2015 Emmys: 10 Best & 5 Worst Moments

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Tracy Morgan speaks onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

From Viola Davis’ historic win to Tracy Morgan’s return to Jimmy Kimmel eating a winner’s name, there were plenty of highlights from the 2015 Emmys. But as with any three-hour awards show, not everything hit the mark. Here’s our picks for the 10 best and 5 worst moments from this year’s Andy Samberg-hosted show.


Viola Davis’ Speech

Becoming the first African-American woman to win best actress in a drama, Viola Davis’ speech opened with a Harriet Tubman quote, paid homage to her peers and succinctly summed up why she’s the first to notch this historic win: “You can’t win Emmys for roles that don’t exist.”

Jon Stewart’s Speech

Jon Stewart’s acceptance speech for outstanding variety talk series was the best negotiation between jokes and heart -- and a sad reminder that even though it’s been less than two months since he ended his culture-shifting run on The Daily Show, we already miss him dearly. "You will never have to see me again," he joked at the end of his speech. At least, we hope it was a joke.

Emmys 2015: Red Carpet Photos | Winners List

Jimmy Kimmel Presents…Slowly

Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t afraid to take his time while presenting for lead actor in a comedy. When he took out scissors, cut out the winner’s name and ate it, the crowd was half-laughing, half-cringing -- and the nominees probably wanted to kill him. It’s hard to endure awkward pauses in front of an audience of your peers, so kudos to Kimmel for having the boldest comedic moment.

Tracy Morgan Returns

Making his first major public appearance since the 2014 accident that left him comatose for eight days, Morgan was met by tears and applause when he took the stage toward the end of the ceremony. While he seemed emotional and not quite himself at first, he ended on a very Morgan moment: "I've only recently started to feel like myself again, which means a whole lot of young women are going to get pregnant at the afterparty."

Andy Samberg’s Opener

The opening song was a nice mix between ridiculous gags and self-aware cracks about how Emmy jokes can't be all that edgy. Still, his monologue was one of the best in recent years, commenting on age and wage gaps between men and women, Donald Trump (obviously) and Bill Cosby in a way that didn't feel tired.

Amy Schumer’s Speech

Winning for best sketch comedy series, Schumer got serious during her acceptance speech. She admitted to initially pursuing a lame but more marketable sex talk TV series before her friend and the show’s head writer pushed her to make a show she could actually be proud of. “This show really fights for what we believe in,” Schumer said of what is probably the funniest show on TV.

Tracy Morgan Gets Emotional While Presenting at Emmys

Richard Jenkins Gets Starstruck

Taking the Emmy for lead actor in a limited series for Olive Kitteridge, Richard Jenkins received his award from Lady Gaga -- and he couldn’t seem to get over it. “That’s Lady Gaga!” he gushed at the top of his speech, before moving on to the real people he needed to thank: "I would like to thank the incredible women who made Olive Kitteridge happen -- there's about a thousand of them.

Jon Hamm Finally Wins

After 16 nominations, Jon Hamm finally won a much-deserved Emmy. Still, it’s crazy that he’s the  only actor to win an Emmy from the AMC series.

Andy Samberg’s Mad Men Finale Parody

Spoofing the Mad Men finale -- which itself references an iconic vintage Coke ad -- Samberg sang about giving the world an Emmy before accidentally murdering someone with one.

Jill Soloway’s Speech

After winning a directing Emmy for Transparent, show creator Jill Soloway paid homage to her cast, crew, family and her “mapa” who inspired the Amazon series. More importantly, she pointed out that trans equality isn’t close to a reality, noting more than half of the states in the U.S. can deny trans people housing.  

Lady Gaga Presents at the 2015 Emmys


Amy Poehler Not Winning

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is incredible in Veep and otherwise, no arguments there. But a fourth consecutive win for lead actress in a comedy wasn’t necessary -- Amy Poehler, up for Parks & Recreation for the final time, would have been a much more deserving winner.

Mad Men Not Winning

For as celebrated as it is, Mad Men never got the Emmy love it deserved over the years. The incredible final season being beat by Game of Thrones was another example of this.

Beans Red Carpet Sketch

Tatiana Maslany and Tony Hale fighting over beans on the red carpet while Samberg narrated felt like the kind of throwaway sketch you’d expect toward the end of a particularly dull episode of SNL. It should’ve been cut.

In Memoriam Music

How many times will we have to hear “Over the Rainbow” as the go-to in memoriam montage music? Sure, it works fine, but the show’s producers would be better off picking a less overplayed song.

No Bill Murray

Bill Murray may love popping up at random people’s parties and birthdays, but there’s one place you almost never see him: awards shows. Even though we weren’t expecting him to be there, it was still a bummer not to see him when he won for Olive Kitteridge.