"Live from Los Angeles, The 66th Annual Emmy Awards! And now, your host, Seth Meyers...."
Let's get right to it:
"This year, we're doing the Emmys on a Monday night in August, which - if I understand television- means the Emmys are about to get canceled."
The show is on Monday because the MTV Video Music Awards last night. Seth notes the irony of MTV having an awards show for videos, even though they no longer show them: "That's like network TV holding an award show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix."
All the cable actors clap enthusiastically.
NBC also moved the show from September to August to avoid Monday Night Football, which is "keeping with the actor's tradition of running away from jocks."
(Muted laughter) "Jokes are like nominees, they can't all be winners." (Seth had that ready.)
It's the first Monday Emmys since 1976, when the top drama nominees were all cop shows ("Baretta", "Columbo") so people just voted for the actor who's hat they liked best. "Of course nobody remembers the 1976 Emmys because they were held on a Monday."
"We had so many great shows this year. We had comedies that made you laugh and comedies that made you cry -- because they were dramas submitted as comedies."
Seth wants to acknowledge the writers in the room tonight, but their seats are too far away to hear him.
He likes the Golden Globes for the booze, but at the Emmys everyone just sits still in their chairs and waits for the pills to kick in. "Tonight, we are all Crazy Eyes."
He notes the long-running shows that ended this year, including "Breaking Bad", "Dexter" and "How I Met Your Mother". "And if you had asked me which of those shows would have the saddest ending I would not have picked the one about the nice man telling a story to his children. That's right kids, Jesse Pinkman lived, Dexter lived, but your mother didn't live -- sleep tight!"
He notes that "Fargo" and "Game of Thrones" have the right idea -- when they started getting popular they just killed off all their characters -- "otherwise you end up paying Sheldon a million dollars an episode." (A dig to Jim Parsons' mega "Big Bang Theory" contract which Seth immediately backs off by telling Parsons, in the audience, "you're worth every penny.")
"HBO has 99 nominations tonight, the most of any network. Not to be outdone, NBC is also a network."
Netflix is nominated for 31 Emmys, and no one is happier to see streaming video take away customers from cable than broadcast television. "Not very nice when someone younger comes along, is it cable?"
"Cable is looking at Netflix the way that Justin Bieber looks at One Direction -- through a cloud of marijuana smoke."
Of the many ways to watch TV nowadays, "The Blacklist" was the most DVR'd show, "Game of Thrones" was the most pirated and "Duck Dynasty" was the most VCR taped."
He notes the nominations for "Game of Thrones" and the poor job security it affords actors, who must wait for each week's scripts like biopsy results.
"I'm so happy to be here tonight because I love television -- not just the high end cinematic stuff that we're honoring here tonight but the low-rent cable stuff that I stream onto a four inch screen while I'm on the bike at Equinox. That's what I love about television, she doesn't play hard to get, she doesn't demand your full attention. Television has always been the booty call friend of entertainment. You don't ever have to ask TV 'You up?' She's always up...."
On to the awards!
"Our first presenter tonight asked to write her own introduction, so please welcome by beautiful, amazing and talented friend: Beyonce."
Cut to Amy Poehler getting out of her front row seat to take the stage and high five Seth on her way to the microphone. "I am honored to introduce the first award of the evening: Best Onscreen Orgasm in a Civil War Re-enactment." Or, Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. The Emmy goes to: Ty Burrell of "Modern Family" (his second win in five nominations).
He takes out a speech which he says the kids from his show wrote. He reads, acknowledging his wife, who is "super pretty" and his two cute kids, who are cute "just not, 'I Can Support My Whole Family' cute." "The adults in the cast deserve our nominations even though the kids in the cast have never been nominated because we do something totally different than they do -- we complain. JK, JK. No seriously the adults really do deserve the Emmys in this cast because we have more material, we work harder and we are always so prepared. Sometimes it's hard to tell from the written word, so that was sarcasm. Anyways, I am so grateful for this award and I can't wait to give it to Nolan Gou- thank you very much."
