14 Best Emmy Moments
Red-Faced on the Red Carpet
It was a stroke of luck for Modern Family star Sarah Hyland that red was one of the hot colors for Emmys fashion, because her blushing looked downright on trend when Giuliana Rancic started grilling her about the recent kerfuffle that arose when Hyland made fun of Glee star Lea Michele’s red-carpet poses. “It was just in jest, and that was it, and I hate that it’s gotten to such a level, but I mean…I don’t know,” a visibly uncomfortable Hyland said.
Seacrest Gets Griffin’d
Kathy Griffin decided to give Anderson Cooper a break and instead razz Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet. “Are you still banging the dancer?” Griffin asked. “How did you get her? You’re with Julianne Hough? And you’re you? What kind of smoke-and-mirrors game are you playing?” She finished up by laying an epic smooch on Seacrest, the remnants of which Julianna Margulies was kind enough to help him scrape off.
Jane Goes Mad (Men)
Easily the most inspired moment in the musical opening number was when hostess Jane Lynch stepped into the world of Mad Men long enough to flirt with Peggy, trade barbs with Pete, and drive Don to despair with her salty talk of fast-forwarding through commercials.
Dunphys Can’t Lose
Julie Bowen kicked off the Modern Family winning streak, snagging her first Emmy for supporting actress in a comedy series. The always funny Bowen did point out the one downside of winning, though: “I don’t know what I’m going to talk about in therapy next week now—I won something, so…” Her TV husband, Ty Burrell, beat out three of his Modern Family costars to win best supporting actor in a comedy moments later. Guess it’s good to be a Dunphy.
Gervais Keeps It Clean (Thanks to Editing)
After his rather combative spin as a Golden Globes host earlier this year, it’s not a shocker that Ricky Gervais’s Emmys appearance was prerecorded. “Sorry I can’t be there live, in person. Not allowed! Not after the Golden Globes. In fact now, during any awards ceremony, I’m not even allowed on American soil.” He did, however, still manage to tell everyone to “suck my Twinkie.”
Charlie Sheen’s Tiger Blood Finally Simmering Down?
Speaking of crises averted, there was a nearly audible collective sigh of relief when Charlie Sheen took the stage and managed to act…normal. Especially after he said he wanted to “take a moment to get something off my chest.” The beleaguered star told his former Two and a Half Men co-workers that he wished them “nothing but the best for this upcoming season. We spent eight wonderful years together, and I know you will continue to make great television.” Maybe he finally got a new publicist?
And Miss Comedy 2011 Is…
Trust the leading ladies of comedy to bring the funny even to the nomination portion of their category. As Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara read off the list of nominees for lead actress in a comedy series, Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Martha Plimpton, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, and Laura Linney all mounted the stage, beauty pageant–style. Mike & Molly star McCarthy, who is clearly having a moment after her brilliant turn in Bridesmaids this summer, took home the crown, vindicating all the Gilmore Girls fans who have long known Sookie St. James to be the superior television Sookie.
Puppies and Timberlake and Newsweek, Oh My!
The nominees for outstanding writing for a variety, music, or comedy series try to outdo themselves every year, this one being no exception. The sardonic scribes used everything from puppies to an army of Justin Timberlakes to, yes, a certain Newsweek cover to prime for the prize, which unsurprisingly went to The Daily Show for the seventh time.
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose
Well, better late than never. After snubbing the critical darling for most of its five seasons on air, the Emmy voters finally showed Friday Night Lights the love, giving Jason Katims a win for outstanding writing for a drama series.
A Justified Win
While it came as no surprise to those in the know when Justified’s Margo Martindale scooped up a statue for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, that didn’t stop the actress from looking genuinely shocked and touched as she accepted her award. “Sometimes things just take time,” Martindale, a first-time nominee, said. “But with time comes great appreciation.” Indeed.
Friday Night Lights’s belated appreciation continued with Kyle Chandler picking up the award for lead actor in a drama series. Chandler gave an aw-shucks! humble speech, saying, “I knew for a fact that I would not be standing here, so I did not worry about writing anything, and now I’m starting to worry.”
Winslet Wins It
An exuberant Kate Winslet, stunning in Elie Saab, took the stage for her lead actress in a miniseries or a movie win mere moments after her Mildred Pierce costar Guy Pearce made his own acceptance speech for supporting actor. “Oh, look, I really did win it!” Winslet exclaimed, holding up her statue. Now she just needs a Tony to complete the coveted EGOT (Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony) actor quadfecta!
Mad Men Brings the Drama
Note to Matthew Weiner: Saying you’re surprised that you won really only works when you haven’t won the award for outstanding drama series every single season you’ve been on the air. At this rate, the other hopefuls are better off waiting for Mad Men to go off the air before getting their own hopes up for a win.
Modern Family Brings the Funny
Modern Family pulled off a repeat win for outstanding comedy series. “There were a lot of years when a lot of people on this stage had failed pilots and shows that didn’t go, so we appreciate every single second of this,” co-creator Steven Levitan said in his speech.