The 68th Primetime Emmys
September 18, 2016
Welcome to another late, not at all live blog of the Primetime Emmy Awards where other than our internet home, nothing much has changed, not even the winners.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: it’s difficult — if not impossible — to write about something that is funny and make it funnier. And so I will just give you our host Jimmy Kimmel’s clever cold open to the Emmys without further comment:
7:05 Kimmel’s opening monologue was, if anything, even funnier — poking fun at Jeffrey Tambor’s inevitable win Marcia Clark’s winning streak and her mixed feelings about an O.J. win; Mark Burnett for being responsible for the menace of Donald Trump; and Maggie Smith’s disdain for these awards and refusal to participate.
ABC, you’re airing the Oscars next year. Why don’t you just go ahead and sign up Jimmy now.
7:12 Our first presenters of the evening are the ever-delightful Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross of black-ish who are cursed with some truly terrible repartee about how Anderson is looking that night. They both deserved better than this.
Anderson and Ellis Ross present the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy to Louie Anderson for playing Zach Galifianakis’ mother on Baskets. If you haven’t seen his performance, it is delightful and true and human and never seeps into camp — even though it very easily could. And I never thought I’d say, “The Emmy-Award-winning Louie Anderson,” but that would go to show how much I know because not only did Louie Anderson win last night, he has also won three Emmys for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Series for his 90s cartoon series, Life with Louie. So there you go.
Who Should Have Won: Louie Anderson. There’s an argument for both Tony Hale and Tituss Burgess, but in this instance, the right (wo)man won.
7:22 Julie Bowen and Matt LeBlanc (who on the red carpet made some inappropriate comments about wanting to see Emilia Clarke naked. Listen, Matt LeBlanc, we ALL want to see Emilia Clarke naked, but you’ve got to be chiller about it, dude.), after making some tired jokes about actors liking shiny things, present Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series to Master of None for the brilliant episode, “Parents.” And if you haven’t seen that episode, stop reading this, go turn on Netflix, and watch it. Now. RIGHT NOW.
7:24 Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari take the stage and while I am so happy for them, all I want to do is yell at Aziz to GO PUT ON A TIE, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, SON? Alan Yang gives a great speech about the lack of Asian representation in TV and films, before urging Asian parents to give their kids cameras instead of violins.
As Aziz Ansari goes to the microphone, however, the music begins to swell and he just completely spazzes out, running away from the mic, then back to it, then completely off the stage in one last exasperated fit. Aw, Aziz, you should have stated and treated yo’self. (Great joke.)
Who Should Have Won: Master of None. The entire season is a little uneven, but this particular episode is really just a great bit of writing — very nuanced, funny and sweet. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now.
7:25 Joel McHale and Kristen Bell, wearing a dress that needed to be in my closet yesterday, present Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series to Kate McKinnon for her work on Saturday Night Live. McKinnon genuinely seems surprised at the win, and, crying, gives thanks to Ellen DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton. Someone should tell her she forgot Justin Bieber.
Who Should Have Won: Niecy Nash. HEAR ME OUT. I love Kate McKinnon and she is easily the best thing about Saturday Night Live. But Saturday Night Live is actually considered a Variety Series, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, they should give the actors on Variety Series their own Emmys. It would certainly clear out all those SNL hosts from the Guest Actors in a Comedy Series categories, giving other performances half a chance. Also, Niecy Nash was a God damned revelation in Getting On.
7:27 The internet collectively loses its damn mind over Julia Louis-Dreyfus apparently throwing some shade at Kate McKinnon’s win.
7:33 After joking about not being nominated themselves, Randall Park and Constance Wu of Fresh Off the Boat explain that during the Nerd Emmys, Peter Scolari and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler won Guest Actors in a Comedy Series (see above).
7:35 Peter Scolari then presents Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series to Jill Soloway for Transparent after delivering a flat joke that no one was able to follow.
BRING OUT THE EMMY JOKE WRITERS. I AM GOING TO FEED THEM TO VISERION.
7:37 Soloway gives an inspiring speech about putting queer and transgender people in the center of stories, to make them the subject instead of objects, before yelling, “TOPPLE THE PATRIARCHY.”
Who Should Have Won: Either Aziz Ansari for Master of None or Maurice Marable for Veep’s episode, “Congressional Ball,” which wasn’t even nominated. Because here’s the thing: Soloway gives a good inspirational speech, but TRANSPARENT IS NOT A COMEDY. STOP PUTTING IT IN THE COMEDY CATEGORY.
7:38 And Jimmy Kimmel backs me up joking that Transparent was born a drama but identifies as a comedy. IT’S NOT A COMEDY. DOES THAT MAKE ME TRANSPHOBIC? WHY AM I YELLING?
7:39 Keegan-Michael Key presents Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series to Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Veep. Louis-Dreyfus delivers a muted acceptance speech, her hands shaking uncharacteristically, before revealing that her father just passed away on Friday. SO WHO’S THE SHADY JERK NOW, INTERNET? AND NO, RICHARD DREYFUSS IS NOT HER FATHER, YOU IDIOTS.
