First-time winners dominated the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday Night.
The show kicked off with host Jimmy Fallon leading a Glee-ish song and dance number set to Bruce Springsteen‘s Born To Run and including several of the night’s nominees, including Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Betty White and even a randomly placed Kate Gosselin who parodied herself in one of her Dancing With The Stars costumes.
Fallon was so winded by the end of the number, he seemed out of breathe as he started his monologue, welcoming Betty White and Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm out to present the first award of the evening – Outstanding Supporting Actor in A Comedy Series – which went to Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family.
Glee swept the comedy category, taking home two trophies on Sunday. Jane Lynch won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy and Glee creator Ryan Murphy won Best Directing. Last week, during the Creative Arts Emmys, Neil Patrick Harris took home Best Guest Actor In A Comedy Series for his guest spot on Glee.
Modern Family also scored with two awards, Best Writing and Outstanding Supporting Actor, which went to first time winner Eric Stonestreet. Proving just how popular Modern Family has become to audiences, George Clooney spoofed himself in a skit with the rest of the cast leading into one of the commercial breaks.
Rounding out a truly spectacular comeback year for Betty White, Matthew Perry and Lauren Graham presented the actress with the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy for her role as host of Saturday Night Live.
Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons was floored when he beat out competitors including 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin and Glee‘s Matthew Morrison to win his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series.
Neil Patrick Harris presented the Outstanding Lead Actress award to an equally surprised Edie Falco, for her role in Nurse Jackie. Dubbed ‘the original New Jersey Housewife‘ by Fallon, this was Falco’s fourth Emmy, but her first in the comedy category. Falco took the stage and immediately told the audience, “But I’m not funny!”
Fallon transitioned between the award categories with a music medley, involving celebrities in the audience. Kim Kardashian showed off her surprisingly on-key vocals when the category turned to reality television.
Bravo’s Top Chef took home its first Emmy for Outstanding Competitive Reality Series.
The Closer‘s Kyra Sedgwick took home the Emmy for Lead Actress In A Drama Series, beating out Julianna Margulies, who was considered the favorite for her role in The Good Wife.
Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul won Best Supporting Actor In A Drama Series, beating out Martin Short, who did not attend the show due to the recent passing of his wife Nancy.
Another first-time winner, Archie Panjabi, won Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role in The Good Wife. Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston took home Lead Actor In A Drama Series.
It was hard not to feel just a tiny bit awkward during the award for Best Variety or Music Special. When Fallon walked into the audience to sing a song with Stephen Colbert, the camera picked up Conan O’Brien sitting just behind the them, trying his best to look unaffected.
O’Brien was nominated in the Best Variety, Comedy Or Music Series category, but the award went to The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
Presenter Ricky Gervais came out and made the first and only joke of the evening about Mel Gibson, quipping, “Mel Gibson…I’m not going to have a go at him…he’s been through a lot this year, but not as much as the Jews.” That got a huge laugh from the audience and Gervais began handing out beer to people in the seats.
HBO’s Temple Grandin, about a woman who struggled with autism to become a doctor or animal science, won three statuettes.
Claire Danes won Lead Actress In A Movie Or Miniseries for playing Grandin. She thanked her real-life counterpart, who was in the audience, calling her “the most brave and intrepid person I have ever known.”
During Danes’ speech, the real Grandin stood up and took several bows. Actress Julia Ormond won Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role in Temple Grandin. She told the audience she was so excited about being nominated, she told her mother, “I was eminated for a nommy!” Co-star David Strathairn won Outstanding Supporting Actor for work in Grandin.
SUV co-stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni presented Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series to AMC’s Mad Men.
John Lithgow and Ann Margaret, who both won Emmy Awards for Best Guest Actor/Actress In A Drama Series, presented the award for Best Directing In A Drama Series to Dexter‘s Steve Shill for “The Getaway.”
George Clooney received the fourth annual Bob Hope Humanitarian Award from his former ER co-star, Julianna Margulies, for his charitable work for the people of Haiti.
The “In Memoriam” part of the evening was led by singer/songwriter Jewel who performed a song she wrote called “Shape of You” as the screen flashed photos of industry greats, including Art Linkletter, Gary Coleman, Rue McClanahan, Brittany Murphy, Roy Disney, Soupy Sales and John Forsythe, to name a few.
Another first time Emmy winner was in the Best Writing for a Miniseries or Movie Category. Adam Mazer won for You Don’t Know Jack, about the life of Dr. Jack Kevorkian and starring Al Pacino who also won Best Lead Actor as the title role.
Laurence Fishburne made his first public appearance as a presenter Sunday night since news of his daughter Montana Fishburne‘s venture into porn. Fishburne presented the award for Outstanding Miniseries as well as the Emmy for Best Made For Television Movie.
Tom Hanks accepted the award for Best Miniseries for The Pacific. Tom Selleck presented Best Made For Television Movie to Mad Men.
And finally, Outstanding Comedy Series went to Modern Family.