Emmys 2016 Best & Worst Moments
The big winners at Sunday's Emmy Awards were Game of Thrones, Veep and The People v. O.J. Simpson -- but who were the big winners during the actual telecast?
Let's take a look at the best and worst moments from the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted affair:
BEST: Jimmy Kimmel's Opener
The concept of a tuxedoed host trying desperately to get to the awards ceremony on time is nothing new, but some well-placed cameos in the pre-taped segment -- including Malcolm-Jamal Warner driving O.J.'s Bronco, fellow late-night host James Corden wailing Wham! and presidential wannabe Jeb Bush as a sarcastic limo driver -- got the show off on a great note.
BEST: Leslie Jones Has the Last Laugh
The Saturday Night Live breakout star has had a rollercoaster year, landing a huge role in Ghostbusters and working for the NBC team at the Rio Olympics while also fighting off racist Internet trolls and hackers who leaked her private photos. Ever the comedian, Jones took control of her own headlines by poking fun at the whole thing along with the Ernst & Young accountants tasked with keeping the Emmy winners secret: "Y'all using your skills to protect Best Voiceover on a French Sitcom. Meanwhile, I'm butt-naked on CNN."
BEST: Matt Damon Heckles Jimmy Kimmel
Damon and Kimmel are well-documented fake frienemies (see: Sarah Silverman's "I'm F---ing Matt Damon"), and the running gag was used perfectly at the Emmys as the apple-chomping Oscar winner heckled the host for losing to John Oliver at his own show. He also managed to reference a running joke on the show and Good Will Hunting with one perfect parting line: "Tell your mom I like them apples."
BEST: Jay Z Lyric Becomes Instant Emmys Meme
When The People v. O.J. Simpson star Sterling K. Brown quoted Jay Z during his acceptance speech for best supporting actor in a limited series/movie -- "I got the hottest chick in the game rockin' my chain" -- who knew it would be the first of four references to the "Public Service Announcement" lyric? Brown's co-star Courtney B. Vance immediately kept it going when thanking wife Angela Bassett, and then two white dudes -- Sherlock's Steven Moffat and John Oliver -- both took a stab at it too. "I want to thank my wife -- the hottest chain, or whatever," Oliver cluelessly added.
BEST: Stranger Things Kids Get Funky
One of the night's best moments didn't make it to your TV. Before Sunday's show, Gaten Matarazzo, Millie Bobby Brown and Caleb McLoughlin from the hit Netflix series entertained the all-star crowd by taking over for Bruno Mars on Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk."
WORST: Aziz Ansari and The People v. O.J. Simpson Team Get Cut Short
We understand that ABC has time constraints (and, truly, thank you for the relatively svelte three-hour show), but there were two egregious examples of the band playing winners off far too early. Aziz Ansari was the first victim, when the music started playing as soon as his Master of None co-writer Alan Yang finished his empowering speech, leaving the Parks & Rec alum with no time to talk; he was able to thank his parents later as he presented an award. Meanwhile, as a third member of the People v. O.J. team started speaking, she was cut off mid-sentence as the show unceremoniously went to commercial break. The gentle play-off is one thing, but the musical hijacking of these winners' big moments felt cruel.
WORST: Donald Trump Gets Far Too Much Air Time
We should be used to this by now. The Republican presidential nominee already dominates television, so why would the Emmys be any different? But Kimmel blaming Celebrity Apprentice exec producer Mark Burnett for Trump's popularity turned into Burnett making a dumb joke in his acceptance speech for The Voice about Hillary Clinton giving him a call or... something (it's really not worth reliving). Then there was Sterling K. Brown referencing Melania Trump in his speech, Julia Louis-Dreyfus talking about Veep being responsible for the beyond-satire election and Kimmel ending his monologue with "Are we ready to make the Emmys great again?" (That's not even every Trump reference from the night.)
BEST/WORST: Jimmy Kimmel's Mom Makes PB&J Sandwiches for Everyone
The bit led to some really funny jokes -- like when Amy Schumer read her napkin note from Mrs. Kimmel aloud only to realize it was intended for Amy Poehler and Cuba Gooding Jr. getting props for his work in Snow Dogs -- but the whole thing felt like a blatant rip-off of two previous Oscars jokes: Ellen DeGeneres passing around pizza to the 2014 crowd and Chris Rock selling Girl Scout Cookies to the crowd in March. We get it: Celebrities starve themselves in the name of fashion. Time for a new bit.