Rock my chain? Mag­gie Smith Rule? Mem­o­rable Emmy mo­ments

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - By Mark Kennedy

NEW YORK » A look at the mem­o­rable mo­ments at the Emmy Awards.

A GOOD SHIFT

Jimmy Kim­mel, who first hosted a pedes­trian Em­mys in 2012, came back and did much bet­ter — re­laxed, sar­cas­tic with­out be­ing mean, and quick on his feet. His open­ing skit in­cluded jokes with for­mer GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jeb Bush (“Did you know you can make $12 an hour driv­ing for Uber?”) and his open­ing mono­logue tweaked Don­ald Trump by goof­ing on Mark Bur­nett, who cre­ated “The Ap­pren­tice.” He also made fun of the smug­ness of his au­di­ence: “In Hol­ly­wood, the only thing we value more than diver­sity is con­grat­u­lat­ing our­selves on how di­verse we are,” he said. The only truly odd note was a poor at­tempt at a Bill Cosby joke. But his ban­ter with Matt Da­mon and his goof­ing on Mag­gie Smith made up for it.

ROCK MY WHAT?

The new way to say I love you, Emmy-style, is “you rock my chain,” which is a lyric ref­er­ence from Jay-Z to, nat­u­rally, Bey­once. Ac­tor Ster­ling K. Brown, who won for his role in “The Peo­ple v. OJ Simp­son: Amer­ica Crime Story,” started it off by thank­ing his wife: “I got the hottest chick in the game rock­ing my chain.” A few awards later, Brown costar Court­ney B. Vance kept the riff go­ing by thank­ing his wife, An­gela Bas­sett, with ob­vi­ous ado­ra­tion: “To the woman that rocks my chain,” he said. But things got more odd when Bri­tish writer Steven Mof­fat, who won for “Sher­lock: The Abom­inable Bride,” tried to get into the act. To his spouse he said: “Not only does she rock what­ever that was but she ac­tu­ally pro­duces the show.” Bri­tish-born co­me­dian Jon Oliver couldn’t quite swing it ei­ther: “On a per­sonal level I’ve got to thank my wife, the hottest chain — I don’t know ei­ther.”

COUNT ON THE DOWA­GER COUNT­ESS

Mag­gie Smith, who had won three Em­mys for play­ing the snarky and witty Dowa­ger Count­ess on “Down­ton Abbey” — and been nom­i­nated for six more — won again in ab­sen­tia for the fi­nal sea­son of the PBS se­ries. But Kim­mel chas­tised her at the top of the show for her con­sis­tent no-shows with a new law, the Mag­gie Smith Rule — win­ners had to be present to ac­cept the award or it would go to the next per­son on the list. So when Smith won for best sup­port­ing ac­tress, Kim­mel pulled a Kanye West and, un­scripted and hi­lar­i­ously, re­turned to the stage to snag the tro­phy him­self. “No, no, no, no, no,” Kim­mel said. “We’re not mail­ing this to her. Mag­gie, if you want this, it’ll be in the lost and found.”

THANK YOUR DATE

Sarah Paul­son, who played for­mer O.J. Simp­son prose­cu­tor Mar­cia Clark, brought Clark to the Em­mys and apol­o­gized to her in front of mil­lions for not be­ing kind in the past. “The more I learned about the real Mar­cia Clark, not the two-di­men­sional card­board cutout that I saw on the news, but the com­pli­cated, whip-smart, giant-hearted, mother of two who woke up every day, put both feet on the floor, and ded­i­cated her­self to right­ing an un­con­scionable wrong,” Paul­son said, “the more I had to rec­og­nize that I, along with the rest of the world, had been su­per­fi­cial and care­less in my judg­ment and I am glad to be able to stand here to­day in front of every­one and tell you I’m sorry.”

FIRST TIME WIN­NERS

First-time Emmy win­ners Ta­tiana Maslany, who plays mul­ti­ple char­ac­ters on “Or­phan Black,” and Rami Malek, who plays a hacker on “Mr. Ro­bot,” were gra­cious and touch­ing in their ac­cep­tance speeches. “Please tell me you’re see­ing this, too,” Malek said when he got on­stage. “I play a young man who is, I think, like so many of us, pro­foundly alien­ated,” he told the crowd. For her part, Maslany also seemed dazed when her name was called: “I should have had this writ­ten down,” she said. Later she had the au­di­ence eat­ing out of her hand when she said: “I feel so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the cen­ter.”

A HEADSCRATCHING MO­MENT

Dur­ing one pause in the tro­phy con­veyor belt, Kim­mel man­aged to make a bizarre mo­ment of things rarely com­bined — peanut-but­ter-and-jelly sand­wiches, the TV show “Stranger Things” and O.J. Simp­son. The pause was for the now-re­quired feed-the-guests bit, and the host brought out — on bikes, of course — the young cast from the Net­flix sci-fi thriller to de­liver what he said were 7,000 sand­wiches his mother had made. As if that wasn’t enough, Kim­mel then joked about the meal’s “juice” boxes — a ref­er­ence to Simp­son’s foot­ball nick­name — and won­dered if Simp­son was watch­ing the show from prison and root­ing for “The Peo­ple v. O.J. Simp­son: Amer­i­can Crime Story.” Kim­mel even man­aged to mock peo­ple who shy away from gluten and take a jab at the mak­ers of the EpiPen.

TEARS AND LAUGH­TER

Ju­lia Louis-Drey­fus, who won her fifth con­sec­u­tive tro­phy as lead­ing ac­tress in a com­edy se­ries for “Veep,” re­vealed that her heart was ach­ing after the death of her fa­ther two days be­fore. “I’d like to ded­i­cate this to my fa­ther, Wil­liam Louis-Drey­fus, who passed away on Fri­day,” she said. “And I’m so glad that he liked ‘Veep’ be­cause his opin­ion was the one that re­ally mat­tered. Thank you.” The for­mer “Se­in­feld” star later saw her show win its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive com­edy se­ries tro­phy. Showrun­ner David Man­del hon­ored her in his ac­cep­tance speech: “I know it sounds like we work a lot of hours, but this should be an easy job be­cause I get to work with Julie Louis-Drey­fus, who just makes it easy.”

PHOTO BY JOR­DAN STRAUSS — IN­VI­SION — AP

Sarah Paul­son, left, and Mar­cia Clark ar­rive at the 68th Prime­time Emmy Awards on Sun­day at the Mi­crosoft The­ater in Los An­ge­les.

PHOTO BY CHRIS PIZZELLO — IN­VI­SION — AP

Ta­tiana Maslany ac­cepts the award for out­stand­ing lead ac­tress in a drama se­ries for “Or­phan Black” at the 68th Prime­time Emmy Awards on Sun­day at the Mi­crosoft The­ater in Los An­ge­les.

PHOTO BY CHRIS PIZZELLO — IN­VI­SION — AP

Caleb McLaugh­lin dis­trib­utes sand­wiches at the 68th Prime­time Emmy Awards on Sun­day at the Mi­crosoft The­ater in Los An­ge­les.

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