Justin Timberlake's opening number at the Academy Awards was designed to get the audience up and dancing. But what really got the audience on its feet Sunday was a shout-out to Meryl Streep.
Host Jimmy Kimmel didn't ask the 20-time nominated actress to take a bow specifically for her tirade against President Trump at the Golden Globes last month, but the reference was more than implied and the audience responded with a wild ovation.
Kimmel referenced the anti-Trump sentiment in the room a couple more times.
"I want to say thank you to Donald Trump," he said during his monologue. "Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? It's gone."
He also noted that the TV audience included "225 countries that now hate us."
But Kimmel rarely performs with sharp edges. His job, like Timberlake's, was to get the room in a loose mood and he did so by going after familiar targets: Mel Gibson's past, actresses' weight, fake nemesis Matt Damon.
Perhaps Kimmel expected there will be enough political moments later on. Maybe, maybe not. Mahershala Ali's win as outstanding supporting actor for "Moonlight" was expected. So was a passionate plea for religious tolerance in the acceptance speech by the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar. Didn't happen. Maybe Ali got the politicking out of his system during the rest of the awards circuit. Maybe he figured the victory spoke for itself.
Whatever the case, one of the night's most highly anticipated moments turned into a tribute to his teachers, and to the wife who gave birth to their child four days ago.
Sweet, but not exactly a moment that will go viral -- or trigger angry Tweets from the commander in chief.