Seth Meyers kicked off the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards with the traditional comedic monologue. In a perfect world, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would always host awards shows, but Meyers was entertaining. The Emmys airing on a Monday, the ever-increasing nominations for cable shows and now Netflix, and the often confusing and controversial nominations (OITNB
as a comedy?) were the source of his better jokes. His best zinger by far? When he threw some shade at his own network, NBC. "Congratulations to HBO. They have 99 nominations tonight, the most of any network. Not to be outdone, NBC is also a network."
Meyers definitely got by with the help of his friends, be they fellow late night talk show hosts, Saturday Night Live
alumni or both, including Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg.
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Here are a few more highlights of the night's telecast:
2014 Emmy Awards: List of Winners >>>
Funny or Die Guy Delivers
and Funny or Die's Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street
) presented a
pre-recorded comedic bit the two did in NYC. In an special Emmy version
of Eichner's show, which usually tests the pop culture literacy of
unsuspecting strangers on the street, Eichner offered a dollar to anyone
who agreed with him or could answer questions about TV's big night. He
asked one man who was hosting the Emmys, and even given a big hint and
Meyers' presence, the man still mistook the host for Family Guy
creator Seth MacFarlane.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Wins, Again
her third consecutive win proves newcomers can have a hard time
triumphing over perennial favorites, Louis-Dreyfus always reminds us that her
accolades are well-deserved. After presenting the award for Best Actor
in a Comedy Series, Julia told Breaking Bad
star Bryan Cranston that he resembled
the man who played dentist and Elaine love interest Dr. Tim Whatley on Seinfeld
Cranston tried to jog her memory but was dismissed by his co-presenter.
After being named the Best Actress in a Comedy, Cranston grabbed Louis-Dreyfus on her way to the podium and the two made out with such fervor,
it will forever leave the Oscar kiss between Adrien Brody and Halle
Berry in the dust.
Taking a Page from Ellen's Book
the crowd involved, if the participants are good sports, is a fail-safe
way to kill time and entertain the audience and the viewers. Meyers took time
out to answer questions about how the Emmys work. These "questions" came
from the likes of Jon Hamm, Fred Armisen, Melissa McCarthy and
Julianna Margulies and included everything from when the show airs to
parking to bathroom breaks and determining who gets the Emmy if the
winner is absent.
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It was Pile-On Matthew McConaughey Night
Whether it was Jimmy Kimmel's good-natured but relentless ribbing or Amy Poehler and Meyers' sketch on how to best introduce the True Detective star and co-star Woody Harrelson, Matthew was the man of the evening. He was being accused of storing weed in a conch shell, being too handsome for television, not understanding the season finale of his HBO series, his name being a menu item at most marijuana dispensaries and being chatty in the sack. How could anyone riding such a career "high" be anything but tickled by all the attention?
The Inevitable Musical Extravaganza
Weird Al Yankovic, with some help from Samberg, did what he does best: make up lyrics. This time, it was to TV theme songs from Mad Men
, Modern Family
. The best by far was for Game of Thrones
, which stressed how the show is outpacing the writing of author George R.R. Martin. Cut to Martin in the audience being handed a typewriter as Yankovic pled for him to write faster.
A New Twist and Turns
Usually, when the suits hit the stage, it's time to take a potty break. This year, the Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences proved he had a sense of humor. While he extolled the virtues of the Academy, he had Modern Family
's Sofia Vergara stand on a rotating platform knowing full well the crowd would rather look at her than listen to him. And then he stated, "What truly matters is that we never forget our success is based on always giving the viewers something compelling to watch."
There was little doubt that a tribute to Robin Williams would surpass the actor and comic being just one photo among many. Sure enough, his longtime friend Billy Crystal comes out. Instead of being morose, Crystal told amusing anecdotes, which is only fitting given that that is, no doubt, how Williams would want to be remembered. Crystal stated how difficult it was to talk about Williams in the past tense because he was so present in all of our lives. His comparison to his dear friend as a celestial body was heartfelt and apropos.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC and Emmys)