Emmys night contained plenty of highs and lows for everyone, as there were plenty of disappointments scattered throughout the night of big wins for HBO, Amazon, and FX. Watching from backstage at the Microsoft Theater, plenty of those featured shared their candid thoughts about what victory meant to them, while also revealing key bits of backstory behind the wins.
WINNER: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Let the backlash begin!” executive producer Dan Palladino joked as the “Maisel” team came backstage, having won nearly every award it was up for Monday night, including history-making Outstanding Writing and Directing wins for Amy Sherman-Palladino.
Production on Season 2 has wrapped, and both Palladino and Sherman-Palladino pledged that it’ll premiere on Amazon Prime before the end of 2018. While juggling her many statues, she reflected on how growing up listening to her father’s stories about the New York stand-up comedy scene was the initial inspiration for the show.
“Working with these people is a weird treat,” she said. “I just feel like the work itself is really satisfying… the work itself is the true reward.”
LOSER: John Oliver’s nose
After winning the award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, the “Last Week Tonight” host told reporters that he had in fact had the misfortune of getting to smell Russell Crowe’s jockstrap from “Cinderella Man,” which the show recently acquired from an auction and donated to an Alaskan Blockbuster Video.
Also lost: that jockstrap, physically — after that Blockbuster shut down, it went missing. Oliver urged the press to keep an eye out for it.
WINNER: “Game of Thrones”
Proof that the Emmys truly are prone to rewarding the same shows every year, or proof that the dragon-obsessed fantasy drama has staying power even after being off the air for 13 months.
Regarding the long-delayed Season 8, which they’re still making now, executive producer David Benioff explained that the ambition of the show’s final episodes is “far beyond what we’ve attempted before… and it’s taking a really fucking long time.”
Kit Harington, when asked how the show had changed his life, noted one key fact: It was how he met his now-wife Rose Leslie.
Speaking of husbands and wives…
WINNER: Glenn Weiss (and His New Fiancee)
Public proposals can often go horribly awry, but the Emmy-winning director of this year’s Oscars ceremony was clearly feeling lucky on Monday night, bringing up his girlfriend for an on-camera offer of marriage with his recently deceased mother’s wedding ring. Congrats to Weiss and Jan Svendsen on their future nuptials. There’s a whole theater full of people who are clearly rooting for you. (Read the full story here.)
LOSERS: Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph
That is a heartbreaking sentence to write, but that’s where we’re at — with the memory of badly executed bits that two of comedy’s greatest performers didn’t manage to sell. Something about their usually excellent chemistry was simply off tonight, to the disappointment of us all.
WINNER: Hannah Gadsby
The New Zealand comic absolutely slayed during her time on stage as a presenter, poking fun at the reactions her Netflix comedy special “Nanette” has attracted. “No one knows what jokes are, especially men,” she said with a sly smile.
LOSER: Merritt Wever
This was by her own admission, as the “Godless” star did take home a trophy, but acknowledged backstage that her acceptance speech this year did not live up to the high bar set by her 2013 acceptance speech for “Nurse Jackie.”
“The only way to win was to lose,” she said.
For those wondering if a follow-up season to the Netflix Western would be possible, Wever noted that the series was originally a feature film written by creator Scott Frank, and that she didn’t think it would be likely for them to revisit the story. “I don’t see that happening,” she said. “It wasn’t conceived to be an ongoing thing.”
WINNER: “The Americans”
Creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg once again thanked the press backstage for their support of the FX favorite, which pulled off two surprise wins in extremely tough categories. “I’m not letting go of this,” Fields said of his trophy, moments after Weisberg put his down.
Rhys was equally excited, joking with reporters that if “The Americans” does eventually get rebooted to focus on the year 2018, he’ll happily play Mueller. (It was one of the few politically themed moments of the night, which barely even mentioned Trump.)
LOSERS: The “Saturday Night Live” cast
All of the “SNL” series regular cast member clips emphasized their political impressions — and they all struck out….
WINNER: Lorne Michaels
…fortunately, their boss had a good night, as Michaels maintained his status as the record holder for number of Emmys won: 16.
WINNER: Bill Hader
Holding his trophy for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy, the “Barry” star told reporters backstage that the show’s success owed a lot to HBO, which supported a less jokey take on the premise of an assassin who decides to pursue a career in acting. “They had seen [the 2014 independent film] ‘The Skeleton Twins,'” he said, and encouraged Hader and co-creator Alex Berg to do “something like that.”
Hader seemed even more excited by his co-star Henry Winkler’s win, remembering that the “Happy Days” star actually came in and auditioned for the role of acting teacher Gene Cousineau. “I’m just so thrilled,” he said. “This is great.”