A 'Simpsons' Start
Given that Fox aired the 2019 edition of the Emmys, it totally made sense for a tuxedo-clad Homer Simpson to open the show. “This was my impossible dream,” said Homer. “If it could happen to me, then you…” His words were cut short when a giant cartoon piano fell on his head, with non-cartoon Anthony Anderson rushing onstage to save the show while avoiding all manner of mishaps.
Following Anderson's exploits, a stagehand shoved the closest actor onstage — who just happened to be none other than multiple Emmy winner Bryan Cranston.
“Television has never been bigger,” Cranston concluded. “Television has never mattered more. And television has never been this damn good," said the former "Breaking Bad" star to officially kick off the show.
'Family Guy' Honours The Greats
In an animated bit from "Family Guy" the Griffins are seen watching the Emmys on TV. “Well kids, in my day, the Emmys was always the night of the biggest stars and the best winners," Peter tells his family. "It just seemed like every year it was Bill Cosby, Roseanne, Roseanne, Bill Cosby, Bill Cosby, Roseanne and Bill Cosby. The Emmys has always been great at rewarding great people for great work. And who will be this year’s Bill Cosby and Roseanne? Let’s keep watching and find out.”
Poehler And O'Hara
Two of comedy's funniest females joined forces to present, with Amy Poehler and Catherine O'Hara taking to the stage together.
“Strong. Flexible. Committed. Focused," the pair declared. "These are the qualities we look for in our personal trainers.”
And, quipped Poehler, “they are also the words that describe our eight nominees’ lower back tattoos.”
Step Out Of Line
Some Kardashian Awkwardness
That did not go as planned. Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner took to the stage to present an award for the reality category, with Kardashian telling the audience, “Our family knows first-hand how truly compelling television comes from just being themselves.” With that, the audience erupted in unexpected laughter as the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" stars stood onstage while the audience laughed in derision. Ouch!
A Social Experiment
"The Masked Singer" host Nick Cannon was joined by judge Ken Jeong to present an award, but all the "Hangover" star cared about was social media. As he explained, he filmed a video with his daughter that included a beginning and an end, but requested the audience provide "the creamy middle." He explained: "I want 5,000 people in the Microsoft Theatre screaming at the top of their lungs to scare my punk kid. I know, I’m a great dad.”
Phoebe Waller-Brigdge accepted the Emmy for Lead Actress In A Comedy Series, one of several awards she received for her critically acclaimed comedy "Fleabag". “Oh my god, look at her!” said Phoebe Waller-Bridge, clearly impressed with her Emmy statue for her writing award. “I find writing really hard and really painful,” she quipped in her acceptance speech while holding her Emmy. “But the reason that I do it is because of this. So it’s made it all really worth it guys, thank you so much.” When she later won the Emmy for acting, she cribbed her earlier speech, to hilarious effect. “It’s just really wonderful to know, and reassuring that a dirty, pervy, angry messed-up woman can make it to the Emmys," she added.
Waller-Bridge would go on to win yet another award, finally exclaiming, "This is getting ridiculous!"
Co-presenters Maya Rudolph and Ike Barinholtz walked onstage wearing dark sunglasses. “Hello, apologies. We both just had LASIC eye surgery this afternoon,” joked Barinholtz. “It was the only time he had available,” said Rudolph. “Hopefully we can read the teleprompter no problem, let’s give it a shot,” added Barinholtz.
As the duo took off their crazy sunglasses, they struggled with reading the teleprompter. “Today’s num-nums are a dazzling group of male mouthguard,” Barinholtz read, with Rudolph adding, “Here the nimrods for dead ascot in a chocolate staircase.”
Late-night rivals Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert — both of whom have hosted the Emmys — took to the stage to present an award, but mainly to complain about the show not having a host this year. “Well, well, well,” quipped Colbert. “How’s the old no-host thing going?” “What a dumb idea,” chimed in Kimmel. “What a joke,” added Colbert. “So stupid,” noted Kimmel. “You know what has a host? Appleby’s has a host.”
“You know who the real victims are here?” asked Colbert. “It’s us. Hosting is the only thing we know how to do.”
“I’m sorry, but this show sucks!” declared Kimmel., adding: “Without a host, who would be able to sit behind a desk and pretend to be interested in Jason Bateman’s vacation stories… You know who else didn’t have a host? The Titanic, and look what happened to them.“
Accepting the award for her performance in "Fosse/Verdon", Michelle Williams thanked the production “for supporting me completely and paying me equally, because they understood that when you put value into a person, it empowers that person.” She added: “The next time a woman — and especially a woman of colour, because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar next to her white male counterpart — tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her. Because one day she might stand in front of you and thank you for allowing her to succeed because of her workplace environment, not despite it.”