The house band cuts off George Clinton's "Flashlight" as we return to Seth from break. Zooey Deschanel and Allison Williams are up next. Zooey barely has room on the stage next to Allison's poofy frock. They read off adjectives: Good looking, in shape, sociable, comfortable in formal wear. "These are all words that have been used to describe comedy writers," Allison says. "By comedy writers," Zooey zings.
On to the award for Best Writing for a Comedy. The Emmy goes to Louis C.K. (Zooey goes a little bananas screaming his name.)
"Thank you, that's very nice, I appreciate that. I want to thank Sarah Baker who played the main role in the episode....(and many other people) and also Conan O'Brien who gave me my first job in television," Louis says.
(A ticker tells us it's seven minutes to Bryan Cranston.)
Jimmy Kimmel is out next and begins by singling out Matthew McConaughey in the audience, saying he almost didn't recognize him because he's gotten so fat since the Oscars. He questions why McConaughey is there, since he doesn't even own a television. "I happen to know for a fact that he traded his television for a conch shell full of weed."
"That was Woody!" McConaughey shouts from the audience.
Kimmel tells him he was great, but he just won the Oscar like five months ago. "No offense, but how many of those speeches of yours are we supposed to sit through? I mean, alright, alright, alright already. Should we give you the BET Award for best male hip hop artist while we're at it? You beautiful son of a bitch, look at that face. That's not a television face, that's a movie star face. Where's Ricky?" (Cut to Ricky Gervais.) "Now that is a television face."
He tells McConaughey to pack up his bongos and go to Burning Man or something "and take Julia Roberts with you."
On to introducing Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, which goes to Allison Janney of "Mom". "I play a mom on 'Mom', I play a grandmother, and as of last season I play a great-grandmother. I'm just crossing my fingers this season I'll be incontinent." She thanks Chuck Lorre and thanks writers by names and Peter Roth at Warner Brothers, "the best hugger on the planet." "Anna Faris I share this with you. She is the sister I never had, the daughter I never had. She is everything I never had, she is beautiful and sublime, as my entire cast is." She also thanks the crew, then wraps up with "this is an amazing honor, number six! Let's go!" A super pregnant Hayden Panetierre is out next to recap the Creative Arts Emmy award for Comedy Series Best Actor and Actress, which went to Jimmy Fallon for "Saturday Night Live" and Uzo Adubo for "Orange is the New Black."
Uzo joins Hayden to present Best Directing for a comedy series, which includes clips of actors talking about the best directing advice the nominees gave them. The girl who plays Louis C.K.'s daughter says the best advice he gave her for an episode was showing her how to hold a joint. Natasha Lyonne says the best part of working for Jodie Foster for "Orange is the New Black" is that there's "no pressure because you just know you'll never be as good as she is."
"Modern Family" stars Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson say Gail Mancuso taught them to listen, then proceed to talk over each other to great effect. Gail Mancuso wins for "Modern Family". She gets up there and is flustered and says she doesn't want to look at her cast because she thinks she's going to lose it. "If you don't mind, Matthew McConaughey, I'm just kind of gonna make eye contact with you right now. That's much better." She thanks all of her producers by name, while staying locked on McConaughey. She tells a camera man to get out of her sight line so she can continue. She thanks her cast and breaks off McConaughey to look at her husband. Finally, she thanks her parents for giving her a great life.
Seth returns with "Billy on the Street" to introduce a bit filmed in New York in which people can win a dollar by agreeing with him about pop culture. He runs up to people with a microphone. "True or false, Maggie Smith doesn't give a (bleep) about these awards?" A woman wins $1 for saying true.
With Seth standing next to him, he stops a young man and asks him who is favorite talk show host is: Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel or Seth Meyers. The guy says Kimmel and gets the buck.
He asks an older man to name this year's Emmy host, then gives him the hint that he's standing right next to him. The man looks at Seth and comes up with Macfarlane.
They take donations for the cast of "The Big Bang Theory" and some poor, kind Eastern European tourists give as Seth shouts "Johnny Galecki thanks you!"
Next, they hold up an actual Emmy for a woman mid-phone call and ask her to name it. She comes up with "Gobal."
When they spot her "Em" she still can't get it. They frantically approach other people looking for agreement on Tatiana Maslany being snubbed for "Orphan Black" and mostly just freak people out. They demand one scared woman name any nominee and after lots of stuttering she comes up with Jimmy Fallon.
