2016 Emmy Awards Highlights: Kimmel’s Jokes, Paulson’s Date, A Meme Worthy Tina Fey Moment, And More

2016 Emmys Kevin Winter/Getty

The 2016 Emmy Awards concluded last night with a few surprises, a marked improvement in diversity, and a lot of laughs provided by Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel. While awards shows can be long and boring, last night’s three-hour Emmy broadcast actually was enjoyable throughout, but in case you missed it and don’t want to catch the rerun on demand, here are a few highlights:

Jimmy Kimmel brought the jokes… and his mom and Matt Damon.

Many fans were skeptical when Kimmel was tapped to host the 2016 Emmys because of the mixed reviews Jimmy received from his 2012 Emmy hosting gig. Criticized in 2012 for having a difficult time finding the balance between mean and witty, Kimmel nailed it with this year’s Emmys with a good balance of mocking humor and self-depreciation. Some of the highlights from Kimmel’s schtick include the opening in which Jimmy struggles to find a ride to the Emmys placing him in a white Bronco with Malcolm Jamal Warner a la The People vs. OJ Simpson, carpool karaoke with James Corden, and a surprisingly hilarious moment with former presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

While Ellen brought pizza to the Oscars, Kimmel did a bit at the Emmys in which his mother made the audience peanut butter sandwiches and snacks. The ploy paid off later on when Jimmy, whose show, Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, which was nominated for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, lost and Kimmel’s faux nemesis Matt Damon came out onstage munching an apple to razz the Emmy host. “Tell your mom I like them apples,” Damon said as he walked off in reference to the infamous Good Will Hunting line.

Kimmel seemed to have a knack for bringing his Emmy gags around full circle. In his opening, Jimmy discussed the fact that Dame Maggie Smith had been nominated nine times and won four Emmys but had never attended the awards show. Kimmel teased that for that reason, winners would need to be present to win. Later in the evening when Maggie Smith was declared the winner but once again was not present, Kimmel walked onto the stage, snatching the Emmy from the hands of a blushing Minnie Driver.

“We are not mailing this to her. Maggie, if you want this, it will be in the lost and found.”

2016 was the year of Emmy diversity.

Though the Emmys aren’t typically as criticized as the Oscars for their lack of diversity in nominations, the 2016 Emmys proved to be a melting pot of diversified winners. Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang won Best Writing awards for Master of None. Two female directors, Jill Soloway for Transparent and Susan Bier for The Night Manager, took home two of the biggest Emmys for direction. Mr. Robot star, Rami Malek, shocked everyone, including himself, by snagging the Emmy for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series, and Courtney B. Vance and Sterling K. Brown dominated as they won individual awards as well as taking home the Outstanding Limited Series Emmy for The People vs OJ Simpson.

Sterling K. Brown won the 'Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series' Emmy. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

While many commended the shift in Hollywood, Jeffrey Tambor and Laverne Cox took their Emmy moments to encourage forward progress. Tambor, who won the Emmy for Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy for Transparent, encouraged Hollywood to take a chance and hire actual transgender actors rather than casting cisgendered individuals in the roles. Orange is the New Black co-star and transgender actress Laverne Cox, who took the stage later to present an Emmy, acknowledged how Hollywood taking the chance on her had changed her life and resonated Tambor’s thoughts. Still, the Emmys had a much more relaxed and enjoyable vibe than the 2016 Oscars, which were bogged down with controversy.

Sarah Paulson finally wins an Emmy but it’s her date that gets the praise.

Sarah Paulson finally snagged that elusive Emmy for her role as ‘Marcia Clark’ in the People vs OJ Simpson. This was Paulson’s sixth nomination but the even bigger story here was who Sarah brought as her plus one. Wanting to acknowledge the role of the real-life person she portrayed, Sarah brought former prosecutor Marcia Clark as her date.

Sarah Paulson brought Marcia Clark with her to the 2016 Emmys. Photo byPhoto by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

As previously reported by Inquisitr, upon winning the Emmy, Sarah used the majority of her limited time acceptance speech time to acknowledge the impact the role of “Marcia Clark” had on her.

“The responsibility of playing a real person is an enormous one. You want to get it right, not for you, but for them. I, along with the rest of the world, had been superficial and careless in my judgment,” Paulson said as a teary-eyed Clark listened. “And I am glad that I’m able to stand here in front of everyone today and say, I’m sorry.”

According to the L.A. Times, after sneaking Marcia Clark into the highly secretive area in which the Emmy’s are engraved with the recipient’s name, Paulson also had the engraver include Clark’s name on her Emmy statue.

Tina Fey’s response to Bill Cosby inspires the meme world.

In an awkward moment, the Emmy announcer gave out a description of the next presenter and the hushed audience sat in disbelief when he finally uttered the words, “Welcome Dr. Bill Cosby!” A low buzz began throughout those in the theater but it was the camera’s capture of Tina Fey’s face that set social media on fire.

While Fey slightly looked like she was getting ready to take off the earrings for the Emmy’s first possible fistfight, the appearance of Bill Cosby was just a joke. Jimmy Kimmel emerged onstage saying he simply wanted to see what the audience would do.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes history.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has sort of become to the Emmys what Meryl Streep is to the Oscars. Winning her fifth consecutive Emmy for Veep, some viewers might have been ready to throw the remote at the injustice that Lily Tomlin was shunned again for Grace and Frankie. Until, of course, a trembling, tearful Julia explained that her father passed away two days ago. Then all was forgiven.

While viewers want to see other talent recognized and have the Emmy wealth spread out, the win was a notable one for Julia. According to the LA Times, Louis-Dreyfus’ sixth Emmy win means she surpassed veteran actress Mary Tyler Moore for most Emmys as a lead actress in a comedy. Now that Julia has achieved notoriety and paid tribute to her father, maybe next year’s Emmys can show Lily Tomlin some love. Or someone else. Anyone else.

If our 2016 Emmy highlights peaked your curiosity or you still want to catch the whole show, you can still log into ABC.com for the full show and red carpet action.

[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]