RuPaul Got Thankful
Collecting yet another Emmy for "RuPaul's Drag Race, host RuPaul declared: “We are so proud of this show and we are so happy for all the gorgeous kids who come on and show how fabulous they are."
Seth Meyers' Throne Speech
Seth Meyers offered am unorthodox introduction when honouring "Game of Thrones", describing the series as "a show about many things. About how the bond of family is the hardest to break. How no matter the amount of wedding planning you do, something invariably goes wrong. And how, in the days before 23 and Me, people had to rely on word of mouth to find out they had slept with their aunt.”
Patricia Pays Tribute
Phoebe And Bill
Bill Hader and Phoebe Waller-Bridge presented the award for Supporting Actor in a Limited seres, prompting the “Fleabag” star to ask, “What is a limited series, Bill?”
“A limited series,” deadpanned Hader, “is a TV series that was cancelled.”
'The Exonerated Five'
WInning for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his performance in "When They See Us", Jharrel Jerome dedicated his Emmy to the wrongfully accused men known as the Central Park Five — or, as he described them, "the exonerated five."
Corden Chooses His Own Adventure
When presenting an Emmy, "Late Late Show" host James Corden referenced the "Black Mirror" "Bandersnatch" "which is nominated in this category." Added Corden: "I'm gonna let you choose your own adventure. Would you like me to A) just get right to the nominated package, or B) read through two pages of the witty patter written by the academy."
After the crowed cheered for the former, a disappointed Corden quipped, "Well, thats a shame. They actually had a lot of good stuff. You’ll never ever hear it.”
Former "House of Lies" co-stars Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell presented together, with Bell referencing the fact that Cheadle has been nominated for nine Emmys but won a grand total of zero. "Don, are you okay
?" she asked. "Yeah, I don’t care," he replied. "I’m sorry, I don’t know what that feels like — how does that feel to lose nine times? What does that feel like?"
"I’m good, it’s really about having an Oscar on the shelf…" responded Cheadle, who won a Best Actor Academy Award for "Hotel Rwanda" in 2005.
“Do you have an Oscar?” asked Bell in surprise.
After a touching introduction from co-star Hugh Laurie, "Veep" star Julia Louis Dreyfus quoted Sir Winston Churchill, who "once quipped that politics was like being married to a two-headed… I’m sorry, I was told I’d be up here alone," she said, jokingly complaining about having to share the stage with her co-stars. "I know, to celebrate the show ‘Veep’, because that is me. I was the Veep. But you know, I can make this work..."
Hamm & Watts
Jon Hamm and Naomi Watts teamed up to present the Emmy in the Limited Series category.
“Too many great series, too little time,” declared Watts.
“Which is why I’ve made the executive decision to show each and every episode of each and every nominated series tonight, in its entirety,” said Hamm. “So get comfortable and get ready to laugh, because here comes ‘Chernobyl'!"
Hat's Off To Billy
Given his ebullient personality, it's difficult to upstage Billy Porter — but the "Pose" star's ginormous hat managed to do it.
John Oliver, who was presented an award by Porter, quipped: “I feel significantly less glamorous standing next to you, Billy.”
Later, Porter would make history by becoming the first openly gay black man to win Outstanding Lead Actor in A Drama Series.
"I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day. James Baldwin said, ’It took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this earth like I had the right to be here.’ I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right!” he declared.
"We as artists are the people who can change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet," he added. "Please don’t ever stop doing that.”
A Musical Moment
In a musical-dance number, Andy DeVine performed with the creatures from "The Masked Singer" in a tribute to the variety categories, with a mask of Meryl Streep somehow making its way onstage at one point. While DeVine made the point that most talk shows are hosted by middle-aged white men sitting behind a desk, nominee Samantha Bee made an appearance to point out, "I am a middle-aged white woman, and I don’t need a desk."
Peter Dinklage's Throne Speech
"I count myself so fortunate to be a member of a community that is nothing but all about tolerance and diversity, because no other place could I be standing on a stage like this," said the "Game of Thrones" star in his acceptance speech, also praising showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. "Dave and Dan, we literally walked through fire and ice for you — literally — and I would do it all again for you in a heartbeat," he added.
Halsey paid tribute to those industry professionals who lost their lives over the past year, performing Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Tome" to accompany this year's In Memoriam" segment.
Jodie's First Emmy
Jodie Comer won for her performance in “‘Killing Eve", insisting the second season "has been an absolute whirlwind." She credited co-star Sandra Oh: “I feel so lucky to have shared the whole experience with you," she said before thanking “my mum and dad who are in Liverpool, who I didn’t invite because I didn’t think this was going to be my time… I’m going to bring it home.”
'Game Of Thrones' Wins Big
If Emmy had an award for the biggest number of people on stage, the cast and crew of “Game of Thrones” would definitely win, with what looked like the entire population of Westeros onstage to accept the show's award for Outstanding Drama.