The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards featured a wide range of skits, songs and speeches. Some of them stole the show and others may have missed the mark.
The Emmy Awards spread the love Monday night, rewarding critical favorites (“The Americans”), repeat winners (Regina King) and stunned first-time honorees (Thandie Newton). More highlights from this year’s show:
Diversity-themed opening number, monologue draw mixed reactions. The Emmys had its most diverse group of nominees in history this year – a fact that hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost awkwardly leaned into in their opening monologue, in which they roasted “The Handmaid’s Tale” (“It’s ‘Roots’ for white women”) and Roseanne Barr (“‘Roseanne’ was canceled by herself, but picked up by white nationalists”). The jokes – as well as the star-studded musical performance that preceded it, about TV’s diversity problem being “solved” – were widely criticized as “weird” and “uncomfortable” by users on Twitter.
“Maisel” makes a marvelous showing. HBO’s fantasy hit “Game of Thrones” snagged its third best-drama series award, but it was the breakthrough “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” that owned the night. Amazon’s comedy about a 1950s housewife-turned-stand-up comic swept the five major categories in which it was nominated, picking up best comedy series, actress (Rachel Brosnahan), supporting actress (Alex Borstein), writing and directing (“Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino).
Hannah Gadsby makes a case to become a future Emmys host. Forced awards-show banter between presenters is often awkward, and the Emmys was no exception, with some especially cringe-worthy random pairings (Larry David and Rachel Brosnahan, Jimmy Kimmel and Tracy Morgan, and Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph, who were repeatedly called upon for lame awards show “commentary”). So it was a relief when producers called on droll “Nanette” breakout Gadsby to present an award solo, making the most out of her brief appearance.
“For somebody like me – a nobody, from nowhere – to get this sweet gig, just ’cause I don’t like men?” Gadsby said. “Just jokes, fellas, calm down. #NotAllMen, but a lot of ’em.”
“The Fonz” wins his first-ever Emmy. Despite six nominations, “Happy Days” star Henry Winkler never won TV’s highest honor until Sunday, when he took home a best supporting actor in a comedy award for HBO’s “Barry,” playing acting coach to a contract assassin. “I wrote this 43 years ago,” Winkler began his speech. Entertainment lawyer Skip Brittenham “said to me a long time ago, if you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you, and tonight I got to clear the table.” Shortly after Winkler left the stage, “Barry” star and co-creator Bill Hader picked up his own Emmy for lead comedy actor.
Oscars director proposes to girlfriend onstage. The biggest winner of this year’s Emmys wasn’t your favorite actor or TV show. It was Glenn Weiss, who earned the statue for directing this year’s Oscars telecast, and used his time at the podium to propose to his girlfriend, Jan Svendsen – getting down on one knee and giving his genuinely shocked fiancee his mother’s ring, just two weeks after her death. The audience reactions were almost as priceless as the proposal itself, ranging from sweet surprise (Leslie Jones) to tears (Claire Foy).
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