This year’s Emmy Awards was all comedy in structure, but very little comedy in substance. It as an SNL-Centric Emmy. The show opened with comedy and closed with comedy (SNL specifically in fact), and was hosted by comedy (SNL yet again) and yet comedy fans could have easily sat this one out. The comedy awards were dominated by Marvelous Mrs. Maisal which is a cute show, its a nice show, it’s a fun show, it’s even a good show, but even though its a show ostensibly about stand up comedy, it’s not a show that appeals to most hardcore comedy fans- they’re more likely to be watching Atlanta or Crashing.
But in case you’re wondering what you missed, Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson opened the show with a musical number all about how proud Emmy is of their diversity with the most diverse list of nominees in history. There were jokes about #metoo and Louis C.K. and we all sang about how we solved diversity. And then after spending that first few minutes making it clear to their entire audience how important and wonderful diversity was, they proceeded to give white award after white award until they finally gave the whitest award of all- to Betty White, before they finally had a winner who wasn’t white an hour and 15 minutes into the broadcast.
After the song and dance died down, Michael Che and Colin Jost delivered a solid monologue with jokes about thanking Jesus, Nazis, #metoo, race, Roseanne, Netflix, streaming platforms in general, Obama, diversity, and the inevitable death of network television. The best joke of their shared set- at least according to social media- being a joke about Atlanta and a racism. Our favorite joke came from Che, making fun of television in general- “Our network, NBC, has most nominations of any broadcast network. Which is kinda like being the sexiest person on life support. its not great.”
You can watch everything you missed below.
The show opened with a run of most of the comedy awards and then closed with another run of comedy awards so somebody at Emmy must think comedy is pretty important. But it was a less than exciting night for hardcore comedy fans who saw a lot of favorite performers go home without a statute. But there were some great moments like Henry Winkler and Bill Hader’s big wins, and everyone’s thrilled for John Mulaney, another great year for Last Week Tonight and SNL.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series went to Henry Winkler who won his first Emmy ever for his role on HBO’s Barry, with an acceptance speech he says he wrote 43 years ago. A great start to the show, with an award for a beloved comedy icon, who played a great role on a great show.
Best Supporting Actress was the first award of many for Amazon’s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and went to Alex Borstein for her terrific role as booker Susie Myerson and she accepted the award in her wedding dress! She also gave the advice to women that women have need to hear for decades- to stop hovering over the toilet.
“Ladies, if you sit down, we can all sit down,” she said.
The Mrs. Maisel love kept coming with an award for Best writing for a Comedy Series and Best Directing for a Comedy Series both going to Amy Sherman Palladino, back to back, followed by an Emmy for Rachel Brosnahan for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. It was back to HBO and Barry for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series with Bill Hader beating out a killers list of nominees (Danson, Glover, Macy, David and Anderson).
I’m repeating myself with great delight: Congratulations @AlexBorstein on your SECOND Emmy win in a week for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series!
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) September 18, 2018
The comedy highlight of the night undoubtably was Che’s short film, handing out what he called the “Reparations Emmy” Awards to classic black tv performers Marla Gibbs, Jimmy Walker, Kadeem Hardison, Jaleel White, John Witherspoon, Tichina Arnold, and more.
And here’s that Betty White speech, if you want to see a true Twitter eruption just watch anytime Betty White is on television. #legend.
More comedy awards came later in the night, like Oustanding Writing for a Variety Special- that went to John Mulaney for his hour special, John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous At Radio City.
— nick kroll (@nickkroll) September 18, 2018
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special didn’t go to anyone in comedy despite it generally being comedy nominees- the director of last year’s Oscars grabbed that one. He also stole the show with his big wedding proposal loved by everyone watching– almost everyone– call us grinches. We hate public proposals.
Something uncomfortable about the oscars getting an Emmy. And then even more uncomfortable: “my mom died will you marry me”
— Bonnie McFarlane (@bonniemcfarlane) September 18, 2018
But RuPaul’s Drag Race took the award for Best Reality Competition in a category that generally isn’t about comedy.
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel grabbed another win for Best Comedy Series, bringing the whole cast on stage putting a nice bow on their first season.
Last Week Tonight won yet another Emmy for Variety Talk Series making it clear they are the start of a talk show Emmy dynasty.
And Lorne Michaels closed out the show accepting his award for Variety Sketch Series on behalf of Saturday Night Live.
Oh yeah, and Hannah Gasby presented an award too.
Has Hannah Gatsby quit presenting awards yet?
— Guy Branum (@guybranum) September 18, 2018
Comedians on Twitter were fairly quiet except for a few hardcore tweeters, Fortune Feimster giving the best live tweet stream. And then there those who got to attend the awards ceremonies so here’s a few photos from some comedy friends.
This is really lovely and exciting and John’s horse is going to be so fucking pissed he didn’t get thanked! (I don’t think John has a horse and if he did I’m sure he or she would be very gracious about the mistake.) pic.twitter.com/T5Vts1WQ3Z
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) September 18, 2018
Could NOT be happier for @mulaney. His special rocked and so does he. Congrats, man!
You’re up, scotch! pic.twitter.com/iwHjsxsjwx
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 18, 2018
Going to the #Emmys is a privilege. Winning an Emmy is a privilege. Being allowed to stay w/ your kids when you cross the U.S. border should NOT be a privilege.
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) September 10, 2018
— Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj) September 18, 2018
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 18, 2018
— Ronny Chieng (@ronnychieng) September 18, 2018
And Judy Gold summed up the night for all of us.
— Judy Gold 🇺🇸 (@JewdyGold) September 18, 2018