From Quinta Brunson became the first Black actress in 42 years to take home the award for best lead actress in a comedy to an iconic Grey's Anatomy reunion, every must-see moment from the 2023 Emmys
And that's a wrap!
The 2023 Emmy Awards — as they are officially called after being postponed from their original September 2023 date — were filled with historic wins, nostalgic cast reunions and even a Philadelphia Eagles playoff moment.
Read on to see all the best moments from this year's ceremony!
Christina Applegate's Standing Ovation
Christina Applegate was met with a standing ovation as she took the stage Monday night to present the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. The actress, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021, stepped out onto the stage in a red velvet gown and walked with a cane.
"Thank you so much,” the Dead to Me star said at the podium, standing arm in arm with host Anthony Anderson as she was moved to tears. “Oh my god, you're totally shaming me with disability by standing up. It's fine ... Body not by Ozempic!”
Quinta Brunson's Emotional Acceptance Speech
On Monday night, Quinta Brunson became the first Black actress in 42 years to take home the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy for her role as Philadelphia school teacher Janine Teagues in Abbott Elementary. The last Black woman to win the award was Isabel Sanford for her role in The Jeffersons in 1961.
"Thank you so much just I don’t know why I’m so emotional, I think just like, the Carol Burnett of it all," Brunson began while accepting the award from Burnett.
"Thank you so much I love making Abbott Elementary so much and I am so happy to be able to live my dream and act out comedy, and I say it every time and I just love comedy so much that I am so happy to be able to get this," she continued. "I didn’t prepare anything because I just didn't think ... Oh god. I love my mom, my dad. My sisters, my brothers. My entire family so much. I love my husband. I'm so happy. I love my cast. Oh, I love Abbott Elementary. Thank you so much."
Ayo Edebiri's Purse Handoff
Before Ayo Edebiri headed toward the stage to accept the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for The Bear, she was seen closing her purse and attempting to place it in her seat before heading to the podium. Instead, she decided to pass it off to her seatmate, Carson Daly, who appeared to say, “I got it" as she handed it over.
Edebiri's win alongside Brunson's marked the first time a pair of Black actresses won the two female comedy acting categories in the same year.
Pedro Pascal's Joke About His Shoulder Injury
"A lot of people have been asking about my arm," he said. "It's actually my shoulder. And I think tonight is a perfect time to tell everyone that Kieran Culkin ..." And though the rest of his sentence was bleeped out on the televised broadcast, Pascal concluded by joking that Succession actor had "beat the s--- out of me."
The hilarious moment came a week after, while accepting the award for best actor in a drama series at the 2024 Golden Globes, Culkin quipped to his fellow nominee, "Suck it, Pedro. Mine!"
The Many, Many Cast Reunions
Throughout the broadcast, fans were given the treat of numerous cast reunions, with former costars coming together as presenters. Actors from fan favorites like The Sopranos, Two and a Half Men, Martin, Cheers, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Ally McBeal and Grey's Anatomy were all a part of the the fun segments.
Original Grey's cast members Katherine Heigl and Justin Chambers — who left the show in 2010 and 2020, respectively — joined former costars Ellen Pompeo, James Pickens Jr. and Chandra Wilson on stage in front of a hospital room set to present the award for outstanding supporting actor in a limited or anthology series or movie.
Niecy Nash-Betts' Big Thanks
While offering thanks to a list of people including Ryan Murphy and Evan Peters as she accepted the award for outstanding supporting actress in a limited or anthology series or movie, Niecy Nash-Betts took a minute to thank the person who has been there since the very beginning: herself!
“For believing in me and doing what they said I could not,” she continued. “And I want to say to myself in front of all you beautiful people, 'Go on girl with your bad self. You did that!' "
She concluded her speech with a poignant message, sharing: “Finally, I accept this award on behalf of every Black and brown woman who has gone unheard yet over policed. Like Glenda Cleveland, like Sandra Bland, like Breonna Taylor. As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power, and baby I’mma do it till the day I die. Mama, I won!”
Rob McElhenney's Sneaky Screen
— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) January 16, 2024
Rob McElhenney proved that nothing can come between him and his beloved Philadelphia Eagles — not even the Emmy Awards! During Monday's ceremony, the actor shared a snap to X taken by his wife, Kaitlin Olson, of him looking down at his phone to watch Philadelphia Eagles' playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the show went on.
"Who schedules the Emmys the same night as the @eagles #gobirds #FlyEaglesFly,” he wrote alongside the photo.
Kieran Culkin's Surprise Ask
Succession's Kieran Culkin is on a roll this awards season, taking home awards at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice ceremonies over the past eight days and on Monday, winning the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama. While accepting the award, Culkin paid tribute to his family — specifically his mom, wife and their two kids.
As he teared up, he thanked his mom "for giving me life and my childhood, which was great. So thank you for that."
He then thanked his wife, Jazz Charton, "for sharing your life with me and for giving me two amazing kids,” before adding, "and Jazz, I want more. You said maybe, if I win!"
Tracee Ellis Ross and Natasha Lyonne's 'I Love Lucy' Moment
Tracee Ellis Ross and Natasha Lyonne paid tribute to I Love Lucy with a reenactment of the iconic chocolate line scene. During the bit, Ross stepped into the role of Lucy — complete with a red wig — as the pair tried their best to gain control over a speedy conveyor belt of candy.
John Oliver's Time Killer
As John Oliver came to the end of his acceptance speech after winning the award for outstanding scripted variety series, the comedian admitted that he wasn’t ready to leave the stage just yet.
“I’m not leaving without getting played off by Anthony Anderson’s mom,” he said, referring to the host’s mother, Doris Bowman, who had been tasked with alerting the winners when their speeches were going long. “So I am going to start reading off the names of the Liverpool football team.”
Oliver made it through a few names before Bowman signaled to let him know his time was up.
“I’d like to thank Jesus and my family,” he concluded as the crowd laughed.
Jennifer Coolidge's Shout Out
While accepting the award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, Jennifer Coolidge paid tribute to her White Lotus character and one of her most viral moments from the show’s second season.
"I wanna thank all the evil gays," she joked in her acceptance speech before being nudged off the stage by Anderson’s mom.
The award was her second Emmy for the role, and the latest in a long string of awards from her performance, including a Golden Globe Award, two Critics' Choice Television Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Matty Matheson's Victory Kiss
Just as Matty Matheson was beginning his acceptance speech on behalf of the entire team behind The Bear, which won the award for outstanding comedy series, his costar Ebon Moss-Bachrach interrupted him with a celebratory smooch.
As he began, Matheson — who was a chef and restaurateur before adding actor to his résumé — said, "I just love restaurants so much. The good, the bad. It's rough. We're all broken inside and every single day we gotta show up and cook and make people feel good by eating something and sitting at a table. It's really beautiful."
"And all of us here get to make a show together, and we get to make people feel good — or filled with anxiety, or triggered.... " he continued. "But this is really amazing. It's beautiful."
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