The '60th Anniversary' Emmy Awards, recognizing "excellence" in television, paraded themselves around last night, vindicating and embarrassing the whole affair in equal measure. Some little-watched and much-deserving programs won top glittery trophies (30 Rock, Mad Men) while sycophancy, silly time wasting tedium, and suspicious whiffs of censorship soured the perfumed air. After the jump we'll give you some of the best and worst Emmy moments, as we saw them, for those of you (and I suspect that was most of you) who didn't watch any of the lurching proceedings. THE BEST 30 Rock Takes the Evening With wins for writing, Tim Conway's guest starring role (Carrie Fisher should have won too), Alec Baldwin's and Tina Fey's performances, and Best Comedy, the under-watched NBC sitcom was well recognized for being the most delightful and hilarious show on television. Tina Fey got a nice long plug in about the very many ways in which the show can be watched (Hulu.com, iTunes, Verizon phones, actual TV sometimes) and hopefully, unlike last year, all of these wins will drive people toward it. Though, part of me doubts it because the show is just too weird and too clever for some folks. No condescension meant there, just... you know. Different strokes for different folks. Ricky Gervais, Steve Carell, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert Bring the Funny The five reality show host um... hosts weren't really doing their job, so it was up to these four men to make us chortle. (Though Conan O'Brien, Amy Poehler, and Fey were also amusing). The prune joke was wonderful, and the Gervais/Carell stand-off was a hoot (if a bit too drawn out). Oh, and Steve Martin's Tommy Smuthers introduction was pretty wonderful too. Tony Shaloub and Boston Legal Won Nothing Yay! Finally! Bryan Cranston's Big Upset A longtime also-ran for Malcom in the Middle, Cranston scored big last night for his work on Breaking Bad, a small
half hour long AMC drama about a dying high school science teacher who decides to start making meth in order to leave his family with some money. The award was supposed to go to Hugh Laurie or Jon Hamm, and the latter seemed surprised in a genuinely kind and excited way when Cranston's name was read. Breaking Bad has been a critical success, so here's hoping that people will actually tune in now that its star has been fabulously be-awarded. Paul Giamatti's Acceptance Speech Oops "I'd like to thank my wife. Not my actual wife! My fake wife. Laura. Laura Linney." Shot of his actual wife manager cringing. Where was his "actual wife"? THE WORST 5 Reality Hosts Do Not Equal One Ellen or Conan The five hosts—Tom Bergeron, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Ryan Seacrest, and Jeff Probst (some sort of seminar lineup at the Learning Annex in Hades)—were so terrifically awful that you wanted the damn accountants to come back out and talk again. From the opening bit in which they had "nothing" planned to those awful "look! old TV show sets" bits to the Heidi Klum "this is drama" feinting thing, it was just so embarrassingly unfunny and wrong that you had to shake your head and wonder why they didn't just fill a dump truck up with money and drive it to Ellen DeGeneres' house. The whole thing was rescued only a little bit by Jimmy Kimmel's reality show competition vote off motif joke when it came time to name the winner of the Emmys' first ever reality show host award (for which all five hosts were nominated). Probst won. Meh. "They Used Words —" That dude who won for writing John Adams totally got cut off while trying to make a reasonable political point about old-timey politicians' knack for rhetoric that was full of substance and power. Ah well. At least they didn't cut off the hosts for making a fucking Seinfeld joke. (And, hey!, at least Laura Linney's pointed "community organizers" line got through.) Josh Groban's TV Cabaret Hour Josh Groban came out and wasted approximately 103 minutes of our time by singing the theme songs to many, many television shows. You can watch it here if you dare. It's really spectacularly weird and off-putting. Like Josh Groban himself! The Wire Wins Nothing Not even the lousy writing award which was, well, all the terrific and now-over HBO crime drama was nominated for. The 'In Memoriam' Section Fails to Honor the Death of Entourage I'd totally "Hi-Yo!" that one except that Jeremy Piven won yet again for doing the same yelling and swearing shtick he's been doing for four or five (who knows) seasons. Blahhh. In An Effort to Stay Current, the Academy Gives Inexplicable Air Time to Lauren Conrad Aside from her presenting duties, the Hills star got a whole chunk of time by herself to talk about the Emmy escort ladies dresses that she "designed." Somewhere Don Rickles made a joke about a bottle of chloroform and the backseat of a 1957 DeSoto sedan. The Cast of Desperate Housewives They just sincerely piss me off. Mary Tyler Moore's Missing Sleeves I know. It's terrible. But now I've said it. Um, dag. So that's that. What did you like, what did you hate? Any winners you were thrilled about? Any that made you miserable (other than all of them)? Oh, and NB: They were the lowest-rated Emmys in history. Yikes! Of and if you're too busy to read all this, just click here for a really quick recap of all the awkward moments.