"I lost to Barry Manilow!" fake news commentator Stephen Colbert cried in mock anguish onstage at last night's Emmy Awards. "Barry Manilow! I lost to the Copacabana!"
Indeed, on a night dedicated to television's biggest stars, the oft-mocked song-and-dance man shone as one of the brightest, performing a tribute to entertainment icon Dick Clark and scoring an Emmy of his own in the Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program category for his PBS special, Barry Manilow: Music and Passion, beating out the likes of Colbert, David Letterman, and Hugh Jackman.
"This goes into the operating room with me tomorrow as a good luck charm," Manilow said in accepting his award, referring to his hip surgery scheduled for today. The 63-year-old singer said last week that he was forgoing the remaining three shows of Manilow: Music and Passion at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel because the pain in his hip had worsened.
Manilow also performed "Bandstand Boogie," the theme song to American Bandstand, the iconic weekly music series that Clark presided over for several decades. Clark suffered a stroke in 2004 and has been missing from the public eye since then.
American Idol judge Simon Cowell introduced a lengthy video tribute to the 76-year-old Clark, including footage of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Run DMC, and Prince performing on Bandstand, before Clark himself appeared onstage.
Speaking with an obvious slur as a result of the stroke but appearing otherwise composed, Clark received a standing ovation and joked about the Emmys producers' request that he walk out onstage.
"I've just begun to learn to walk again and the show might run a little long," Clark joked.
"Before I had my stroke I was thinking about all of things I've been involved with all of my life--music, comedy, drama, even talk shows, even reality TV," he continued. "And I realized that I have accomplished my childhood dream to be in show business. Everybody should be so lucky to have their dreams come true."
"Music is the soundtrack of our lives," Clark said. "Thank you for being a part of my life."