Monday 27 February 2017

From Viola’s soaring speech to Kimmel’s flat prank – Best and worst moments of 67th Primetime Emmy Awards

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Actress Viola Davis, winner of the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for 'How to Get Away With Murder', poses in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater
Actress Viola Davis, winner of the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for 'How to Get Away With Murder', poses in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actors Taraji P. Henson (L) and Terrence Howard speak onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

For an awards ceremony celebrating television, the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards was itself a mixed bag of televisual highs and lows. Here's a selection of the best and worst moments from Viola Davis' powerful acceptance speech to THAT spoiler montage...

BEST: Adam Samberg's musical opening

It's an awards show to celebrate television but host Andy Samberg hit the nail on the head with his opening musical number which bemoaned the fact that there's just so damn much of it that it's impossible to watch it all unless we become goggle-eyed hermits.

BEST: Julia Louis Dreyfus took a pop at Donald Trump


During her Best Actress award (her fourth no less) for playing Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep the actress took a pop at presidential hopeful Donald Trump, which was hilarious, because it's always fun to take a pop at Trump.

“I think it would be appropriate at this moment to quote our political satire Veep: ‘What a great honor it must be for you to honor me tonight,’ ” she said, before adding, "Oh wait, oh no, no, no, I'm so sorry.  Donald Trump said that. It’s getting trickier and trickier to satirize this stuff.”

WORST: Jimmy Kimmel's prank keeled over and died

Jimmy Kimmel appeared on stage to present Jeffrey Tam or with his Best Actor in a Comedy award.  He ate the envelope for some reason.  Nobody laughed.  TV tumbleweed...

BEST: Tracy Morgan's emotional appearance

30 Rock star Tracy Morgan made his first public appearance in a year since his near fatal accident.

"Thanks to my amazing doctors, and the support of my family, my beautiful new wife, I'm here, standing on my own two feet," he said.  "God bless all you for your prayers and positive thoughts for the last 15 months. I suffered a traumatic brain injury for eight days. When I finally regained consciousness, I was just ecstatic to learn that I wasn't the one that messed up."

He then added that he felt better which meant women were going to "get pregnant at the after party."

WORST: The series' finales montage


This year saw the end of series like Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Boardwalk Empire, Two and a Half Men, Sons of Anarchy, and several more. 

Unfortunately, the organisers of the Emmys didn't take heed of Sandberg['s point, made clear in his musical opening, that many of have yet to wade our way through at least one of those shows.

So, when they cobbled together a montage of each series ending, effectively broadcasting a series of massive spoilers for people who haven't got around to seeing the shows, the viewing public were not best pleased.

Twitter is where they headed to voice their ire with statements like, "This series finale montage is like the best spoiler reel in the history of TV. #Emmys"

Sandberg preempted the reaction with the statement, "Welcome back to the spoiler awards.  I guess everyone on every show died." 

BEST: Amy Schumer's sweet acceptance speech


In a result which surprised nobody, Amy won the statue for Best Variety Sketch Series for Inside Amy Schumer and thanked pretty much everyone who helped her on the path to stardom.

While she made sure to give a shoutout to the makeup artist who did her smokey eye, she was sure to thank her sister Kim, saying :"I want to thank my sister Kim, who's the only reason I'm alive and breathing."

"We care so much about this show,” she said on stage. "This show really fights for what we believe in."

BEST: Uzo Aduba's emotional acceptance speech


Uzo Aduba as Crazy Eyes is hands down the best thing about Netflix series Orange is the New Black and her reaction to winning the gong for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series was massively endearing.  She shed a tear and it was difficult not to join her with a tear or two of happiness.

WORST: Things got awkward with Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard


It has been a tough few months for Terrence Howard with the details of his personal life and divorce making headlines and THAT very strange interview with Rolling Stone drawing even more negative attention.

When he appeared on stage to present an award with Empire co-star Taraji P Henson neither of them could have looked less at ease with each other.  And then he went and kissed her on the cheek in a moment reminiscent of that time Travolta kissed Scarlett Johansson on the Oscars red carpet.

BEST: Jon Hamm finally wins Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama for Mad Men


Jon Hamm finally won the award that has eluded him for seven seasons, and he thanked his dog and ex-partner Jennifer Westfeldt.

"There has been a terrible mistake, clearly. Thank you for that," he said.

"This is impossible. It's impossible to be named with all of those extraordinary gentlemen.  It is impossible to be standing up here. It's impossible to have done this show, with this incredible cast, these incredible people, these incredible writers, our incredible crew. The network and studio who put this on, Lionsgate and AMC. Am I saying that right? And it's incredible and impossible for me personally to be standing here, so I want to thank the people to whom I owe an incredible debt, people who in my life have gotten me here. Families who have for some reason chosen to take me in, to be nice to me."

He thanked many people for his win, including his dog Cora, and his now ex-partner Jennifer and began to choke up when he said, ""Thank you all very much. I would not be standing here without you.  Thank you to everyone who watched the show, thank you for this."

ABSOLUTE BEST: Viola Davis' powerful acceptance speech

Yes, another acceptance speech, but this one trumped all.  Viola Davis made history as the first black actress ever to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drma Series for How to Get Away With Murder.

She took the opportunity to remind everyone how tough it is to win an Emmy when there are no roles written for people of colour. She also referenced other nominees including Taraji P Henson. 


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