Overheard at the Emmys


Jeers, jabs and tears - here’s a (live) look at the best and worst of what we’ve overheard onstage, backstage and in between at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards:

On winning:

“It’s been a huge honor both this year and last year to be nominated with a huge group of actors…I’m a big reader of almanacs, I like lists…Boy do i sound OCD…so I was thrilled to be part of a group like this. Winning is kind of a cherry on top.” - Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parson, winner of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

“I thought Amazing Race was going to win again….I was really mean to the host of Amazing Race on the red carpet. I hit him with my purse twice walking down, I said ‘I’m gonna take you down!’ And guess what, I was right!” - Top Chef co-host Padma Lakshmi

“This win was a win for our show, as if [any of the other nominees] had won. We’re very proud of our show, so it won’t be awkward at all.” - Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, winner of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, on competing with cast-mates for the award

“What? That is bullshit! I’m not eligible next year?!” - Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, on being out of the running next for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series after his third win.

But really, he says, it’s more like diabetes?: “To be awarded an Emmy is like a beautiful flambe dessert and last year’s win was [another]…I feel glutinous…That’s the way it is, I feel like I’m gonna become a diabetic. It’s actually a reprieve that next year I can just let things go and relax, it really is.”

“Who said I was a favorite to win? That’s unbelievable. All I know is I was nominated in a comedy series, and I laughed my head off, and I just put on my dress and came here. I’m really not playing coy here, I really am just dumbfounded by the events of the evening.” - Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco, winner of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

“‘Holy crap,’ there was a lot of that. ‘Am I gonna fall?’ ‘Why am I leaning over to use this mic when no one else has and they’re just as tall as I am in these heels?’” - The Closer ’s Kyra Sedgwick, on accepting her win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She added, “You kind of think you don’t have a chance in hell of winning after [being nominated] five times…there are so many people who haven’t won Emmys, so I started to placate myself with that. Martin Sheen never won for West Wing, how crazy is that? So I just thought of things like that.”

Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul was equally dumbfounded when he won for Outstanding Supporter Actor in a Drama: “I was losing my mind, when they called my name I didn’t believe they actually called my name. I just sat in my seat for a little bit, and they had to kind of force me up…Truthfully, I was rooting for Terry O’Quinn or Michael Emerson to win because I’m absolutely obsessed with Lost. I really was just not expecting to win.”

Dexter’s John Lithgow, however, was “loose as a goose”: “This is the way to win an Emmy - the week before,” said the actor, who picked up a statue for Outstanding Guest Actor in Drama at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

“It is an honor being nominated, I can’t believe we won…I thought Breaking Bad might win because they had such an incredible season, and I also thought Lost might win because they were going off the air and they’ve been such a landmark in television.” - Mad Men’s Matt Weiner, on the series’ win for Outstanding Drama Series

“[Winning] this is very different than getting something for writing and acting. It’s embarrassing because you don’t want to win an award for something that you’re supposed to do. I have an uncomfortable feeling to it, it feels odd. It’s a kind thing, and they mean well by it, but it’s hard to accept it.” - George Clooney, on receiving the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award

“We’re speaking to emotion, and I think emotion in comedy had kind of gone out of vogue…people wanted to laugh, but they also maybe wanted to feel something, and I think perhaps that’s what’s contributing to this [win].” - Modern Family’s Steven Levitan on winning for Outstanding Comedy Series

But he doesn’t anticipate getting beat up by the cast of Glee:

“I saw Ryan [Murphy, Executive Producer of Glee] afterward and we hugged…it’s a shame we had to come out the same year and were in the same studio and were often pitted against each other.”

Is Tom Hanks happy about long-form series getting more recognition?

“Damn straight! Fuckin’ A!…Sorry I dropped the F-bomb. Take that away,” he said.

On celebrating:

“I could rock out with some ice cream or something.” - Jim Parsons

“I hadn’t planned on celebrating. I planned on going home and getting room service, I really don’t know what I’m gonna do.” - Edie Falco

“I was sure to call both Matt Blank and Bob Greenblatt and they both roared with laughter. I haven’t called HBO yet. But I am going to their party tonight.” - John Lithgow, referring to his faux pas during last weekend’s win, in which he thanked HBO instead of Showtime

Hosts of Outstanding Reality Series Top Chef will, of course, be chowing down in style: Gail Simmons said she’ll start with caviar; Padma Lakshmi was craving “a cheeseburger with macaroni and cheese,” while Tom Colicchio said “Who can eat right now? Let’s have some cocktails!”

A touch of sass:

“I’d like to thank Steve McPherson and everyone still at ABC.” - Steven Levitan, accepting his win for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

“NBC asked me to host Late Night, then asked me to join a different show…what could possibly go wrong?” - Host Jimmy Fallon, as the camera focuses on Conan O’Brien

“How about our chemistry back in that quick-change room?” - Betty White, to Mad Men’s Jon Hamm

“Is funny sexy? No, but being sexy is funny.” - 30 Rock’s Tina Fey

“…from the most special victim of all: the 10 p.m. time slot on NBC.” - Jimmy Fallon, introducing presenter Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

“No, my character needed to die. No doubt about that.” - John Lithgow, on whether he misses Dexter’s infamous Trinity Killer

“If you guys don’t ask a question, I’m gonna do what I did at cattle industry conferences and just pick someone!” - the eponymous Temple Grandin, to a taciturn press room

“You know, I don’t talk to my parents since the restraining order.” - George Clooney, on his parents’ reaction to his award