Missed the 2020 Emmys? Here Are the Key Moments You Need to Know
The waving hazmat suit guy is peak 2020.
Well, it was a weird one, but we did it. The 2020 Emmys—with its displaced, virtual ceremony across the country and, notably, Canada—is officially in the books. There were some expected mishaps and laughs, truly emotional wins, quarantine-era pajama fashion, and a literal garbage fire—but more on that later.
If you missed the 2020 Emmys live, don’t worry. You can still partake in the Zoom and Slack chat with everyone at work because we’re calling out the biggest takeaways and key moments from the festivities. Here’s what you need to know.
Yes, David! It was a sweep for Schitt’s Creek.
That socially distanced viewing room in Toronto was BUSY. For a while there, Schitt’s Creek was taking every single award of the night, when the Emmys ceremony began. All four members of TV’s Rose family—Catherine O’Hara’s Moira, Eugene Levy’s Johnny, Dan Levy’s David, and Annie Murphy’s Alexis—took home the acting award in their respective category. Plus, the show swept the rest of the comedy series awards for acting, writing, directing, and Outstanding Comedy Series.
Basically, if you haven’t already watched, you’re going to have lots of company streaming the show starting today.
Zendaya made Emmys history with her win.
The award for most emotional and boisterous reaction for a win goes to everyone in Zendaya’s room (and across the internet) when her name was announced. Zendaya herself seemed overwhelmed by her first-ever Emmy win, the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Rue in Euphoria, but she gathered herself for a heartfelt speech calling out young people as hope for the future.
Zendaya became only the second Black actress to take home that specific award, with Viola Davis, and the youngest person ever, at 24, to snag it.
Jennifer Aniston literally put out a garbage fire.
Of course, coronavirus (COVID-19) safety precautions were the talk of the night, but this one elaborate joke about sanitizer took a turn. Not to worry, Jennifer Aniston is very cool, calm, and collected under pressure, even when wielding a fire extinguisher.
Host Jimmy Kimmel had Aniston come into the empty auditorium to present an award, and in a bit, they talked about sanitizing the envelopes that nominees and winners are read from. But, turns out, sanitizer is a bit more flammable than everyone anticipated. Just see how the almost-disaster went down below.
Being unable to put out a garbage fire? Sounds very 2020.
Emmy presenters wore tuxedo hazmat suits to hand out (or not hand out) trophies.
In other safety precautions, the actual 2020 Emmys trophies were being handed out in some truly bizaree ways. Sometimes they exploded from a box that, honestly, looked bomb-like, according to winner John Oliver, and other times, people in hazmat suits that looked like tuxedos handed over the Emmy. Just refer to Eugene Levy’s confused acceptance, here:
But in the darkest timeline, if you didn’t win an Emmy, Ramy Youssef showed what happened to those presenters in hazmat suits.
Watchmen‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II dedicated his award to Black women.
Watchmen was another big winner at the 2020 Emmys, with Regina King taking home a historic Emmy—wearing a Breonna Taylor shirt, no less—and the show winning Best Limited Series. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II also won his first Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role as Cal, and his speech was so direct and so powerful. Spoiler warning ahead if you haven’t yet seen Watchmen (and you must).
“Watchmen was a story about trauma. It was a story about the lasting scars of white domestic terrorism. It was a story about police corruption and brutality, but in the midst of all that, it was also a story about a god who came down to Earth to reciprocate, to a Black woman, all the love she deserved,” he said in his acceptance speech. “He did all that in the body of a Black man, and I’m so proud that I was able to walk into those shoes. So, I dedicate this award to all of the Black women in my life.”
The In memoriam segment was a tear-jerker.
After an opening tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, H.E.R. performed “Nothing Compares 2 U,” while a video played, naming so many actors, producers, writers, costume designers, and other people we lost this year. Naya Rivera, Chadwick Boseman, Lynn Shelton, and Fred Williard were just a few of the names honored.
We got a Friends reunion—kind of.
When Aniston left the Emmys stage and returned home, there was a surprise waiting for us. Both Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow appeared on camera with her, making it a taste of the HBO Max Friends reunion we’ve been waiting for. While none of the Friends guys—Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, or Matt LeBlanc—were there, Aniston’s friend Jason Bateman made a cameo.
The Friends trio joked that they “live together,” with Aniston quipping, “Yeah, we’ve been roommates since 1994.”
Uzo Aduba’s candid moment post-acceptance speech had us in tears.
Uzo Aduba won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Shirley Chisholm in Mrs. America. When it was announced, she yelled “Wow! Mom, I won!” seemingly to her mother somewhere off-camera from her home. (She was also wearing a Breonna Taylor shirt.)
After Aduba finished her acceptance speech, she tried to get her mother’s attention again, yelling, “Mommy!” offscreen. It was too cute and heartfelt to handle.