On to the next award, presented by a mustachioed Bryan Cranston and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, presenting the award for Lead Actor in a Comedy. He starts to introduce, but she tells him "hold on, Clark Gable," then, after profusely complementing him for "Breaking Bad", tells him he looks like the actor from Seinfeld who her character dated who converted to Judaism for the jokes.
It was Cranston who played that role.
She reads the nominees. "We actually had a kissing scene together," he adds.
The Emmy goes to Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory".
He tells his fellow nominees that he's impressed by their work and sees them doing things he couldn't do, and some things he wouldn't do and some things he hopes to do some day, which is a long way of saying "there's no accounting for taste."
He thanks his production companies and his father, who passed away before he got famous, then he thanks everyone in the audience and wraps it up.
Up next, Jimmy Fallon. "As actors, performers, artists, we inspire each other. We push each other to be the best we can be. We're not tearing each other down, we're lifting each other up...one thing that binds us all together: None of us will ever make as much money as Kim Kardashian did for her iPhone game."
On to Best Actress in a Comedy Series. (He introduces Amy Poehler as "Amy Pueblo".) The Emmy goes to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, her third consecutive for "Veep". She pauses to make out passionately with Bryan Cranston on her way to the stage.
"Yea, he was on Seinfeld," she says, as Cranston coyly wipes the lipstick off his face. "I want to thank HBO because I've worked a lot of places in this town and it's honestly my favorite place I've ever worked," she says on a broadcast airing on NBC, the network that aired her show "Seinfeld" for a decade.
She thanks her writers, directors, producers and crew. She thanks everyone on the show "for having extraordinary grace under pressure and for having so much fun."
Mindy Kaling and John Mulaney are out next to present Outstanding Reality Show. Mindy says reality shows are those things "you make your husband watch before you'll have sex with him."
"The Amazing Race" wins for the billionth time. Producer Bertram Van Munster thanks everyone and says cryptically that "the world is not a bad place, actually. You can go safely to a lot of places, contrary to what they make you believe."
The announcer introduces Julia Roberts making her "return to television" in The Normal Heart and shows a clip from the program, seemingly annoying Roberts in the audience.
Seth is back introducing a bit answering people's questions about the Emmys. Jon Hamm is first, asking if the ceremony will be on TV and when. When told that it's on live, he turns to wave at everyone. Next, Melissa McCarthy has a parking question. She was running a bit late and didn't make it in the garage but just sort of ramped it up on the curb. "Will I be towed?" Seth says yes. "Even if I left a note saying 'At the Emmys, don't tow me!'" Still yes.
Melissa turns to Edie Falco, saying Edie told her she'd be OK if she left a note. "This is coming out of nowhere," Melissa says.
Next, Andre Braugher asks if he can use the bathroom. Seth says sure, but Andre asks if he needs a key. Josh Charles stands up with the key, tied to an Emmy. He hands it over.
Juliana Margulies stands up next. "I see that Maggie Smith isn't here tonight. So if she wins the Emmy, can I have it?" "No," says Seth. "Somebody else already called it." Cut to Jon Hamm looking sheepish.
Fred Armisen: "I'm having a really great time, maybe this is something they'll continue doing every year?"
Seth shuts the whole thing down, announcing a genre change.
Allison Janney and Octavia Spencer are out, giggling through their intro. "I know what you're thinking: We're here to announce a sequel to The Help," Allison says.
Instead, they're introducing Best Writing for a Miniseries. It goes to Steven Moffat for "Sherlock". "Thank you to PBS Masterpiece for suggesting I prepare something in the event I won. And apologies to the same for not doing that." He thanks his beautiful producer, to whom he is married.
Allison returns to introduce Best Actress in a Miniseries (which everyone assumes is a lock for Julia Roberts). But it goes to Kathy Bates, for "American Horror Story: Coven". She explains that she was sure she wasn't going to win because she saw the accountants in the green room and "they both sort of tilted their heads in that social worker 'I'm sorry' kind of way." She thanks the New Orleans crew "who worked grueling hours to bring our wonderful show to life."
