After a year that most of us spent inside in front of our televisions, the Emmy Awards were especially poignant this time around.
Justin Sudeikis, star of the warm-hearted Ted Lasso, and Jean Smart of the generation-gap story Hacks won top comedy series acting trophies at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, while Ted Lasso took home the Best Comedy trophy.
Smart, who received a standing ovation, began her acceptance speech on a sombre note: Her husband actor, Richard Gilliland, died six months ago.
“I would not be here without him” and his willingness to put her career first, said Smart. She also praised their two children as “courageous individuals in their own right.”
Sudeikis, who also produces the series that many viewers found a balm for tough pandemic times, gave a speech that evoked the chipper, upbeat character he plays in the series about a U.K. soccer team and its unlikely American coach.
“This show’s about families and mentors and teammates, and I wouldn’t be here without those things in my life,” said Sudeikis. He also thanked his fellow castmates, saying “I’m only as good as you guys make me look.”
Castmates Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein earned the evening’s first honours.
An ebullient Waddingham, winner of the best supporting actress award for a comedy, said series star and producer Jason Sudeikis “changed my life with this, and more importantly my baby girl’s.”
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Goldstein, who won the counterpart award for supporting actor, said he had promised not to swear and either mimed or was muted for a few seconds, then called the show the “privilege and pleasure” of his life.
Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies of British royal drama The Crown were honoured for their supporting performances, while the royal drama won the biggest award of the night, the Best Drama trophy.
Anderson, who played British political leader Margaret Thatcher, used her acceptance speech to thank her manager of 20 years for her mentorship and believing in her talent before she did.
Menzies who plays Prince Philip, didn’t attend the ceremony, which included a London gathering for The Crown nominees.
Before announcing the winner in his category, presenter Kerry Washington saluted another nominee, Michael K. Williams of Lovecraft County. Williams died Sept. 6 at age 54.
“Michael was a brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon,” Washington said.
Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters claimed best supporting acting honors for the limited series Mare of Easttown, about crime and family dysfunction.
“The script was “true to the horror and beauty of ordinary people’s lives,” particularly the lives of women, said Nicholson.
Both she and Peters saluted star Kate Winslet.
“Man, you’re good at acting. But turns out you’re good at caring for a whole production,” Nicholson said.
The show opened with a musical number that featured host Cedric the Entertainer rapping a modified version of the Biz Markie hip-hop hit Just a Friend with lyrics like “TV, you got what I need.”
LL Cool J bounded from the audience as stars like Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore and more dropped verses celebrating the breadth of television.
Seth Rogen presented the first award, throwing some cold water on the celebratory vibe by noting that the Emmys were being held in a giant tent. “There’s way too many of us in this little room,” he exclaimed in what seemed to be an attempt to be funny that fell flat.
“I would not have come to this,” he continued.
“Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided.”
Netflix Chess drama The Queen’s Gambit, a popular choice during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, won the Best Limited Series Emmy.
Cedric the Entertainer worked hard and landed some laugh-getting jokes, but the night’s comedy bits were hit and miss — including Stephen Colbert’s jokes about California’s failed gubernatorial recall and Ken Jeong’s effort to get past security and into the show.
Roughly 500 people attended the Emmys in downtown Los Angeles, with fashion standout Billy Porter sporting large wings attached to the sleeves of his black trouser look and Sudeikis walked the red carpet in a velvet suit of soft blue.
Find the winners in all the major categories in the list below.
** WINNER: The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
Emily in Paris
The Flight Attendant
The Kominsky Method
** WINNER: Ted Lasso
Lead Actor, Drama
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country
** WINNER: Josh O’Connor, The Crown
Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton
Billy Porter, Pose
Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason
Lead Actress, Drama
Uzo Aduba, In Treatment
** WINNER: Olivia Colman, The Crown
Emma Corrin, The Crown
Elizabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
MJ Rodriguez, Pose
Jurnee Smollet, Lovecraft Country
Lead Actor, Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
William H. Macy, Shameless
** WINNER: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson, Kenan
Lead Actress, Comedy
Aida Bryant, Shrill
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Allison Janney, Mom
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
** WINNER: Jean Smart, Hacks
Supporting Actor, Drama
Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country
John Lithgow, Perry Mason
** WINNER: Tobias Menzies, The Crown
O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale
Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
Chris Sullivan, This Is Us
Supporting Actress, Drama
Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country
** WINNER: Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Emerald Fennell, The Crown
Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale
Supporting Actor, Comedy
Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live
** WINNER: Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso
Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso
Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso
Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method
Supporting Actress, Comedy
Hannah Einbinder, Hacks
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
Juno Temple, Ted Lasso
** WINNER: Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant
Guest Actor, Drama
Don Cheadle, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Charles Dance, The Crown
Timothy Olyphant, The Mandalorian
** WINNER: Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country
Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian
Guest Actress, Drama
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
** WINNER: Claire Foy, The Crown
Mckenna Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale
Sophie Okonedo, Ratched
Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us
Guest Actor, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
** WINNER: Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live
Morgan Freeman, The Kominsky Method
Daniel Kaluuya, Saturday Night Live
Daniel Levy, Saturday Night Live
Guest Actress, Comedy
Jane Adams, Hacks
Yvette Nicole Brown, A Black Lady Sketch Show
Bernadette Peters, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Issa Rae, A Black Lady Sketch Show
** WINNER: Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
** WINNER: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
The Amazing Race
** WINNER: RuPaul’s Drag Race
Limited or Anthology Series
I May Destroy You
Mare of Easttown
** WINNER: The Queen’s Gambit
The Underground Railroad
** WINNER: Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia
Lead Actor, Limited Series or Movie
Paul Bettany, WandaVision
Hugh Grant, The Undoing
** WINNER: Ewan McGregor, Halston
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Lesie Odom, Jr., Hamilton
Lead Actress, Limited Series or Movie
Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You
Cynthia Erivo, Genius
Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision
Ann Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit
** WINNER: Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown
Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Anthony Ramos, Hamilton
Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You
** WINNER: Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit
Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown
** WINNER: Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown
Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit
Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision
— With files from The Associated Press