The 2017 Emmy Awards, a.k.a. the biggest night in television, has come to a close and it was full of entertaining moments.
Host Stephen Colbert kicked off the the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards with musical number infused with popular shows and casts of the time (here’s looking at you “Stranger Things” and “This Is Us”). From there, things got political, hilarious and at some moments, downright awkward.
Here are the 10 most memorable moments of the night so you know what to talk about at the coffee machine at work on Monday morning.
1. Most randomly thanked person: Oprah Winfrey
Watching award shows, it is a given that many “thank yous” will be heard throughout the night. However, this year a few winners added an extra name to their acceptance speech when they found themselves in the presence of royalty. John Oliver kicked it off when he thanked Oprah while accepting the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for A Variety Series for “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” Oliver thanked Oprah again when he went back on stage to accept the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series. However, she wasn’t in her seat at the time, so he thanked her seat filler (because, duh). Oliver wasn’t the only winner to hop on the “Thank Oprah” train, Riz Ahmed also thanked Winfrey when he accepted his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for “The Night Of.” Like John Oliver suggests, always thank Oprah.
— Kristen (@KristenNHayden) September 18, 2017
2. Strangest cameo: Sean Spicer
Viewers expected the night to get political with Stephen Colbert at the helm (or, at least, they should have), but one of the strangest political moments was when Colbert invited former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on stage to announce how large the Emmys viewing audience is this year (a shout-out to one of Spicer’s first controversies about this post inauguration press conference). This moment in the show was also the most gifable, because the star’s reactions in the audience were of sheer surprise. We think Anna Chlumsky was the most gifable of all, though.
— GIPHY (@GIPHY) September 18, 2017
3. Best Showstealer: History-making wins
A few wins at tonight’s Emmy Awards made the history books. The first was Lena Waithe’s win for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the “Master of None” episode “Thanksgiving” (she shared the win with Aziz Ansari). With this win, Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Her historic win also led to quite the inspirational speech (watch below). The second history-making win was Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won her 6th consecutive Emmy for portraying Selina Meyer on HBO’s “Veep.” With this win, she now has the most Emmy wins for a single performer in the same role ever. The third was Donald Glover, who with his win for Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series became the first black director to win in that category.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) September 18, 2017
4. Most inappropriate stage banter: Dolly Parton
While it was amazing to see legends Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda all take the stage together to present an award (I mean, who doesn’t live for a “9 to 5” reunion?), it got a bit awkward when Parton segued into inappropriate sex jokes. But, then again, she is Dolly Parton — she can do what she wants.
5. Most political speech: Donald Glover calling out President Donald Trump
When Donald Glover took the stage to accept his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for “Atlanta,” he began his speech thanking loved ones and family members. He then went on to thank President Donald Trump saying, “I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the most‑oppressed list. He’s the reason I’m probably up here.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
6. Most cringeworthy moment: Stephen Colbert’s Bill Maher joke
While mentioning the diversity of the nominees during his opening monologue, Stephen Colbert made a jab at comedian Bill Maher and his recent scandal where he said the N-word live-on-air in an New York Times “Table for Three” interview. Not sure if this moment was really that cringeworthy? This was Debra Messing’s reaction.
For posterity, here’s Debra Messing reacting to the Bill Maher joke pic.twitter.com/Di73ODN5LO
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) September 18, 2017
7. Best use of an acceptance speech for empowerment: Nicole Kidman
During her acceptance speech for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in “Big Little Lies,” Nicole Kidman took a moment to express her gratitude for what her win does for shining a light on domestic abuse (her character in the miniseries was in an abusive relationship). Kidman also dedicated her award to her two daughters and husband Keith Urban and thanked them for their support, plus talked about how women in Hollywood needed more roles like those in “Big Little Lies.” All in all, tissues were needed after this speech.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
8. Most fun moments: Musical numbers
Between Stephen Colbert’s massive opening number (that culminated in chorus dancers dressed in “The Handmaid’s Tale” costumes taking the stage with him) and Rachel Bloom’s hilarious reveal of the Ernst & Young LLP accountants through song and dance, the musical numbers were much needed relief from the announcement of winners.
9. Biggest winner of the night: Diversity
People from many races, backgrounds and sexual orientations went home with Emmy Awards Sunday night. From Donald Glover to Riz Ahmed to Kate McKinnon, diversity was the ultimate winner of the night and was mentioned in several speeches, including Lena Waithe’s, Glover’s and more. Here’s to many more diverse award show wins!
10. Best “stick it to the Academy moment”: Sterling K. Brown’s speech
When Sterling K. Brown got up to accept his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in “This Is Us,” he was not going leave the stage until he finished saying everything he wanted to say. And despite the producers playing him off with music and cutting his microphone, Brown stayed on stage finishing his speech. After all, he was the first black actor to win an Emmy in that category since 1998, he deserved all the time he wanted. Don’t worry though, he finished his speech backstage. Oh, and before they cut him off, he thanked his castmates while referencing two ’80s sitcoms, too.
“I want to thank my cast, Milo, Mandy, Justin, Chrissy. You are the best white TV family that a brother has ever had. Better than Mr. Drummond. Better than them white folks that raised Webster. I love you,” he said.
— Variety (@Variety) September 18, 2017
More stories, photos from the 2017 Emmy Awards:
- Emmys red carpet: See photos of what the stars were wearing
- Emmys 2017: ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ win big
- What the winners said about their Emmy wins
- Photos from the 2017 Emmy Awards show
- Yes, that really was Sean Spicer in Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue
- ‘Master of None’s’ Lena Waithe makes history at Emmys 2017
- Emmys 2017: Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes Emmy history with ‘Veep’ win
- This is what it was like to be on the red carpet of the 2017 Emmy Awards
- Who is announcing the 2017 Emmy Awards?
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