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Emmy Awards' Opening Monologue Covers Roseanne and Israel, When 'We All Agreed Nazis Were Bad'

Comedians Michael Che and Colin Jost tackle Donald Trump's troublesome history with condemning Nazis and the racist tweet that got Roseanne Barr booted from television

Hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che in the 70 Primetime Emmy Awards show, Los Angeles, September 17, 2018
\ MARIO ANZUONI/ REUTERS

Comedians Michael Che and Colin Jost tackled President Donald Trump's initial reluctance to explicitly condemn neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and the controversial comments made by Roseanne Barr earlier this year in their opening monologue of the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards show on Monday.

In May, Roseanne drew heavy criticism when she tweeted that former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett was a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes. The successful reboot of her namesake sitcom was cancelled shortly afterwards by ABC.

A screenshot of the offensive tweet that was deleted by Roseanne Barr.
Twitter screengrab

Jost mentioned several shows that were cancelled and picked up by other networks, such as police sitcom "Brooklyn 99" starring Andy Samberg, which was dumped by Fox and picked up by NBC, and "Last Man Standing," which was cancelled by ABC and renewed by Fox.

"And 'Roseanne' was cancelled by herself," Jost said, "But picked up by white nationalists."

"She's had a rough year," Che continued. "You know, I heard Roseanne is actually moving to Israel. I mean, damn, how messed up is your life when you have to go to the Middle East just to get peace of mind?"

>> The conversion of 'Rabbi' Roseanne Barr: From angry Israel antagonist to fierce advocate

The two also took a swipe at Trump and his apparent inability to outright condemn far-right activists. Noting the Emmys' genesis in 1949, Jost, who hosts Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" along with Che, commented that things were "different back then."

"Gas was 17 cents a gallon, a new home cost $7,000, and we all agreed that Nazis were bad," Jost said. "Yeah, mostly," Che replied.

ABC cancelled “Roseanne” following the star's tweet. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey called Barr's comment “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel the show.”

Barr later apologized for her comments, claiming she had been under the influence of the prescription medication Ambien. Drugmaker Sanofi quickly responded in a tweet saying "racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication."

The show was later renewed as a spin-off named "The Conners," starring the original cast of the show without Barr. The show is slated to premier in October on ABC.

The “Roseanne” revival was an unexpected major hit for ABC. It was particularly popular among many conservative viewers because Barr’s character expressed support for President Donald Trump.

The comedian who once called Israel a "Nazi state" told a group of pro-Israel activists in 2016 she is now such a Zionist that "she might be moving" to Israel. In an interview with Haaretz in 2016, Roseanne even referred to herself as a "rabbi."

Barr even had a brief Twitter clash with Haaretz columnist Rogel Alpher in 2015, when she called him a "privileged fat skinhead" after he wrote a tweet imploring French Jews not to come to Israel, saying "don't flee Muslim fascism into the arms of Jewish fascism."