“Game of Thrones,” TV’s most nominated and celebrated series, continued its winning streak Sunday night, earning its second straight Emmy for best drama.
Meanwhile, “Veep” won for best comedy for the second year in a row, upsetting ABC’s “black-ish,” the show that more than any other broadcast series has come to represent TV’s embrace of diversity.
“Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home her record-breaking fifth consecutive Emmy (and sixth overall) for outstanding actress in a comedy. The actress read her acceptance speech from a sheet of paper, saying in part: “I think that ‘Veep’ has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire, but now feels like a sobering documentary, so I promise to rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it.”
She got a lot of laughter for that line, and then, in an emotional turn that no one saw coming (except perhaps for Jerry Seinfeld, on whom the camera panned), she choked up, revealing that her father, businessman and art collector William Louis-Dreyfus, had died Friday. “I’m so glad he liked ‘Veep’ because his opinion was the one that really mattered,” she said.
In the best actor/drama category, Rami Malek won for his portrayal of Elliot Alderson, the cybersecurity engineer with dissociative identity disorder on “Mr. Robot.” Tatiana Maslany — who also played numerous personalities on “Orphan Black,” which will end in 2017 — won as best actress.
In the hotly competitive limited series category, the FX standout, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” which garnered 22 nominations, often came up a winner — as expected. The drama won best limited series, while Courtney B. Vance, who played defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, won best actor in a limited series. Sterling K. Brown, who played prosecutor Christopher Darden in the series, won for best supporting actor, while Sarah Paulson, who played lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, won for best supporting actress. Paulson also brought Clark to the Emmy ceremony as her date.
So how was host Jimmy Kimmel? Begin at the beginning, where all Emmy hosts begin, and usually prematurely flail. Kimmel did not flail. The prerecorded portion began with a freeway chase (in a white Bronco) with Malcolm-Jamal Warner driving — an obvious reference to Emmys’ front-runner for limited series, “The People v. O.J. Simpson (which starred Warner as Al Cowlings). From there it continued — a ride with the cast of “Modern Family,” then “Carpool Karaoke” with James Corden, and finally, the first big surprise of the night. Kimmel jumped into the stretch limo of “Veep’s” Selina Meyer, whose driver was former GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
“I’m between jobs right now,” Bush explained.
Bush asked Kimmel if he was a nominee, and when Kimmel said yes, Bush said, “Wow, what’s that like?” He told Kimmel that if he ran a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice. “That was a joke,” he added.
In Kimmel’s opening monologue, he quickly found his target — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, or rather Trump’s proxy, and former executive producer of “The Apprentice,” Mark Burnett, who was sitting in the audience, and smiling, when Kimmel directed the camera to him. “Who is to blame for the Donald Trump phenomenon?” Kimmel asked. “He’s sitting right there.”
Meanwhile, Matt Damon may have stolen the entire show -- and he wasn’t even up for an award. After “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” won as best variety/talk series — beating “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Damon strode out on stage. The joke you could see coming a mile away: Kimmel has fake-tormented Damon for years on his show, by pretending to always run out of time before his next guest — of course, Damon — can come on. And on came Damon Sunday night. Said he, “you must be really bummed out. . . . You’re a pretty big loser.”
MCKINNON WINS. “Saturday Night Live’s” Kate McKinnon, who grew up in Sea Cliff, won best supporting actress in a comedy series. “Thank you, Ellen DeGeneres, thank you, Hillary Clinton,” she said, naming two of the famous people she has impersonated on the show. The Democratic presidential contender responded quickly with a tweet: “Congratulations on your Emmy, Kate! Big fan of yours, too.”
TAMBOR’S PLEA. Jeffrey Tambor, who won his second straight Emmy for the role of Maura Pfefferman on Amazon’s “Transparent,” made a plea for more transgender casting just as the exit music cued: “I’m not going to say this beautifully: To you people out there . . . please give transgender talent a chance,” he said. “Give them auditions. Give them their story.”
THANKS, MOM. Every Emmys (and for that matter, every Oscars) telecast has a segment in which the host drifts off the stage and wades into the audience. Kimmel’s meet and greet — the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich handout. In a taped segment he introduced his mother (his real mother, he promised) who was making thousands of PB&J’s. Those or some of those were then given out to the crowd in the Microsoft Theater by “the kids from ‘Stranger Things.’ ” He said he hoped no one had an allergy to peanuts “Because we can only afford one EpiPen.