Super Specific Emmy Categories We Wish Were Real

I continue to not understand the concept of time, because apparently not only is it technically fall (the overwhelming abundance of pumpkin spice items everywhere I look has told me that), but it’s time for the Emmy Awards once again.

We of course have favorites going into the ceremony (This Is Us, Handmaid’s Tale, Atlanta, etc.), but what about all the standout performances by actors who have kicked ass this past season and didn’t get the recognition they deserved at the actual Emmys? Well we’re here to give them said recognition, and praise them for the excellent work that is just really super specific to their particular craft.

“Best Drama” is so overrated.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Scene Where She Helps Deliver a Baby She Also Gives Birth To

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

EMMY WINNER TATIANA MASLANY. That’s all. That’s the only thing I’ve called the Orphan Black star ever since she finally last year. If you even only seen one episode of the show, you know it’s totally deserved, but anytime there’s an intense scene between another clone, it still blows my mind. Even til the end. Our beloved Helena finally gave birth to her babies, but because this is OB world, it wasn’t in a hospital, but rather in a dirty basement with limited tools and a crazy person wanting the newborns as a scientific case study. But in the end, it was sestra and sestra, Tat and Tat, facing each other and encouraging the other they have the willpower to deliver these miracle babies. I think the show ended perfectly, but it still won’t make me miss scenes like this on a weekly basis.

Best Rap In Response To Being Unfriended on Facebook

Issa Rae, Insecure

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Oh so we blocking? 😅 #insecurehbo

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Have you been saved by Insecure yet? I was recently converted to this religious sect and I’m here to spread the gospel (read the holy book here). The second season of the totally snubbed Emmy show just ended last week, and it just kept getting better and better. On the second to last episode of season 2, Issa finds out her ex unfriended her on Facebook, and she went into one of her classic bathroom mirror rants. Except this one was no holds barred. Freaking amazing.

Outstanding Performance by a Female BFF Who Gives It To Ya Straight

Natasha Rothwell, Insecure

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I NEED A FRIEND LIKE KELLI 💀💀💀 #InsecureHBO

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Speaking of Insecure, Issa’s BFFs in the show are all individually fantastic, but I have not laughed out loud more to the lines perfectly executed by Natasha Rothwell, who plays Kelli. She’s sassy, unapologetic, loyal, and keeps her friends in line. What more could you ask for?

Best Devastating Cry After Finding Out Horrible News

Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin

I watched this video clip again on mute and I still started crying. Give Gina Rodriguez an Emmy already. She need something to keep her Golden Globe company.

Outstanding Pop Culture References, Comedy Series

Difficult People

As Gilmore Girls fans, we’re used to mile-a-minute pop culture references. But Difficult People is next level. Within just 10 minutes, you’ll not only be hit by 8 different celeb names, but really super specific references that only true pop culture/entertainment fans will get.

Best Fake TV Show on a Real TV Show

“Defamation”, Dear White People

Guys, we love us some Scandal, but it obviously can get a little ridiculous. And that’s what Dear White People parodied with it’s show within a show, Defamation. Like many fans of Scandal, the students at Winchester University had a weekly viewing party for Defamation, which in its very short clip had a woman having a secret affair with a politician. Sound familiar? It’s incredible.

Very close runner-up (might have been the winner but I had two Insecure winners already): Due North, Insecure. Includes Scandal star Scott Foley, Regina Hall, Christopher from Gilmore Girls, and slavery.

Best Performance By An Actor Who Deserved More Than His Character Got

Nick Jonas, Kingdom

See: My entire post about this bc I’m still annoyed.

Outstanding Performance by an Actor Who Did His Best Work Ever on the Revival Of A Beloved Series

Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Unfortunately, Lauren Graham still didn’t get an Emmy nomination/win as Lorelai Gilmore (add that to the list of your Steve Carell/Michael Scotts and Amy Poehler/Leslie Knopes of the world), but I feel like she has a better chance at getting nominated/winning one in the future than Scott Patterson does. Look, I’m a hardcore GG fan, but I understand that one of the biggest things Scott has done since GG ended in 2007 was a Lifetime movie. But he’s the perfect Luke Danes. And never has he been more perfect than in this classic Luke Danes rant in the Fall episode of AYITL, when he finally tells Lorelai what he should’ve told her 10 years ago. That he’s not letting her go and willing to do anything to fix their relationship. It’s the best I’ve ever seen Scott Patterson, and he admittedly agrees that it’s also one of his favorite scenes/best work he’s done in the show.

