansen was nominated for Best Musical in awards that were set to presented later in the night.
View the full list of Sunday night’s Tony winners at Playbill.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum