The virtual event was certainly unlike any Emmys we’ve ever seen before.
While the 2020 Emmy Awards aren’t the first award show to go down during the pandemic, they’re certainly the biggest so far.
This year’s event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who was basically alone at the Staples Center for most of the evening. As for the celebrity presenters, nominees and winners, they almost all appeared from the comfort of their own homes. The Television Academy hooked all the nominees up with camera kits, sending out 130 cameras to 10 different countries and 120 different cities around the world.
And while we’re used to seeing celebrities dressed to the nines on the red carpet, there wasn’t one this year — and the stars involved weren’t given any sort of dress code for the event. That meant there was the possibility of a good mix of traditional glam mixed with loungewear and pajamas throughout the evening. The Academy even sent people in hazmat suits around Los Angeles to hand out trophies to some of the winners … more on those in a minute.
Going into the event, HBO’s “Watchmen” picked up the most nominations of any project — with 26 total. Close behind was “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” with 20, “Succession” and “Ozark” with 18 apiece and “The Mandalorian” with 15. “Schitt’s Creek” also did really for its final season, picking up 15 nominations as well.
Click below for all the winners. And below that are the night’s most viral moments.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Intro to a Fake Audience
Jimmy Kimmel hit the stage as host, welcomed by a totally packed and uproarious audience, filled with stars. That, of course, was all a lie. The audience reactions were all made up of file footage from previous ceremonies. It waited until the very end of his monologue for that big reveal.
“Welcome to the Pand-Emmys. It’s great to finally see people again. Thank you for risking everything to be here. Thank me for risking everything to be here,” he began. “You can’t have a virus without a host.”
“Why are we having an award show in the middle of a pandemic? And what the hell am I doing here?” he then asked. “This is the year they decide they have to have a host?”
“It might seem frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic … but you know what else feels frivolous and unnecessary?” he asked. “Doing it every other year. But it’s fun and right now do we need fun.”
After saying it’s been a year of “division, injustice, disease, Zoom school, disaster and death,” Kimmel brought up how television was the friend we all needed in quarantine. The world may be terrible, but TV has never been better.”
“Watchmen is a superhero show, but it also feels very real. It’s a very realistic show, except for the part where anyone in Oklahoma is wearing a mask,” he then cracked. “Isn’t Watchmen what Jerry Falwell Jr. was into?”
Then, the lights in the Staples Center came up, finally showing the empty stands.
“Of course I’m here all alone, of course we don’t have an audience,” he said. “This isn’t a MAGA rally, it’s the Emmys.” As he showed some of the seats had cardboard cutouts in them, nominee Jason Bateman proved he was actually in the house. After being told he had to laugh at all of Kimmel’s jokes if he stayed, he left the building. Jimmy then orchestrated his own standing ovation from the “crowd.”
Jennifer Aniston Put Out a Fire, Live
“The Morning Show” star and nominee Jennifer Aniston was the first presenter of the evening, actually appearing in-person at the Staples Center to join Kimmel on stage.
Before naming the nominees, the two decided “burning all the germs” off the envelope was the way to go — so they covered it in Lysol and lit it on fire, leaving Aniston to put it out with a fire extinguisher. People were impressed.
All the awards handed out during the first half of the show, celebrating Comedy, went to “Schitt’s Creek.”
Catherine O’Hara picked up Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Eugene Levy picked up Lead Actor, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy also took home trophies for Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively.
The show also won Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Directing and, most importantly, Outstanding Comedy Series.
Sorry to everyone else this year — the first tweet was the official show handle’s reaction when it took home Series.
Regina King and Mark Ruffalo Call for Change and Voting
Sporting a “Say Her Name” shirt with Breonna Taylor’s name on it, Regina King picked up the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work in “Watchmen.”
After thanking everyone involved in the show, she told everyone watching, “Gotta vote. I would be remiss not to mention that being part of a show as prescient as Watchmen. Have a voting plan, Vote up the ballot. It is very important. Be a good human. Rest in power RBG.”
When Mark Ruffalo picked up Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for “I Know This Much Is True,” he told everyone we need to take care of “our most vulnerable people.”
“We do that with love and we do that with compassion and we do that by fighting for them. That’s what we need to do today. We have to come together with love for each other. And if you have privilege, you have to fight for those who are less fortunate and more vulnerable”
“We are stronger together when we love each other and we respect each other’s diversity,” he continued. “We have a big important moment ahead of us, are we going to be a country of division, hatred and only for a certain type of people, or are we going to be one of love and strength? Get out and vote, make a plan and vote for love and compassion and kindness.”
Uzo Aduba also wore a Breonna Taylor shirt when she won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work on “Mrs. America.”
After literally putting out a fire and presenting the first award of the night, Jennifer Aniston high-tailed it home to watch the rest of the show with a couple of her closest “Friends.”
As Kimmel checked in to see if she was ready for her category, Courteney Cox popped up to say hello. “Of course I’m here, we live together,” she deadpanned.
“Yeah, we’ve been roommates since 1994, Jimmy,” added Aniston — before Lisa Kudrow also jumped into the frame. “Where else would I live?” said Kudrow.
Sadly, none of the guys made it, but Jason Bateman made a cameo. “[He’s living here] until he goes off to college,” said Jen.
In one of the most pleasant surprises of the night, Zendaya picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work in HBO’s “Euphoria.” At 24, she’s the youngest winner ever for this category.
“This is pretty crazy, I don’t really cry,” she said, excited, holding on her trophy. After thanking her family for their support and the cast and crew, she added, “I know this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating, but I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there.”
“Our TV show might not always feel like a good example of that, but there is hope in the young people. I just want to say to all my peers out there doing the work in the streets, I see you, I admire you, I thank you.”
What Happens When You Don’t Win
If Emmys were being hand-delivered to all the winners in brand new Kias (That’s KIAS, in case you missed the umpteen mentions) … did that mean that delivery drivers were stationed outside every loser’s house with trophies at the ready, too?
Yes, it turns out. Or there was outside Ramy Yousseff’s house anyway. The “Ramy” creator and star, who was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, tweeted a video of a person in a hazmat suit standing in his yard, waving and walking away with the gong he didn’t win.” When you lose the emmy,” he lamented.