On Monday night, actors, Netflix execs, and Pedro Pascal’s sling gathered at L.A.’s Peacock Theater for the 75th Emmy Awards, the Television Academy’s annual night to honor all that happens on the small screen. The first installment of the 2024 Emmys are technically the 2023 Emmys, an event that was supposed to take place last September but was postponed due to the double-whammy WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. That is why we are still handing out awards to shows that aired in 2022, okay?! It’s also why The Bear won a huge spate of awards for…their first season, even though they’ve already won some other awards for their second season. It’s complicated, but let’s move on.
But now that actors and writers alike are getting decent pay, we can press on with the red-carpet formalities. On Monday, things largely went as planned. Host Anthony Anderson’s mom did some heavy lifting in his not-entirely-disastrous monologues — though, of course, the fact that he’s faced three separate allegations of sexual assault went smoothly unaddressed. Beyond that, multiple shows from the ’90s reunited, Succession’s creator name-dropped Rupert Murdoch, and Carson Daly held Ayo Edebiri’s purse. The Bear and Beef (not to be confused with The Beef, the restaurant in The Bear) both took home a sizable chunk of the awards, as did Succession. Here’s what you missed.
Joel Kim Booster and his man hit the red carpet
Though it wasn’t their red-carpet debut, Joel Kim Booster and his boyfriend, John-Michael Kelly, made an especially cute appearance, posing and kissing in elegant tuxes. Of course, they weren’t the only ones — Travis Barker, never one to miss a tongue-touching opportunity, made sufficient mouth contact with his beloved, Kourtney Kardashian; Kieran Culkin got a little handsy with his wife, Jazz Charton; and The White Lotus co-stars Meghann Fahy and Leo Woodall kinda sorta showed up together, too.
Anthony Anderson’s mom
After an opening monologue that involved Travis Barker passionately banging out the infamous drum fill of Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight,” host Anthony Anderson enlisted his mother to help rush actors off the stage when their speeches lasted too long. An exciting new approach to a long-running awards-show cliché, and, as it turns out, not a bit — Mama Anderson dutifully showed up a few speeches later to politely warn Jennifer Coolidge that her time was up.
Christina Applegate’s return to TV
Christina Applegate, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021 and recently revealed the condition has made it impossible for her to act, presented the award for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. After joking that the standing ovation she received was “shaming me by standing up (body not by Ozempic),” she tearfully showed a photo of her first-ever TV role, as a baby in Days of Our Lives. Better yet, she got to deliver the perfect winner announcement, addressing Edebiri: “Ayo, get your ass up here.”
Niecy Nash thanked herself
Niecy Nash accepted her award for her supporting role in Ryan Murphy’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story with a beautiful speech. “You know who I want to thank?” she said, following the requisite shout-outs. “I wanna thank me. For believing in me and doing what they said I could not do.” She added, “I accept this award on behalf of every Black and brown woman who has gone unheard and over-policed — like Glenda Cleveland, like Sandra Bland, like Breonna Taylor. As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power, and baby, I will do it ’til the day I die.”
Pedro Pascal finally explained his sling (kind of)
Not that he owed us an explanation, but inquiring (read: vengeful) minds were wondering: Who the hell messed up Pedro Pascal’s gorgeous arm??? Pascal explained that his sling, which has been stylishly integrated into all of his awards show outfits this year thus far, is actually for his shoulder. “I think tonight is a perfect time to tell everyone that Kieran Culkin beat the shit out of me,” he joked (though those of us watching at home missed most of the line thanks to Fox’s censoring gods). Anyway, the more you know!
The Emmys found a new way to give thanks
In another inventive approach to the longstanding speech-length issue, this year’s broadcast placed little rectangular boxes under each recipient during their acceptance speeches, each bearing a dense list of names the award winner wanted to thank. Did it make the speeches feel less rushed? Not really, but perhaps it put nominees’ minds at ease to know they didn’t have to get through a bunch of first and last names they couldn’t remember. Also, less work for Anthony Anderson’s mom.
Some presenters remembered why we had a long weekend
You may have expected lengthy acknowledgments of the fact that the Emmys landed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, but the references were surprisingly scant. Anderson mentioned the date three times — at one point he dubbed the night the “chocolate Emmys, like MLK Day and Juneteenth all rolled into one.” Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jenna Ortega wished each other “Happy MLK Day” before announcing a set of nominees. Peter Dinklage opened a Game of Thrones–themed presentation with “Hello, you roomful of hotties. Happy birthday, Dr. King.” Anderson also ended the night by queueing up a clip of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. That’s it!
Elton John EGOT-ed
… for the exclusive livestream of what’s likely to be his last show ever, performed in L.A. during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. (This was a truly bizarre “Variety Special” category that included Chris Rock’s livestreamed Netflix special and also Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance.) Congratulations to Rocketman!
… and one big, huge kiss
You may have been rating the spousal smooches before awardees made their way onstage (looking at you, Ali Wong and Bill Hader), but only one instance of lip-locking stands a chance of going down in Emmys history: A face-grabbing, eye-popping, ten-second-long kiss that Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Matty Matheson shared while the entire cast of The Bear gathered onstage for their last big win of the night, Best Comedy Series. Behold:
This post has been updated.