The Five Most Cringeworthy Moments of the 2014 Emmys

While the telecast had its standout moments, there were five awkward bits we can’t overlook

This year’s Emmys are officially in the can, and we can’t say it was our favorite telecast of the past 66 years. While there were some stand out moments—the whole Billy on the Street bit, for one, along with Amy Poehler’s joke about the “Best onscreen orgasm in a Civil War reenactment”—Seth Meyers as Awards Show Host had us feeling a bit meh on the whole (he’s no NPH, let’s just say that). Not to mention, there were more than a few uncomfortable parts that had us recoiling into the couch. Here’s a rundown of the five most cringe-worthy moments of tonight’s show.

5. Stephen Colbert and His Imaginary Friend

Stephen Colbert went full-on Clint Eastwood during his presentation of the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie, by which we mean he spent an uncomfortable amount of time talking to someone who wasn’t there. Before reading out the category’s winner, Colbert said that he was “miffed” the Academy had not recognized his imaginary friend Roscoe, who he believes is “the greatest supporting actor of his generation.” If it sounds bizarre, it was—the whole thing went on way too long, and in a very un-Colbert manner, it wasn’t even a little bit funny. Maybe next time, buddy.


4. Weird Al’s TV Theme Song Medley

Weird Al has had some veritable earworms in his day (admit it—you loved Eat It), and he’s even been topping the charts recently, but tonight was not one of his best performances. Al was given the task of crafting lyrics for some of TV’s best instrumental theme songs including Mad Men, Scandal, Homeland, Modern Family and Game of Thrones. Let’s just say the King of the Spoof was off his game. His only saving grace? A delightful and hilarious Andy Samberg dressed up as King Joffrey.


3. Gwen Stefani’s Adele Dazeem Moment

Maybe she’d had a few drinks. Maybe she hasn’t spoken publicly in a long while. Maybe she just doesn’t know what The Colbert Report is. Whatever the reason, she provided our number three most cringeworthy moment of the night when she butchered the name of the show by calling it The “Cohlbore” Report, which won the award for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series.


2. The Objectification of Sofia Vergara

Just so we’re all clear: A theatre full of people clapped for Sofia Vergara’s behind as she stood and posed on a revolving pedestal. Hot on the heels of Beyonce’s feminist VMA performance yesterday, it was more than a little upsetting to see Vergara so blatantly degraded to the status of “something compelling to watch.”


1. Gail Mancuso’s Strange Obsession with Matthew McConaughey

Here it is, folks. A certifiable top hit for the “cringe” subreddit: Modern Family director Gail Mancuso’s super unusual acceptance speech for Outsanding Directing for a Comedy Series, during which she recited nearly the entire thing to Matthew McConaughey (who was sitting next to his very unamused wife). We’ll give her an A for effort, though; once she committed to the weirdness, she was all in. The awkwardness starts at 3:40.