Stephen Colbert jogs out next, in character, saying he's upset that his imaginary friend Roscoe has been overlooked for supporting actor. (It doesn't quite work.)
On to nominees for best actor in a miniseries. Martin Freeman wins for "Sherlock". He is not there, but he does beat out his "Fargo" costar Colin Hanks.
Scott Bakula and Kate Walsh are out next to present outstanding directing for a miniseries, movie or special, featuring actors talking about the best direction they got. Colin Bucksey wins for "Fargo".
"This is such a surprise, I'm so glad I got back from the loo in time," he says, then thanks his crew who froze in subzero temperatures in Calgary.
Seth is next joined by Amy Poehler to try out their various introductions for Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Amy: "Please welcome two men who also have no idea what happened at the end of True Detective...." Seth: "One is named after a disciple of Jesus, the other is named after a boner...." Amy: "Please welcome two gentlemen who names are also menu items at marijuana dispensaries...." Seth: "For me watching these two gentlemen in 'True Detective' was like making love: I didn't understand what was going on, but boy did I like it." Seth: "Please welcome the past versions of their future selves." Amy: "Please welcome two gentlemen who seem like they'd be chatty in the sack." Amy: "Ladies and gentlemen, the only two actors in Hollywood not rumored to be starring in season two of True Detective."
Finally, Woody and Matthew come out and Woody says "alright, alright, alright." Matthew tells a story about going to Woody for help with a problem and getting the deep advice: "I just forget about it."
Woody asks Matthew if he should just be happy with his Oscar. "I think you should be gratitude for what you have, and not envy what I do," Matthew says. "Well, I'm grateful you had all of the plagiarized jokes," Woody says. (The audience doesn't get the reference.)
On to nominees for best actor in a miniseries or movie. The Emmy goes to Benedict Cumberbatch for "Sherlock", who isn't there.
Up next, Kerry Washington and Liev Schriber to introduce lead actress in a miniseries or movie. The Emmy goes to Jessica Lange for "American Horror Story: Coven", her third win for the role.
She takes Liev's gallantly offered hand to mount the stairs and appears genuinely flustered. "I'm profoundly surprised at this, but very grateful." She echoes Kathy Bates' comments on a great crew and a dream cast.
Seth is next joined by Andy Samberg, who says it's an honor to be co-hosting. They mention the days when theme songs used to explain the entire premise of a show and Andy busts out with the Brady Bunch theme.
They introduce Weird Al for a montage of lyrics for current shows and some interpretive dance. Sample lyric to Mad Men: "Jon Hamm's never won and Emmy/ Oh who cares, he still Jon-freaking'-Hamm."
Scandal's lyrics include an explanation of why Kerry Washington's lip is always quivering. "It's because she loves this guy -- remember him? He was in Ghost."
For Homeland: "Standing in a maze, making out with terrorists/Beautiful woman, ugly crying/Inigo Montoya grew a beard -- Homeland!"
Game of Thrones: "Heeeeere come, dragons galore -- and some boobs!" Andy Samberg comes out to sing the call and response dressed as Joffrey. Al: "Don't get too attached to a certain guy." Andy: "Have a back up, have a back up, have a back up." Al: "He might drink some poison wine." Andy: "That's a spoiler, that's a spoiler, that's a spoiler."
Someone brings George R.R. Martin a typewriter as Weird Al sings they need more scripts.
Game of Thrones star Lena Headey gets to follow that up and is "interrupted" by Andy as Joffrey asking his mother why she doesn't love him like she loves Uncle Jaime. She moves on to present the Emmy for Best Miniseries, which goes to "Fargo".
Noah Hawley, the creator, tells the story of talking to Fargo movie creators Joel and Ethan Coen, who said they don't like imitation, but found his story an eerie embodiment. "They let me pretend if only for five minutes that I was one of the greatest film makers alive, and I thank them for that."
Seth next introduces Juliana Margulies as "the only person from 'ER' to ever amount to anything." She's presenting best TV movie, which goes to The Normal Heart. Writer Larry Kramer is there and very ill, but helped to the stage by Ryan Murphy. They get a standing ovation.