Best Barb

Shannon Purser, Barb, Stranger Things

Shannon Purser did a perfectly good job in a perfectly fine role. It’s just that there was nothing terribly Emmy-worthy in Barb, no matter WHO played her. This nomination came about not because the role was incredible, but because people just … liked Barb. And they wanted her to have a nice thing. It feels like the time Uncle Jesse’s Forever was voted the prom song in my high school, c. 2001. The point is, we should free up a space in the already tight Best Supporting Actress category and make a special category for the Barbs of the TV world. Next year, whichever minor TV character is the Barb of that year can win, but the category would still be Best Barb.

Best Early Plot Twist

This Is Us

In case you missed it, the pilot of This Is Us centered on four people who share the same birthday: actor Kevin, family/ business man Randall, supporting-character-in-her-own-life Kate and expecting father Jack. During the last moments of the pilot, you come to realize that Jack’s storyline takes place in the late 1970s and that he is the father of Kate, Kevin and Randall – and that Randall was adopted after Kate and Kevin’s triplet died as a newborn. Phew. It was gorgeous and we owe it all to hipsters, whose aesthetic is so ‘working class couple in 1978’ that I never even questioned what year Jack and Rebecca lived in.

Best Late Plot Twist

The Good Place

Like the early-in-the-game plot twist, a later plot twist has its own perils – in this case, it’s that everything that happened before it has to make sense in light of what you’ve just learned. You spend all of The Good Place thinking that Ted Danson’s character did a piss-poor job of designing a corner of heaven, only to learn in the season finale that he did a brilliant job designing his characters’ personal hell. In a moment, it all made sense – how these seemingly cruddy people landed in heaven, how unrewarding the eternal reward was, the constant calamity. We fell in love with Ted Danson during our Cheers watch last year, and that love only deepened when he let out that sinister laugh and his very persona shifted before our eyes.

Best Denouement

Big Little Lies

Do you remember back to elementary or high school when you would diagram a story? Rising Action, Climax, Denouement, Conclusion? In Big Little Lies, you knew it was all leading up to the fundraiser night at the school, when somebody-we-know would get killed by somebody-else-we-know. The climactic scene on the slippery steps was fantastic. But that’s the point where lesser shows would give up. Without saying too much, Big Little Lies resolved itself beautifully, culminating in that heart-twisting scene on the beach when you finally exhale – and you didn’t even realize you had been holding your breath until that moment.

Best Political Commentary By Somebody Who Shouldn’t Have To Be Doing This

Seth Meyers, Late Night With Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers shouldn’t have to do this, but it’s 2018 and here we all are, getting schooled on our crumbling world by gently witty late-night comics.

Best Multi-Dimensional TV Mom (Comedy)

Constance Wu, Jessica, Fresh Off The Boat

Emmy voters love nominating moms, especially in the Best Actress In A Comedy category. They don’t especially love nominating multi-dimensional TV moms, though. Or maybe writers just don’t like writing them? Anyway, as a special incentive to show runners who love to flatline mom characters we’re including this special, moms-only category. This year the witty, salty mom-of-the-90s – who totally has her own interests and also a favorite kid – takes the prize. Constance Wu, we love you.

Best Integrated Musical Performance That’s Not Supposed To Be Impressive

“Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” Mr. Robot

It sounds really specific but it’s honestly not. This is a musical performance that is (1) part of a show and (2) not meant as a spectacle, a la Nashville or Empire. The winner is the one that furthers the action, touches viewers, or gives you deeper insight into the character. This year, it was Angela singing Everybody Wants To Rule The World in that karaoke scene on Mr. Robot. It’s like you can see and hear all of Angela’s conflicts in these few minutes – is she being true to herself, and her principles, and is the payoff even worth it, and does she want power for a purpose, or just to have it? – and it’s a beautifully cut scene to boot.

