The night started off strong with Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon winning her first Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The star quickly got emotional, telling the crowd, "I'm really crying. I'm not making it up." The comic thanked SNL creator Lorne Michaels as well as the show's cast and crew, and made sure to share her appreciation for Ellen DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton -- two women who inspired McKinnon's most beloved impersonations.
Jeffrey Tambor won his second Emmy for his acclaimed role in the Amazon series Transparent. The star, who plays a father of three who transitions to living as a woman late in life, used his platform to deliver an impassioned plea to producers and filmmakers to give transgender performers an opportunity in Hollywood. Tambor added, "I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a transgender character on television."
In a move parodying Ellen DeGeneres' often-mocked pizza delivery joke during the Oscars in 2014, Kimmel had the kids from Stranger Things hand out brown bag lunches with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to everyone in the first few front rows.
The packages, which also included a juice box, came with notes from Kimmel's mom, Joan. Cuba Gooding Jr.'s note expressed Joan's love for the actor's acclaimed work in Snow Dogs.
Midway through the show, as the Emmys were returning from a commercial break, the pleasant disembodied announcer asked the audience to welcome “four-time Emmy Award winner Dr. Bill Cosby." It was clear from the shocked and outright offended looks on peoples' faces that this was not something that anyone expected.
Of course, Cosby wasn't actually there. Kimmel came out as the music abruptly cut off and the host quipped, "Don’t worry, he’s not really here. I just wanted to see what you guys would do."
-Maggie Smith Straight Up Refuses to Accept Her Emmys
During the opening monologue, Kimmel made a joke about the Emmys instituting a new rule: If you're not there to accept your award, it goes to the runner-up. The rule was called the Maggie Smith rule, as she had won three times and never once been present to accept.
So, when Smith's category, Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, came around, the 81-year-old British actress was nowhere to be seen! Kimmel made good on his announcement by coming out onstage and taking the award away from the presenters, Minnie Driver and Michael Weatherly.
"No, no, no. Maggie, if you want this, it will be in the lost and found," Kimmel said, storming off stage with the golden statuette.
Seriously! Where the hell was Beyonce? She was supposed to be there. Some reports even said she was supposed to perform! She had a seat card and everything! This is just unacceptable. We're not sure whose fault this is, but to get our hopes up and then dash them on the rocks with her total absence is simply too much.
After Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang won the Emmy for Best Writing for a Comedy Series, Yang delivered a funny, powerful speech about the need for more Asian actors and characters in Hollywood. Then, before Ansari could even say a word, he was awkwardly played off and ended up scurrying back to his front row seat instead of even going backstage!
Andy Samberg is very funny. Samberg and Kit Harrington were amazing together in 7 Days in Hell. However, when they got up to co-present, it was just super awkward. Although Harrington offering to kiss Kyle Chandler was strangely adorable.