The 70th annual Emmy Awards started the night by celebrating the most diverse collection of nominees in history, and ended with Game of Thrones reclaiming the trophy for Best Drama, with an unexpected wedding proposal stealing the show midway between the two. This wasn’t the only highlight of the ceremony, though, and we’ve collected our favorite moments television’s biggest night of the year.
“We Solved It” with a Song
The show began with Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon prematurely celebrating the end of racism and sexism with a hilarious song. They were joined by Kristen Bell, a a slightly out-of-the-loop Tituss Burgess, Sterling K. Brown, RuPaul, and the aptly named “One of Each Dancers” troupe. Andy Samberg also dropped by, but wasn’t allowed to join for obvious reasons.
Samberg’s little seat belt was a secret highlight of this number, until Aidy Bryant’s behind-the-scenes video showed why it was needed so much.
Courtesy of Aidy Bryant pic.twitter.com/dQnRYmfNG0
— The Lonely Island (@thelonelyisland) September 18, 2018
Crissy Teigen Sells a Joke by Bailing on It
Cohosts Colin Jost and Michael Che’s opening monologue landed a few good lines, including Che’s bit about Black-ish being “how I’ve been asked to behave tonight,” and Jost saying how his TV pitch being rejected by Netflix was “like being turned down for a CVS Rewards card.” But the highlight came at the end of some sharp Roseanne barbs when Che made a joke about a cop being nominated for a BET Award. The camera then went to John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, and she sold the exchange perfectly by trying to leave her husband alone with the awkwardness.
Henry Winkler FINALLY Wins an Emmy
Yeah, seriously, this was his first freaking Emmy win ever. EVER. The guy who played the Fonz never won an Emmy, which is why we should never take these awards too seriously while still being thrilled he finally got one.
Tracy Morgan Uninvites Millie Bobby Brown from “the Cookout”
The presenting pairs were on point all night, including Jimmy Kimmel and Tracy Morgan. The former SNL and 30 Rock star said he was rooting for the black nominees, but didn’t realize that did not include the young Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. Though we doubt Morgan was disappointed when Alex Borstein won and followed up her fantastic walk with a useful suggestion.
Amy Sherman-Paladino’s Double Win Makes Double History
When Amy Sherman-Palladino took home her second straight Emmy for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Comedy Writing and Comedy Directing), she became the first woman to ever pull that off, but she was also the first person ever to do that for a pilot. Plus, look at that hat. Even fewer people can pull off that hat.
The Race for Next Year’s Emmy Hosting Gig Heats Up
Seriously, the presenter pairings were phenomenal all night, including Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh being the most delightful people in the world by mocking the Oscars’ La La Land/Moonlight fiasco, Tiffany Hadish and Angela Bassett giving each other the “Wakanda Forever” salute, and Benicio del Toro telling Ben Stiller and Patricia Arquette he plans to kill again.
Tiffany, it’s challenge day.
— The Root (@TheRoot) September 18, 2018
Michael Douglas Gives Advice to the Losers
The Hollywood legend stepped out to present the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and made a late pitch for winning it himself with some helpful insight into how the losing nominees should respond.
Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen as Emmy Historians…Kinda
The only planned bit of the night (Michael Che’s joke about white people not thanking Jesus caught on organically) involved Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph being tasked as experts on the Emmys’ first 69 years. Nice gig, only they had no idea what they were talking about in a recurring segment that was consistently funny.
Betty White: Our Greatest National Treasure
Another great duo, Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, brought out Betty White to charm the crowd, and the beloved legend is not only still funnier than almost anyone else alive, she looks better at 96 than almost anyone else alive–at any age.
Darren Criss’ Tuxedo
“Super cool reptile” shouldn’t work as a style of formal wear, and yet here we are. Here we are. Though his speech was even better.
One of the few pre-taped pieces in the swiftly moving show featured Michael Che handing out “Reparation Emmys” to black actors who weren’t recognized for their tremendous and important work in the past. It had some funny parts, but the best part was seeing truly great television stars getting a chance to be celebrated.”
“This Humors Us” and Our Dads
These guys had us dying. Get it? You get it.
— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) September 18, 2018
Hannah Gadsby’s Got Jokes
Nanette creator and star, comedian Hannah Gadsby basically murdered every angry man who doesn’t “get her” in one of the funniest segments of the whole show.
George R.R. Martin Public Appearances
Is this joke ever fair? No. Is this joke always funny? Yes, to the old gods and the new.
Not seen working on a book: pic.twitter.com/yUpTcRoHG8
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) September 18, 2018
“The Americans” Get Recognized
While The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel had a big night, including Rachel Brosnahan winning over Keri Russell for Lead Actress in a Drama, fans of The Americans still (finally) landed some recognition after its final season. That included Matthew Rhys for Actor in a Drama Series. And while Russell didn’t get her own trophy devoted viewers so desperately wanted to see her take home, Rhys’ real-life partner still got to shine during his acceptance speech.
Rick and Morty Present RuPaul with an Emmy
We’re used to 2018 being the year mad-libs came to life, but this might be the first one that didn’t suck.
This is how you present the award for Best Comedy… unless you run a local news program and you are hoping the show ends on time. Then this is an actual nightmare.
A Moving Marriage Proposal
THE moment of the night, the one that will be included in every “Best of The Emmys” montage for the rest of eternity, happened when Glenn Weiss won the Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special for the leading Oscars. He capped off a beautiful, touching speech about his late mother who passed away two weeks ago by proposing to his already crying girlfriend Jan. While totally shocked, she joined him onstage so he could formally propose, and as though this whole sequence weren’t amazing enough, the ring he put on her finger was the same one his father had given his mother 67 years earlier.
Somehow Sterling K. Brown’s stunned reaction was only the second best one in the theater. The best belonged to Leslie Jones.
— Television Academy (@TelevisionAcad) September 18, 2018
Good luck to all future lovebirds who plan to propose anywhere but the Emmys.
— Leslie Jones ? (@Lesdoggg) September 18, 2018
A true all-timer no one will ever forget watching. Of course, if she hadn’t said yes we would still remember it, just for a different reason.
So the better question is this: what would he have done if he didn’t win?
What moments from the 2018 Emmys were your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured Image: NBC