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A Little Verklempt: Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

It’s a good thing I get President’s Day off, because otherwise I’d be taking a mental health day today. The SNL 40th Anniversary Special had me up to my eyeballs in feelings. I knew it would, because I remember how it felt watching the 25th Anniversary Special as an SNL-obsessed toddler teenager. Obviously we were primed to love everything on our screens last night, but here’s what I loved the most of the most:

Opening Musical Number with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon

Did you start off counting the throwback references and quit because the number was so jam-packed? There were shout outs to Lazy Sunday, Dick In A Box, the Ambiguously Gay Duo, Matt Foley, the wild and crazy guys, Debbie Downer, the cheerleaders, the “don’t make me dance” lady, the Blues Brothers, cowbell, Mary Katherine Gallagher, and a bunch more.

The Opening Credits

The only thing missing was Don Pardo. Yes, I’m talking about the list of people who would appear in the show. During our high school masses sometimes they’d roll out the litany of the saints, where the school chorus would just bust out a list of Catholics. The opening introduction of SNL 40 was the closest I’ll get to a personally relevant litany of the saints. But with Sarah Palin in there also.

The Bass-o-matic

Do you ever have that dream that you’re on stage and you’re supposed to be performing a play you were in years ago? And you worry that you’ll screw up your lines and blocking, and in the good version of the dream as soon as you’re out there it all comes rushing back. I bet this felt like a real-life good version of that dream to Dan Ackroyd.

Jeopardy

ALL of my favorite Jeopardy idiots in one go? AMAZING. From Kate McKinnon’s spot-on human piddling puppy Justin Bieber, to Sean Connery’s filthy misreads of Let It Snow and Who Reads (Le Tits Now and Whore Ads), it was hilarious and – success! – went on for exactly the right amount of time.

Audition Reels

If there’s one thing that makes me verklempt (and there are a billion things, we did a whole week on it), it’s seeing successful people during those little tenuous moments before things started for them. Just the idea that they were living a normal-isn life and couldn’t know how much things would be changing is so sweet. The one that really got me was seeing a baby-faced, slightly nervous looking Amy Poehler. Andy Samberg as a jogger from 1982, Jimmy Fallon looking like he took a cab over after junior high, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig debuting some of their most famous characters – it was like when you see baby pictures of people you’ve only seen as adults.

The Californians

Everyone I know loves the Californians, and I only ever just liked it. This one was different. Laraine Newman cracked me up, Betty White making out with Bradley Cooper was the best thing I’ve seen in weeks, and even Taylor Swift’s wacky accent and hair-mustache were hilarious.

WEEKEND UPDATE DREAM TEAM!

Highlight of the night, here. I had hoped for a Tina/Amy reunion, or a Tina/Jimmy, Amy/Seth showdown, but I hadn’t even dared to dream we’d get Jane Curtin. Watching the clip reel of past Update moments, it’s really clear that some people are just better at it. They have the right combination of charisma and crisp, sharp delivery to make the jokes land hard. I’m not here to name names of the people who weren’t as good (though let’s just say that everyone I listed was amazing, and I think Cecily Strong had the makings of being darn good too). Anyway, whenever anyone starts the job, I think they should sit in a room and watch tape of Jane to see how it’s done.

[Sidebar: my favorite Jane Curtin story is also a Gilda Radner story. Compared to the coked-out masses of the early Not Ready For Primetime Players, Curtin was always very straight-laced and diligent. She had a stable marriage and was basically just normal. Gilda would go over to Jane’s house just to watch Jane and her husband Patrick Lynch make dinner and act like regular people. Jane felt like it was a little weird, but of course she let Gilda keep coming over because she so loved seeing regular, happy people in their natural habitat. So while Jane Curtin pulls off the stern, ball-busting news anchor thing, she’s a giant sweetheart at the same time.]

The celebrity tributes to their favorite characters was an adorable way to bring back Roseanne Rosannadanna (Emma Stone, who nailed it and looked like she was living a Gilda fan’s dream) and Matt Foley (Melissa McCarthy, physical comedy for DAYS). They were perfectly framed not as an attempt to replace Chris Farley and Gilda Radner, but as recognition of what all fans did growing up, impersonating recurring characters. And of course, no Update segment would be complete without the return of Seth Meyers and Stefan and the land shark at the update door.

Maya Rudolph as Beyonce

With appearances by Garth and Cat, Marty Culp and Bobbi Mohan-Culp, Opera Man, What’s Up With That, the Love Theme from Jaws, and the Blues Brothers.

