It took seven years, but it finally happened: Jon Hamm is an Emmy winner.
Hamm won his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his critically-acclaimed run as Don Draper in the pop culture-defining AMC series Mad Men, and received the night’s biggest ovation – and a standing one at that.
The 44-year-old star poked fun at his long-awaited moment in the Emmy spotlight, taking a shortcut to get to the stage for his big moment.
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Once he got there, Hamm reveled in the applause – the camera even panned around him to give the historical moment its full effect!
“There has been a terrible mistake, clearly,” Hamm, who was nominated seven times before, said onstage. “This is impossible.”
“This is impossible to be named with all those extraordinary gentlemen. It’s impossible to be up here. It’s impossible to have done this show with this incredible cast and these incredible people, these incredible writers, the incredible crew,” he continued.
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Hamm was more subdued than usual during his speech -- perhaps it was the shock of the moment that was the cause.
He also took a moment to thank his close friends and family -- “to who I owe an incredible debt” -- including ex-girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt and their dog Cora. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Gail Pennington, many of the people Hamm mentioned in his speech were school parents at John Burroughs School in St. Louis, Missouri, who took him in after his mother died when he was 10.
Hamm and Westfeldt announced their split after nearly two decades on Labor Day, telling ET in a joint statement, “We will continue to be supportive of each other in every way possible moving forward.”
Hamm spoke to ET's Nancy O'Dell backstage about the road to getting his long overdue Emmy. "In the grand scheme of things, this is just another night, but it's also nice to be recognized," a humbled Hamm told O'Dell.
Hamm -- who doesn't have his next TV gig lined up -- reflected on his seven-season run on Mad Men, which wrapped earlier this year.
"We all miss it and we all will miss it," he said. "This represents the end of something, but hopefully also the beginning ... for a lot of people."
And though he didn't address his split with Westfeldt outright, Hamm was philosophical about how life has been post-breakup.
"We all know that life is long, hopefully, and varying and different things it throws at you," he said. "Generally you're measured by how you respond to them, hopefully."
But he couldn't help but turn on the charm when O'Dell mentioned she'd miss seeing him on the awards show circuit.
"Well, I'm not dying, unless you know something," Hamm deadpanned.