Emmys 2016: The 34 Best Jokes and Speeches From Last Night

The jokes! The burns! The tears! We have the 34 most memorable moments from last night's Emmys award show

emmys jokes

(Photo: Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock)

Last night’s Emmys was one of the best ones in years, thanks to chill, hilarious hosting by Jimmy Kimmel and the perfect mix of funny and touching speeches and presenter bits, along with a constant barrage of jokes skewering Hollywood’s lack of diversity. Whether you missed the show or just want to relive all these choice zingers again, we have every killer bit and heart-tugging podium moment below.

The best bits from… Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue:

[After giving Jeffrey Tambor a faux Emmy at the top of the show.] “Alright, that saved us 22 minutes.”

[On the Game of Thrones and The People vs. O.J. Simpson nomination juggernaut: “If your show doesn’t have a dragon or a white Bronco in it, go home now.”

[To The People vs. O.J. Simpson nominee Sarah Paulson] “Everyone in LA knows—if you want to win, sit next to Marcia Clark. [To Marcia Clark] This must be strange for you, Marcia—are you rooting for Cuba Gooding Jr. to win?”

“Tonight we celebrate all the shows we’ll never get around to watching.”

“Jon Snow—you’re my freebie, you know.”

[On Louie Anderson’s nomination for playing Zach Galifinakis’ mom on Baskets] “It’s very hard to find an actress over 50 who needs a part, so they went to Louie.”

“This year’s nominees are the most diverse ever: the only thing Hollywood values more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how we love diversity.”

“If you’re a person of colour in our audience tonight, find a white person and reach out and ask them to say thanks for their bravery.”

“We don’t need reality TV anymore because we’re living it.”

“Maggie Smith has the same reaction to her Emmy nominations as we do to getting one of those Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons. Throw it in the garbage.”

The best bits from… the presenters:

“I am Peter Scolari. I checked backstage.” —Peter Scolari

[Leslie Jones to the Emmys voting accountants] “I really appreciate all the hard work you do. But let’s be real. Y’all protecting something that nobody is trying to steal. Don’t nobody wanna know about boring Emmy secrets. Okay, but, since you good at keeping things safe, I’ve got a job for you. My Twitter account! Put that in the vault, please! Y’all using your skills to protect ‘Best Voiceover in a French Sitcom.’ Meanwhile, I’m butt-naked on CNN! I just wanted to feel beautiful, y’all. Can a sister feel beautiful?!”

“I’m trying to remember to hold my belly in.” —Terrence Howard

[Andy Samberg testing potential sound-bites for next year’s Emmys promo] “The Night Of needs more white people in the cast and I’m not afraid to say it!”

The best bits from… the acceptance speeches:

“I may not always have been a good man, but I play one hell of a woman.” —Louie Anderson, after winning best supporting actor in a comedy series

“17 million Asian-Americans in this country. There’s 17 million Italian-Americans. They got The Godfather, Goodfellas, RockyThe Sopranos. We got Long Duk Dong, so we got a long way to go. But I know we can get there; I believe in us. It will take a lot of hard work. Asian parents out there, if you could do me a favour, if just a couple of you could get your kids cameras instead of violins, we’ll be all good.” —Master of None co-creator Alan Yang, after winning best writing for a comedy series

“I’m really crying, I’m not making this up. JESUS CHRIST. Thank you to the academy…good sentence.” —Kate McKinnon, after winning best supporting actress on a comedy series

“Holy craaaaaaap! Being a director is a privilege and it also creates privilege when you take women, people of colour, trans people, queer people, and you put them at the centre of the story. Make these [people] subjects instead of objects, you change the world, we found out. We found out! So I want to thank you, my sweet Jeff Bezos! ‘Cause you changed the world. And you invited me to do this thing that these people call television, but what I call a revolution. I’ve always wanted to be a part of a movement: a rights movement, the feminist movement. This TV show allows me to take my dreams about unlikeable Jewish people, queer folk, trans folk, and make them the heroes. Thank you to the trans community for your lived lives. We need to stop violence against transgender women and topple the patriarchy! Topple the patriarchy!” —Transparent creator Jill Soloway, after winning best directing on a comedy series

“I’d like to personally apologize for the current political climate. It started out as a satire, and now feels like a sobering documentary. I vow to rebuild that wall [between real life and fiction] and make Mexico pay for it.” —Julia Louis-Dreyfus, after winning best lead actress in a comedy series

“To you people out there, you producers and you network owners and you agents and you creative sparks: please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions, give them their stories. Do that. I would not be unhappy if I were the last cisgender male to play a female transgender [person] on television. We have work to do.” —Jeffrey Tambor, after winning best lead actor in a comedy series

“To Ryan Michelle Bathe: hottest chick in the game rocking my chain—you make this whole thing go.” —Sterling K. Brown, after winning best supporting actor in a limited series or movie

“To the woman who rocks my chain: this one is for you, girl!” —Courtney B. Vance to his wife Angela Bassett, after winning best lead actor in a limited series or movie

“I had those mouth-wetting drops but now I can’t feel my face so that is a problem.” —Sarah Paulson, after winning best actress in a limited series or movie

“Please tell me you’re seeing this, too.” —Rami Malek, after winning best lead actor in a drama series

“I feel so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the centre.” —Tatiana Maslany, after winning best lead actress in a drama

The best bits from… Jimmy Kimmel’s bits:

“Now there’s too much diversity in the show.” —after Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang won best writing for a comedy series

“I’m trying to figure out if ‘topple the patriarchy’ is a good thing for me or not.” —after Jill Soloway won for best directing on a comedy series

[On Keegan-Michael Key] “He’s won a Peabody so he’s actually better than everyone in this room. He’s grossed out to be here tonight.”

[On the hordes of The Voice staff] “How can there be that many producers for this show?”

[While handing out the 7,000 PBJ sandwiches his mom made to the audience] “Raise your hand if you have a gluten sensitivity. I just want America to see which of their favourite celebrities are annoying.”

“What a night for OJ, huh? I wonder if he’s having a viewing party with the rest of the guys.”

“I can’t help but think that Johnnie Cochrane must be looking up at us tonight.”

[Intro-ing the best variety talk series award presenters] “For a genre hosted exclusively by white people, it’s ironic that this is the genre called Variety.”

“We finished before the election came!”

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