Ryan thanks HBO and then introduces Larry Kramer. He thanks Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo for getting the movie made. "After 30 years, it took the super powers of Eric Brockovich and the Incredible Hulk to finally get this thing alive."
"We're going to use the rest of our time to ask young people watching to become Larry Kramers, to find a cause you believe in, that you will fight for, that you will die for." He urges people to look up AMFAR and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. "This is for all of the hundreds of thousands of artists who have passed of HIV/AIDS since 1981, your memory, your passion burns on in us. This is for them."
Seth follows that up with an introduction of Ricky Gervais. "I lost again. Twenty one times, I've lost 19.... It's like they're going 'Come on over, you're brilliant!' Am I? 'No.' "Well done to Jim Parsons, though. I would have preferred to have won it, but you know. Also, I've come a long way, he's probably local. Four years in a row, it seems unfair, doesn't it? I wrote a speech, you're not going to get to hear it." He takes it out: "'Ha, ha I won. I knew I would, because I'm the best actor. Better than those other actors: Parsons, Cheadle, H. Macy, Joey from Friends and Louis from Louie -- spelled slightly differently. Look at their stupid faces. Thank you to the Emmy voters, who are never wrong.' Well, we know that's bollocks now."
He's introducing Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special. The Emmy goes to Sarah Silverman for We Are Miracles. She kicks off her shoes and races for the stage. "This didn't even occur to me! Thank you to my Jews at CAA: Larry, Moe and Curly." There's a reference to her love "Mr. Fancypants Sheen." She closes by saying: "We're all just made of molecules and we're hurling through space right now, thank you."
Key and Peele are up to introduce the accountants and, because they're seasoned improvisers, decide to wing it. They talk over each other, suffering several false starts, chastise themselves for blowing it at the Emmys then turn the prompter back on to just introduce the accountants. (Funnier than it reads, trust us.)
Next up, Chris Hardwick for variety special directing. But first he wants to thank internet trolls, for telling everyone in the room the truth. "How else would I know that I'm an 'unfunny douche' if it weren't for @dongboobs420?" He has a very important message for all the trolls, then explains the difference between your and you're.
The Emmy goes to Glenn Weiss for the 67th Annual Tony Awards, who is busy directing the Emmys at the moment and accepts from the booth. He thanks his crew and host Neil Patrick Harris. He thanks his family, then cues the announcer who introduces Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine for best variety series.
The Emmy goes to "The Colbert Report" (which Gwen sort of botches).
Jimmy Fallon takes the stage and begins thanking everyone. "She said it wrong, so there must be a mistake." Colbert whispers lines to Jimmy, including thanking Stephen's family. He thanks "everyone's work on the show for the last nine years, you know who you are. If you don't know who you are, go to IMDb, it's very comprehensive. If you always wanted to work on the show and you don't have a chance now because it's ending, just put your name on IMDb, I'll back you up. Just call yourself 'creative consultant bull---'"
Jimmy realizes what Colbert just got him to say and Colbert takes over. He notes that his writers won last weeks, a bunch of guys and one woman ("sorry for that, for some reason.") He wraps up by thanking his wife and children for their patience with him.
Jimmy and Stephen jog off stage giggling.
Sofia Vergara is out next, saying that she is happy to realize her childhood dream of standing on a stage like this one to introduce the president of the Academy. As Bruce Rosenblum talks about the impact of television around the world, he asks the shapely Vergara to stand on a rotating platform. It's a safe bet that few people are hearing a word he says as Sofia is slowly turned around.
"What truly matters is that we never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch," he concludes.
Lucy Liu is out next for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The Emmy goes to Aaron Paul for "Breaking Bad".
"Oh wow, I feel like I'm going to throw up." He calls for another round of applause for his fellow nominees. He says that "Breaking Bad" has changed his life and it's all due to Vince Gilligan. He tells his costar Bryan Cranston that he misses working with him every day, then he plugs his wife's charity Kind Campaign.
And then it's a dark segue into the In Memoriam segment, featuring Sara Bareilles singing "Smile." Some of the faces: Ralph Waite, Paul walker, Casey Kasem, Meshach Taylor, James Avery, Paul Mazursky, Ann B. Davis, Eli Wallach, Philip Seymor Hoffman, Peter O'Toole, Don Pardo, Shirley Temple, Ruby Dee, Mickey Rooney, Sid Caesar, Harold Ramis, Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Elaine Stritch, Maya Angelou, Bob Hoskins.
