The Emmys Cheat Sheet

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Missed the Emmy Awards Sunday night? Here are talking points for Monday’s water cooler pit stop 

The Opening: There was singing, there were cameos galore, John Slattery (as Mad Men’s Roger Sterling) tried to watch TV through a rotary telephone. Plus, live singing and dancing!

Ricky Gervais: The much panned host of last year’s Golden Globes popped in—via video feed—to say Hi, and poke some fun at himself in front of Hollywood. Good form!

Lead Actresses in a Comedy Series: When Amy Poehler was announced as a nominee in the funny lady category, she bolted to the stage. Fellow nominees Melissa McCarthy, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Martha Plimpton and Tiny Fey followed suit. The bit was planned—of course it was!—but nevertheless came off as spontaneous, and was so original it got a standing O.

Jane Lynch’s “Gay Agenda”: “Call Rachel Maddow. Find out what time spinning is.” 

And, “People want to know why I’m a lesbian. Ladies and Gentlemen, the cast of Entourage.” 

Michael Bolton with Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island: Bolton showed off his sense of humor with a cameo in song about Jack Sparrow on SNL. Reprising it live alongside Maya Rudolph, John Stamos, Ed Helms, and Akon for millions of people around the world: Tres hip.

Patter: OK, so we appreciate the always-present lame award show patter being kept pretty much to a minimum in this broadcast. Mostly it was handed off from the presenters to an announcer who delivered it while winners kissed their significant others and made their way up to the stage, which meant we couldn’t overhear the off-the-cuff remarks and exchanges that come before speeches are pulled from coat pockets. Producers, live a little! You proved you could go completely without next year.

Charlie Sheen: This year’s most gawked at celebrity made an appearance to “get something off his chest” about his former sitcom (and punching bag), Two and a Half Men. He simply wished them “all the best” through gritted teeth, but that was teennnnssssseee.

Kyle Chandler: Up against Jon Hamm, Steve Buscemi, Michael C. Hall, Hugh Laurie, and Timothy Olyphant, Coach won the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama Series! This for the farewell season of the excellent but under-watched Friday Night Lights. Talk about an upset victory.

Check The SEEN for behind-the-scenes scoop from Kari Mozena later this week. 

Full list of winners over at Emmys.tv