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Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Here's why Sean Spicer's Emmy gag wasn't funny

Here's why Sean Spicer's Emmy gag wasn't funny

"Was nothing real?" -- Jim Carrey in "The Truman Show"

Funny covers a multitude of sins.

That has long been my go-to explanation of a dynamic unique to comedy. Meaning the fact that you are allowed to be crude and shocking, to transgress all kinds of isms, all bounds of propriety, if you can get a laugh in the process.

Sean Spicer got a laugh out of me Sunday night.

He rolled that podium onto the Emmy Awards stage, and I cracked up. Nor was I the only one. Indeed, the surprise appearance of the former White House spokesman set off a roar from the audience of beautiful people, though when the camera found Melissa McCarthy, who has memorably...