There were laughs; so many laughs. But the 2015 Emmy Awards, held at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. on Sunday, Sept. 20, also brought their share of emotional moments as sentimental favorites picked up trophies and a beloved star made a triumphant return to the stage on TV’s biggest night.
Former 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan got a standing ovation as he walked out to present the last award of the night, for Best Drama. The Saturday Night Live alum, who suffered a traumatic brain injury last year in a car accident that left him in a coma and killed one of his friends, admitted it had been “a long road back.” But proving that he’ll be bringing the laughs when he hosts SNL next month, the newlywed joked, “Only recently I’ve felt like myself again, which means a whole lot of women are gonna get pregnant at the afterparty!”
After eight years and eight nominations, Jon Hamm finally won the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Don Draper in Mad Men. It was a bittersweet moment for Hamm, 44, whose iconic series ended earlier this year, and he took the time to graciously thank his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt. The couple split earlier this month after 18 years together.
They call it TV’s hottest night, but Mother Nature took that a little too seriously — at one point the stars standing under the hot lights on the red carpet were wilting as the thermometer hit a sweltering 106 degrees. While some were probably regretting choosing to wear full-length dresses with long sleeves, others, such as Mario Lopez, sweated through their suits, and poor Olivia Culpo almost passed out. Allison Janney was right when she joked that they should have been named the “Bikram Emmys.”
Whether he was joking about that infamous sex scene from Girls, giving out his actual HBO Now login info, or delivering his opening monologue, first-time Emmys host Andy Samberg delivered the laughs. The 37-year-old skewered everyone and everything from Game of Thrones to racism to Donald Trump. Nobody was off-limits — even Kentucky clerk Kim Davis got served by the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star.
How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis made Emmy history as the first black woman to win the award for Outsanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and the moment wasn’t lost on her. In an emotional speech she thanked other actresses of color, including Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson, Scandal star Kerry Washington, and Extant‘s Halle Berry for “taking us over that line.”
When Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a trans woman in Transparent won the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, he dedicated his Emmy to the transgender community. “I’ve been given the opportunity to act because people’s lives depend on it,” he said. “Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration.”
Tell Us: What was your favorite moment of the night?