Emmys 2016: Top moments of the night

A look at the memorable moments at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles

AP, Reuters
10:41 September 19, 2016

A good shift

Jimmy Kimmel, who first hosted a pedestrian Emmys in 2012, came back and did much better — relaxed, sarcastic without being mean, and quick on his feet. His opening skit included jokes with former GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush (“Did you know you can make $12 (Dh44.06) an hour driving for Uber?”) and his opening monologue tweaked Donald Trump by goofing on Mark Burnett, who created The Apprentice. He also made fun of the smugness of his audience: “In Hollywood, the only thing we value more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how diverse we are,” he said. The only truly odd note was a poor attempt at a Bill Cosby joke. But his banter with Matt Damon and his goofing on Maggie Smith made up for it.

Rock my what?

The new way to say I love you, Emmy-style, is “you rock my chain,” which is a lyric reference from Jay-Z to, naturally, Beyonce. Actor Sterling K. Brown, who won for his role in The People v. OJ Simpson: America Crime Story, started it off by thanking his wife: “I got the hottest chick in the game rocking my chain.” A few awards later, Brown co-star Courtney B. Vance kept the riff going by thanking his wife, Angela Bassett, with obvious adoration: “To the woman that rocks my chain,” he said. But things got odder when British writer Steven Moffat, who won for Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, tried to get into the act. To his spouse he said: “Not only does she rock whatever that was but she actually produces the show.” British-born comedian Jon Oliver couldn’t quite swing it either: “On a personal level I’ve got to thank my wife, the hottest chain — I don’t know either.”

Count on the Dowager Countess

Maggie Smith, who had won three Emmys for playing the snarky and witty Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey — and been nominated for six more — won again in absentia for the final season of the PBS series. But Kimmel chastised her at the top of the show for her consistent no-shows with a new law, the Maggie Smith Rule — winners had to be present to accept the award or it would go to the next person on the list. So when Smith won for best supporting actress, Kimmel pulled a Kanye West and, unscripted and hilariously, returned to the stage to snag the trophy himself. “No, no, no, no, no,” Kimmel said. “We’re not mailing this to her. Maggie, if you want this, it’ll be in the lost and found.”

A head-scratching moment

During one pause in the trophy conveyor belt, Kimmel managed to make a bizarre moment of things rarely combined — peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, the TV show Stranger Things and O.J. Simpson. The pause was for the now-required feed-the-guests bit, and the host brought out — on bikes, of course — the young cast from the Netflix sci-fi thriller to deliver what he said were 7,000 sandwiches his mother had made. As if that wasn’t enough, Kimmel then joked about the meal’s “juice” boxes — a reference to Simpson’s football nickname — and wondered if Simpson was watching the show from prison and rooting for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Kimmel even managed to mock people who shy away from gluten and take a jab at the makers of the EpiPen.

Leslie Jones and Twitter

Leslie Jones went to one of the most public of stages — the one at the Emmy Awards — to joke about her privacy woes on social media.

During a routine Sunday saluting Ernst & Young accountants, the Saturday Night Live actress addressed three of the firm’s representatives.

“Since you good at keeping things safe, I got a job for you — my Twitter account,” she said. “Put that in the vault, please.”

The Ghostbusters star had been harassed with racist messages on social media and her website was hacked in late August. Her passport, a driver’s license, multiple nude photos and other private information was posted online.

“I just wanted to feel beautiful,” she joked at the Emmys. “Can a sister feel beautiful?”

Trump gets skewered

As the US presidential election draws near, television’s stars didn’t hold back on their opinions at Sunday’s Emmy awards, some taking jabs at Republican nominee Donald Trump while others voiced support for Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton. During his opening monologue, Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel called out producer Mark Burnett, the producer of reality series The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice which Donald Trump hosted, saying “who is to blame for the Trump phenomenon? That guy.” “If Donald Trump gets elected and he builds that wall, the first person we are throwing over it is Mark Burnett,” Kimmel said, setting the political tone of the show 50 days before America elects its next president.

Burnett, who later accepted the best reality series Emmy for The Voice, joked on stage that he had just received a call from Clinton criticising Kimmel for giving Trump “free publicity on ABC.” “I’m sure Donald was thrilled with him, I’m sure he’s emailing Jimmy right now saying thanks for the free media.”

Master of None star Aziz Ansari, who penned an essay in June for the New York Times entitled Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family, quipped on stage, “I’ve decided I’m going with Trump.” “I’m recommending that we get rid of all Muslim and Mexican people from the ceremony. This would be so much easier at the Oscars,” the Muslim Indian-American actor joked, hinting at the controversy over the lack of diversity at film’s Oscar awards.

“Mum, dad, you need to be escorted out immediately,” he added.