Confession time: I’m not super big on televised awards ceremonies. It’s mostly because the people I want to win basically NEVER win and this makes me feel alone in the universe. Also there are too many commercials! But I need to get off my crank-train and remember that awards shows are also opportunities for great television moments. With the Emmys coming up this Monday (8pm EST on NBC), let’s look back and honor some of the finest moments in television awards show history. . .
1. Comedy actresses attack!
In 2011, when the nominees for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy were announced, all the actresses nominated (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Martha Plimpton, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, and Melissa McCarthy) rushed up on stage, pretending not to realize that their names being called during nominations wasn’t an invitation to come up on stage and collect their statues. Melissa McCarthy ended up taking the category, but the ladies’ prank was a solid reminder that every single nominee in the category deserved to be up on that stage.
2. Lucille Ball has an I Love Lucy moment
Lucille Ball WAS NOT her character Lucy Ricardo, but she had a so-I-Love-Lucy-it-hurts moment at the 1975 Emmys. Ball was to announce the winner of Outstanding Comedy Series but she forgot her glasses and couldn’t read who had won! Another comedy legend Milton Berle scrambled up on stage with a wine glass and joked “Look through this!” Ms. Ball’s glasses were eventually found and the star was able to announce that The Mary Tyler Moore Show had taken the category.
3. Alan Alda wins The Emmys, does a cart-wheel and wins life
Alan Alda was so excited for winning a 1979 Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for M*A*S*H that he did a cart-wheel down the aisle LIKE A BOSS.
4. Conan O’Brien pulls a Bond-villain move on Bob Newhart
In an effort to make sure the Emmys ran three hours as opposed to a million years (awards shows, they can drag), 2006 host Conan threw Bob Newhart into a chamber with (supposedly) a three-hour oxygen supply. The Bond-villain move worked and the show wrapped three minutes early.
5. Ted Danson FINALLY WINS
After eight nominations and no wins, Ted Danson FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY took his category at the 1990 awards. ”I guess you’ll be saying ‘You’ve been robbed’ to some other boy,” Danson said during his speech. “I’ll miss that.”
6. When Ellen found a way to be funny in the wake of 9/11
The 2001 Emmys were postponed twice in the wake of 9/11 and everyone was pretty nervous going into the awards ceremony when it finally did air. Luckily, the host that year was Ellen DeGeneres, who struck exactly the right note with her hosting moves. “It’s important for us to be here,” she reminded the audience, and later, jokingly added ”They can’t take away our creativity, our striving for excellence, our joy. Only network executives can do that.”