20 Best, Worst and WTF Things We Saw at 2015 Emmy Awards – Rolling Stone
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20 Best, Worst and WTF Things We Saw at 2015 Emmy Awards

From Andy Samberg’s musical opening to presenter do’s and don’ts, the cream and crud of last night’s show

Andy Samberg

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The 67th Annual Emmy Awards gave out its statuettes last night, and left us cheering (Veep! Jon Hamm! Andy Samberg's ode to binge-watching!!!) and jeering (Uzo Aduba's name is not that hard to pronounce, Jamie Lee Curtis). There were highs, there were lows, there was history in the making, there was Tracy Morgan's emotional return to the stage — no, really, we must have got some dust in our eyes — and there were the WTF moments that always seem to leave you scratching your head. Here were the 20 best and worst things we saw during last night's broadcast.

Daily Show, Emmys

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Worst: Emmys Apparently Make You Shorter?

There was minimal fuss at the Emmys this year, from the mostly economical speeches to the subdued staging. But there was one weird element: the bizarro staging, which made many folks appear much smaller than they probably are. When The Daily Show team ascended the stage to accept its Emmy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, head writer Elliott Kalan suddenly appeared far tinier than the rest of the group (including the 5'7" Jon Stewart). Was there a slope? Were the people in the back standing on a step? We don’t know, and frankly, it was distracting. AP


LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Niecy Nash attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Best: The Generous Number of Nominees

Gone are the days when the Television Academy whittled contenders down to a mere deserving five. The supporting actress in a comedy category, for example, featured no fewer than eight women. Even if the winners tend toward the predictable, it's exciting to see talents like Niecy Nash and child-stardom survivor Gaby Hoffmann acknowledged for fresh performances. Also, this surfeit of greatness totally validates the decision to spend even more time watching TV. Is a year in a bunker even enough? PR

Tracy Morgan, Emmys

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Best: Tracy Morgan’s Emotional Return

More than a year after the tragic car accident that left the Saturday Night Live vet with a traumatic brain injury and other physical injuries (and killed his friend, comic James McNair), Tracy Morgan returned to the Emmys stage to present the final award of the night, for Best Drama Series. "Last year, Jimmy Kimmel said on stage, 'I'll see you next year.' Thanks to my doctors and my beautiful wife, I'm here standing on my own two feet," an emotional Morgan explained, as colleagues like Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski cheered (and cried). But he also cracked some jokes: "It's only recently that I've started to feel like myself again, which means a whole lot of y'all women going to get pregnant at the after-party," he quipped. Good to have you back, Tracy. AP

Ricky Gervais, Emmys

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Worst: Ricky Gervais’ Banal Banter

You can always count on Ricky Gervais to show up at an awards show and make slightly uncomfortable jokes at the audience's — and his own — expense. Which is exactly the problem with the former Golden Globes host: The shtick is starting to feel a little old. This time, Gervais referenced his Emmy losses (he's been nominated a whopping 22 times, but only won twice), demanded, and then, hoisted a real statuette, and exhorted viewers to Tweet photos of him holding it. It was funny, sure, but we'd love to see him do something different next time. AP

Amy Schumer, Emmys

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Best: Ol’ ‘Smokey Eye’ Schumer

Thanking both her sister Kim for keeping her alive and the girl who gave her "this, like, smoky eye" is classic Amy Schumer, though she won't be able to believably pull off the flustered-by-her-success shtick for much longer. It's been a banner year for the comedian, what with Trainwreck and befriending Jennifer Lawrence as well as every other cool woman, and just being so ubiquitous that her humor is never out of earshot. This was a strong category full of deserving candidates, but the late-night landscape is still dominated by white dudes playing duck-duck-goose, so good on the Academy for recognizing one of the two programs here that showcase some diversity. PR

Tatiana Maisley


Worst: That Red Carpet Metal-Detector Skit

Honestly, Tatiana Maslany deserves better. She's so good on Orphan Black, playing more than 10 clones with distinctively different personalities and accents, yet she'll probably always be a dark horse for the Emmy. Her ravenous bean-eating during that D.O.A. deserted red carpet was presumably a riff on Helena, the clone with the worst table manners, but then Tony Hale showed up and it wasn't clear what was happening or if anyone in the audience got the joke to begin with. They can't all be winners, these between-award skits, but still. PR

Jon Stewart

Lester Cohen/WireImage

Best: Those ‘Best Variety Series’ Intros

If someone's going to rattle off a long list of names of people that, for the most part, the audience has never heard of, the least they could do is provide a distraction — which is exactly what The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, and Last Week With John Oliver did. Jon Stewart’s repeated crash to the wrestling mat and Schumer’s Photoshopped Donald Trump photos, complete with his irritating adenoidal voice, were the best of the best. PR

Jamie Lee Curtis, Emmys

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Worst: Jamie Lee Curtis Can’t Prounouce Uzo Aduba’s Name?

While presenting the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama, Jamie Lee Curtis mentioned that she had to ask Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba how to pronounce her name. Which, let's be real, shouldn't be that hard — this tweet below really says it all:

Jamie Lee Curtis

On the bright side, Aduba won for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix prison drama, and her tearful speech — in which she thanked her sister, who was her date for the evening, profusely — was one of the evening's sweetest. AP

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