On to Billy Crystal, out to pay tribute to Robin Williams. "He made us laugh, hard, every time you saw him." He talks about his outstanding brilliance and thrilling exuberance. He remembers being in the broadcast booth for Comic Relief Day at a baseball game and spontaneously introducing Robin to Tim McCarver as a Russian baseball player. Robin didn't miss a beat and said in Russia they only have one team: The Reds. On the next play a foul bounced into the booth and Robin ended up with the ball shouting: I love America, I'm going to defect!
Billy remembers Robin coming to all his family functions and sitting with his old relatives, reminiscing about coming to America from the old country. He speaks about Robin's energy always burning brightly. Roll clips of Robin's first appearance on The Tonight Show, on Leno, and finally in a comedy special speaking to his young son and walking off stage as if holding his hand.
Back from break, Seth introduces Debra Messing and Jim Parsons, or as they're known by David Caruso (with sunglasses) "Messing parsons." They're presenting directing for a drama, which goes to Cary Joji Fukunaga for "True Detective". "You're going to need a broom for all the names I'm about to drop," he says, then drops them. "This is awesome, I'm at a loss for words. Thank you."
On to Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. The Emmy goes to Anna Gunn for "Breaking Bad".
She thanks creator Vince Gilligan, the crew in New Mexico and "the best scene partner" she could ever hope for, and Bryan Cranston.
Katherine Heigl is out next to recap the awards for Best Guest Actor and Actress in a Drama, which went to Allison Janney and Joe Morton.
Joe Morton is out next to present the award for Best Writing for a Drama Deries. The Emmy goes to Moira Walley-Beckett for the Ozymandias episode of "Breaking Bad".
She thanks Vince Gilligan for his "mad skills, yo."
Viola Davis is out next to introduce the award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The Emmy goes Juliana Margulies for "The Good Wife". "Thank you so much, what a wonderful time for women on television...This belongs to Robert and Michelle King, all our writers who never cease to amaze me with 22 episodes a year." (Take that, cable!)
She thanks her "gorgeous" cast, including Christine Baranski "a beacon of light to all of us. And to Josh Charles, I miss you every day. What were you thinking?"
Seth introduces "a woman who starred in Mystic Pizza 25 years ago and then was never heard from again, Julia Roberts."
She introduces Best Actor in a Drama Series. She gets carried away introducing Matthew McConaughey, throwing in an alright, alright, alright. She opens the envelope but doesn't read it, saying it's a horrible category and she apologizes to anyone who doesn't hug her in the next 10 seconds. The Emmy goes to Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad". (So we can stop with the McConaughey jokes now?)
"Oh wow, even I thought about voting for Matthew," he says. (Guess not.)
"I don't know why I have blessed with an abundance of good fortune in my life. I was a kid who always looked for the short cut. My own family nicknamed me Sneaky Pete...." He talks about his passion for acting and gratitude. "To my dear friend, Aaron Paul, I love you so much, you were with me all the way and I appreciate that. To Anna Gunn, my television wife extraordinaire. I love you, and especially those scenes in bed." He dedicates the award to all the Sneaky Petes of the world who thought about settling for mediocrity, he encourages them to find a passion and follow it.
Next, Seth Meyers introduces Jay Leno to present the award for best comedy. The Emmy goes to "Modern Family", its fifth consecutive win. Creator Steven Levitan takes the stage and tells a story about taking his daughter to work with him one day when they were trying to come up with a story. Eight hours later, they had nothing and they went home. His daughter thanked him for taking her to work with him, then turned to her mom and said "it's a wonder we have a roof over our head."
"'Modern Family' has been a big beautiful dream for the last five years and we thank you for not waking us up."
Up next Halle Berry to present best drama. The Emmy goes to "Breaking Bad", which gets a partial standing ovation (awkward).
Creator Vince Gilligan thanks everyone for the wonderful farewell. He thanks his (Emmy winning) writers, directors and cast.
And with that, we're done.