The 75th Annual Emmy Awards: 10 Highlights from TV’s Biggest Night!

By TV / Video Download Archives
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The 75th Annual Emmy Awards celebrated TV’s best, both past and present. Featuring multiple wins for frontrunners The Bear, Beef, and Succession, and tributes to classic TV favorites like Cheers, All in the Family and Martin, the award show celebrated its milestone with standing Os, mini cast reunions, and a new member of the EGOT club. Hosted by Anthony Anderson, the ceremony (originally set to air in September, but delayed due to the writers and actors strikes) hit a nostalgic and celebratory tone from its very first presentation straight on through to its sealed-with-a-kiss final awards. Here are ten highlights from TV’s biggest night:

Quinta Brunson and The Carol Burnett of it All

When Carol Burnett walked to the center of a replica of her iconic set and tugged her earlobe (her signature move), it seemed the moment couldn’t get any better. Then it did. Quinta Brunson (pictured at top with Carol Burnett) received Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for her role in Abbott Elementary and attributed her high emotion to the “the Carol Burnett of it all.” It felt like watching a literal dream come true for the writer, producer, and comedian. Brunson is the first black woman to win in this category in over 40 years (Isabel Sanford of The Jeffersons won in 1981).

Christina Applegate’s Standing O

The love and support for Christina Applegate was palpable from the moment her name was called to present. As Applegate (an Emmy nominee for her role in Dead to Me) took the stage to present the night’s first award, the entire audience rose to their feet to clap and cheer. Christina, who stepped back from acting to manage challenges in her health, was brought to tears yet still managed to toss out zingers and heartfelt emotion in equal measure.

Matthew Macfadyen Gets the Emmy

Matthew Macfadyen’s chances for an Emmy win for the role of Tom Wambsgans in Succession always seemed like it was in the (ludicrously capacious) bag, but pitted against so many of his co-stars, there could have easily been an upset. Macfadyen took the top Emmy spot and thanked both of his on-screen wives - Sarah Snook (Shiv) and Nicholas Braun (Greg) - and his real-life wife, Keeley. (We haven’t been so happy to see Matthew Macfadyan get his hands on something since Mark Darcy took Elizabeth Bennett’s hand to help her into that carriage.)

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Mini-reunions included cast members (and replicas of their sets) from All in the Family (Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers), Cheers (Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Kelsey Grammer, John Ratzenberger and George Wendt), Martin (Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Carl Anthony Payne II, and Tichina Arnold), The Sopranos (Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli and a picture of James Gandolfini), Grey’s Anatomy (Chandra Wilson, Ellen Pompeo, James Pickens Jr., Justin Champers and Katherine Heigl), plus the reunion we didn’t know we needed from the Ally McBeal cast! Calista Flockhart, Greg Germann, Gil Bellows and Peter MacNicol may have just danced their way into a reboot!

Those Were the Days

Charlie Puth, The War and Treaty began the In Memoriam segment playing “See You Again” as images of those the industry lost last year were shown. It began with TV writer, producer, and trailblazer, Norman Lear followed by beloved familiar faces like Angela Lansbury, Andre Braugher, Cindy Williams, Barbara Walters, Treat Williams, Suzanne Somers, Leslie Jordan, Bob Barker, Kirstie Alley, Harry Belafonte, Alan Arkin, and more before ultimately landing on an image of Matthew Perry as a melancholy version of the Friends “I’ll Be There for You” theme song played.

Niecy Nash-Betts: “I’m a Winner, Baby!”

Presented by Quinta Brunson and beloved TV star, Marla Gibbs (who received a standing ovation), the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie went to Niecy Nash-Betts who received a standing ovation and gave a rousing acceptance speech. In addition to thanking the most high, her better half, everyone who voted for her and ultimately dedicating her award to black and brown women, Niecy also thanked herself in a way that was so heartfelt that it only made everyone cheer even louder "I want to thank me, for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do. I want to say to myself in front of all you beautiful people, 'Go, girl, with your bad self. You did that.'"

Elton John Got the EGOT

His win for the variety special, Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium secured his place with that elite group of artists who have each won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Sir Elton was not there to pick up his award (due to a knee replacement), but he later released a statement saying that he’s “incredibly humbled to be joining the unbelievably talented group of EGOT winners.”

Beef Wins their Emmy Race

Beef won five Primetime Emmys (eight in total) including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, Outstanding Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie (Steven Yeun) and Outstanding Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie (Ali Wong). It was a first - and historic - win for Wong (first woman of Asian descent to win an Emmy for a lead role) and also a first-time Emmy win for Steven Yeun who shared a moving takeaway about his Beef character: “I want to say thank you to Danny for teaching me that judgment and shame is a lonely place, but compassion and grace is where we can all meet.”

Yes, Chef! Winning Big is on the Menu

Winning six Primetime Emmys means plenty of noteworthy winning moments for The Bear. Cousin (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) brought home a statuette for Outstanding Lead Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and later planted a victory smooch on actor and real-life chef, Matty Matheson, as he accepted Outstanding Comedy Series on behalf of the cast. Jeremy Allen White gave a heartfelt thank you to his dad as he collected his statuette, but once again, it’s Ayo Edebiri for the win when it comes to a fun and charming acceptance speech. After having Carson Daly hold her purse, Ayo thanked her parents and adorably acknowledged that “it’s probably not a dream to emigrate to this country and have your child be like ‘I want to do Improv,' but you’re real ones!”

Succession Corners the Market

It’s nice to see that, in real life anyway, the squabbling Roy family and their on-screen corporate cronies get along great. Looking like a genuine happy family, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Brian Cox, J. Smith Cameron, Alan Ruck and the rest of the cast and crew joyously celebrated all their many individual and collective wins including taking the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. They even took time to give a shout-out to Jeremy Strong, the eldest boy.

Photo at top courtesy of Kate McGaheran.

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