The Emmys paid tribute to all of the celebrated television shows that ended in the past year, from talks shows hosted by late-night legends like David Letterman and Jon Stewart to long-running, acclaimed series like Mad Men.
Fred Savage (who will be costarring on Fox’s The Grinder alongside Rob Lowe) introduced the tribute, which highlighted the final moments of series like Mad Men, Parks & Recreation, Sons of Anarchy and Boardwalk Empire. The “We’ll Meet Again” finale number from The Colbert Report played over most of the clip show, which wrapped up with Jon Stewart’s final line from the The Daily Show on how to combat the ever-growing mountains of government and media bullshit: “If you smell something, say something.”
“I guess everyone on every show died,” host Andy Samberg joked after the commercial break. Many of the final moments included tragic, ambiguous or comedic deaths of the main characters, including Jackie Peyton’s overdose from Nurse Jackie, Nucky Thompson’s violent murder from Boardwalk Empire and the brief return of Charlie Harper to Two and a Half Men that ended with pianos falling on him and the show’s creator Chuck Lorre.
So far, The Daily Show has had the best night of the evening, winning Oustanding Variety Talk Show and trophies for Directing and Writing in the Variety category. During his speech for the Writing award, host Jon Stewart joked about the real world versus television. “Cling on to television for as long as you can,” he said from the stage before noting the lack of craft service and applause in the real world.