Who Should Have Won: Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets to win this category for as long as they make Veep, that’s just the deal.
7:43 Jeffrey Tambor, appropriately enough, presents a stand-alone tribute to the brilliant and much-missed Garry Shandling. AND NOW I’M BUMMED AND IT ISN’T EVEN THE MONTAGE OF THE DEAD YET.
7:51 When we return from the commercial break, the announcer introduces Dr. Bill Cosby to the stage, and people have no idea what they are expected to do.
As it turns out, it’s just a joke by Jimmy Kimmel who laughs that he wanted to see what people would do. “Shift uncomfortably in their seats” turns out to be the answer.
James Corden presents Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series to Jeffrey Tambor for Transparent, because uh duh. In his speech, Tambor fiercely advocates for trans roles to be given to trans actors. Jeffrey Tambor: pulling up the cis actor ladder behind him. (Which I’m totally fine with, btw.)
Who Should Have Won: Thomas Middleditch for Silicon Valley.
7:56 America Ferrera and Mandy Moore — who is apparently a good foot taller than America Ferrera present Outstanding Reality Competition to The Voice. Mark Burnett makes some Trump jokes before threatening to make Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys our next Supreme Court Justices. TOO CLOSE TO REALITY, BURNETT.
Who Should Have Won: RuPaul’s Drag Race but it wasn’t nominated, so Top Chef.
7:58 Jimmy Kimmel passes out 7,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that his mom made to the audience with a little help from the Stranger Things kids. It’s cute and all, but WHERE’S BARB?
8:05 The Accountants are joined by Leslie Badass Jones who jokes about her recent hack attack and otherwise terrifies the accountants, all of whom she looms over.
8:07 Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington, who is hugely pregnant and does not care which of you motherfuckers knows it, rocking that dress with the cutouts like a goddamned boss …
… present Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or Movie to D.V. DeVincentis for The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Who Should Have Won: Honestly any of the The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story or Fargo episodes could take this one.
8:10 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series goes to the phenomenal Regina King for her role in American Crime Story.
Who Should Have Won: Regina King should win all of the prizes for every single thing she does, including Supporting Actress for The Leftovers, for which she was SHAMEFULLY not nominated.
8:13 Continuing with the mom’s lunches joke, Jimmy Kimmel begins passing out juice boxes to the audience, pausing at David Schwimmer, to say, “juice juice juice juice” over and over again in a little People vs. O.J. joke. He then announces that his mom put notes in everyone’s lunches — which I can confirm, thanks to a high school buddy who was in attendance and who posted his note:
“Have fun tonight! Win or lose, your mom will always love you. Don’t get drunk. xoxoxo Joan (Jimmy’s Mom).”
In other news, this is the second person I went to high school with who has been nominated for an Emmy. The second person that I know of. I’m going to go drink a bottle of bourbon and have a lie down and think about my life choices.
8:14 Priyanka Chopra Tom Hiddleston come out in a cloud of pretty to present Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series or Movie to The Night Manager. But even the Emmys know no one cares about this category, and give us a crawl that reads: “Amy and Tina in 16 minutes.”
Who Should Have Won: Any of the People vs. O.J. episodes.
8:22 Terrence Howard and his jacket present Outstanding Supporting Actor to Sterling K. Brown for The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Brown gives a great speech, so full of genuine joy, that ends with a tribute to his wife: “the hottest chick in the game rocking my chain.”
For my middle-aged white readers out there, allow me to (re)introduce Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement”:
And now you know.
Who Should Have Won: Bokeem Woodbine for Fargo, but I’m not mad about Sterling K. Brown taking this one.
8:26 Claire Danes, who needed to think harder about wearing a gold dress while sporting that tan, and Bryan Cranston present Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie to Sarah Paulson for People vs. O.J. Simpson. Paulson gives Marcia Clark an apology for judging her superficially, an apology I think all of America collectively owes poor Marcia Clark.
Who Should Have Won: Sarah Paulson, no question. NO QUESTION.
8:33 Tina and Amy then come out to present Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie and don’t do much else. You had a perfectly good Tina and Amy and you wasted them, Emmys. WAY TO WASTE A PERFECTLY GOOD TINA AND AMY, EMMYS.
Courtney B. Vance wins for his portrayal of Johnny Cochran in People vs. O.J. Simpson. In his speech, Vance claims that HE happens to have the hottest chick in the game rocking his chain, and in his case, he is 100,000% correct because he is married to Angela Bassett, GOD DAMN.
Who Should Have Won: Courtney B. Vance.
8:37 “Johnny Cochran is smiling up at us tonight…” ZING!
Lady Mary and Coach Taylor then present Outstanding Television Movie to Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. Which, sure, OK. The producer who accepts the award tries to make the Jay-Z joke, too, and it only works because he’s a pasty Englishman who has no idea what he’s saying.
Who Should Have Won: All The Way, but it wasn’t nominated, so.
8:39 Liev Schrieber and Keri Russell, who appears to have lost most of her dress in some sort of tragic industrial accident, present Outstanding Limited Series to The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Who Should Have Won: The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
8:46 Aziz Ansari returns to the stage — and sticks around this time — to present Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, but not until after he explains that he wanted to thank his parents earlier and to make some Trump jokes.
Patton Oswalt wins for his stand-up special, Talking for Clapping. In his speech, Oswalt very subtly and gracefully mentions his wife who passed away earlier this year and I become a God damn mess.
8:50 Andy Samberg and Jon Snow do this overly long bit that is not nearly as funny as Samberg clearly thinks it is before presenting Outstanding Variety Talk Series to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. John Oliver gives a funny enough speech and might be the very first person in the history of award shows to ask to be played off. But I can’t take my eyes off his mussed collar. WON’T SOMEONE FIX JOHN OLIVER’S COLLAR?
Who Should Have Won: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
8:54 Again, I am not a skilled enough writer to make the funny funnier:
9:01 Laverne Cox, who looks like a walking, breathing Emmy statue, presents Outstanding Directing in a Variety Special to Grease Live!
Who Should Have Won: Grease Live! Look, I love Lemonade as much as the next person, but pulling off this live production of Grease was truly an accomplishment.
9:04 Damon Wayans presents Outstanding Variety Sketch Series to Key & Peele, and Keegan-Michael Key, bless him, tries to thank Damon Wayans Jr. before realizing his mistake.
Who Should Have Won: Key & Peele
9:07 Rami Malek and someone named Abigail Spencer explain that Hank Azaria and Margo Martindale won Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series at the Nerd Emmys. They are brought out to present Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series, and wait … wait, hold up. Did I fall asleep (entirely possible) or did we just entirely skip over Outstanding Variety Special altogether? So we covered Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special but not the Outstanding Variety Special? Interesting choice, everyone.
Anyway, Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series goes to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the “Battle of the Bastards” episode of Game of Thrones.
Who Should Have Won: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the “The Door” episode of Game of Thrones. But it wasn’t nominated.
9:15 Some guy, the President of the Academy maybe? who
cares knows, yammers something about something. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.
9:18 Minnie Driver and Michael Weatherly present Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama to the Not In Attendance Maggie Smith, so Jimmy Kimmel storms the stage, yoinks the statue and yells at Dame Maggie Smith that she can retrieve it in the lost and found.
Who Should Have Won: Regina King in The Leftovers. Like I said, dammit.
9:19 Minnie Driver and Michael Weatherly then present Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series to Miguel Sapochnik for “The Battle of the Bastards” episode of Game of Thrones.
Who Should Have Won: Jack Bender for Game of Thrones episode, “The Door.” I KNOW I KNOW, the battle sequence, blah blah blah. But Bender had a much trickier episode in which he had to guide the audience through complicated time loops and stage a battle with wights and all I’m saying is the Academy got this one way wrong. WHERE’S THE LOVE FOR TIME LOOPS, Y’ALL?
9:26 Taraji P. Henson, wearing a tribute to unnecessary censorship, presents Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama series to someone named Ben Mendelsohn for Bloodline. He couldn’t be bothered to attend the ceremony, either, but he’s not even a member of the royal court, so I don’t know what his excuse is.
Who Should Have Won: Kit Harrington for Game of Thrones OR Jonathan Banks for Better Call Saul. I’d take either, thanks.
9:28 Opening with a tribute to the late great Gary Marshall, Henry Winkler introduces the In Memoriam, which in addition to TV greats like Abe Vigoda, Patty Duke and Gary Shandling, also includes folks that weren’t exactly known for their TV work like Anton Yelchin, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Gene Wilder and Prince.
And in conclusion, 2016 has been THE WORST.
9:38 Allison Janney presents Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series to the ever mumbly Rami Malek for Mr. Robot, who, appropriately asks the audience:
Who Should Have Won: Bob Odenkirk for Better Call Saul.
9:43 Jack Bauer is here to present Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama to the long overdue Tatiana Maslany for her 78, 79? roles on Orphan Black. The Clone Club loses its collective mind.
Who Should Have Won: Tatiana Maslany. About three years ago.
9:50 Larry David, in an ill-fitting tuxedo — YOU ARE WORTH BILLIONS, LARRY. GET A TAILORED TUX, LARRY — is here to present Outstanding Comedy Series to Veep.
Who Should Have Won: Veep. Always and forever.
9:55 Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz emerge from the early 1990s to present Outstanding Drama Series to Game of Thrones. Which, hooray! Good job, everyone! BUT GO HOME AND FINISH WRITING THOSE BOOKS, GEORGE. YOU ARE WASTING EVERYONE’S TIME, BUDDY.
Who Should Have Won: Game of Thrones.
And with that, we are done here for another year when Veep and Game of Thrones will return to collect all of their prizes. Insincere air kisses!