Jerry Seinfeld Q and A

The audience Q and A is a classic SNL opener, and this one with an all-celeb audience was great. Ellen Cleghorne really stole the show though, didn’t she?

Tracy Morgan

Yes, I shed a little tear when Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin introduced a clip of Tracy Morgan, who is still recovering from last year’s car accident and couldn’t be there last night.

Digital Short: That’s When You Break

Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler are a perfect pairing, and it felt so right to celebrate the many times cast members have cracked up over the years. But mostly Fallon and Sanz.

In Memoriam

Look. I cannot watch Gilda Radner without my heart breaking and singing at the same time. I knew that part would make me cry a bit, and it did. There are some other cast members, like Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, who were taken far too soon. But I was especially touched to see the tributes to the crew members who have passed on. Next time you watch SNL, pay attention to one non-performing aspect of the show, whether it’s sets or costumes or props or cue cards. The show wouldn’t have made it 40 years if they didn’t have one of the best crews in television. It felt so special to acknowledge their efforts, especially in a room full of performers from all different eras who knew firsthand how important these workers were. It was also fitting to end with a moment of levity, mourning the untimely loss of John Lovitz.

Mega-Goodnight

I should probably watch the goodnights in slow-mo, because it was like a Where’s Waldo of awesome people who I love. The whole night was, really.

 

 

Live Blog: Emmy Awards 2014

It’s a very exciting day for us because it’s Emmys Day, y’all!! Today is our Super Bowl, and we’re super excited to see what kind of shenanigans go down (on a school night). We’re kicking things off around 8pm EST/5pm PST, so come back and join us! Friendly reminder that we’re too cheap to update and get legit liveblogging technology, so please refresh this page every 5 to 10 minutes for our up-to-the-minute updates! Also, feel free to join us on Twitter as we’ll be updating that too.

If you want to follow along, fill out our handy dandy C+S Emmys ballot by clicking here!!

ALSO: Today also marks the start of our Back to TV Week, which means for the next four days, we’ll be discussing one of our favorite topics – television! As sad as it is to see summer come to an end soon, it also means that our fave shows are coming back and we’ll be talking about that too. So check in all this week, TV nerds!

emmys seth

M: Christina Hendricks is wearing a red sari-inspired dress. Now, I’ve heard my whole life that redheads can’t wear red – and internalized it to the extent that when we used to make fun of my friend’s Hardcore music, my fake lyrics included “I don’t think I look good in red!” But Christina Hendricks does look good in red, obviously. But the real star here is her husband Geoffrey Arend, who has the cutest little face.

Hayden Panettiere is pregnant – with, she says, a girl baby. Her boobs are way the hell out. Hayden’s, that is.

Julie Bowen is wearing a very pretty floral dress. Am I crazy or do some of the flowers look blurred out, like they were witnesses to a mafia crime?

January Jones: you know how bangs make some people look like they’ve entered the same witness protection program as Julie Bowen’s floral dress? That’s what’s going on with January Jones.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, one of my favorite humans, looks amazing in a reddish, hot pink-y dress. Her clutch goes onto the “clutch cam” and that thing is full of finger prints (it’s gold) – so in whatever crime I’m lining up witnesses for, we have some forensic evidence.

Heidi Klum is proving that “intermediate red-pink color” is really the shade of the evening! She’s also proving that next to her, everybody else looks like an actual monster.

Lena Dunham looks like she would do roller derby.

Sarah Silverman just opened her clutch to reveal a vaporizer. All the cool kids are going to be hanging out in the bathroom with Sarah and her vape pen tonight.

Jimmy Fallon gave a shout-out to his wife and baby, who he says love E! Apparently baby Winnie has inherited Jimmy’s ability to have everything be his favorite.

KATE MCKINNON. Unlike in emails from your mother, that caps lock was both intentional and necessary.

Claire Danes: also in red. Givenchy. She looks like a Christmas ornament and that’s a compliment, I freaking love Christmas.

T: Literally said outloud: “OH MY GOD TAYLOR KITSCH” and clutched my heart. Forgot it was a possibility he’d be here. Thanks, The Normal Heart.

M: I don’t understand Kerry Washington’s dress. When I was a kid there used to be an infomercial for The Infinite Dress, which was like 18 different dresses in one. That’s how I feel here. I still want the infinite dress, BTW.

T: POEHLER IS A FREAKING VISION.

M: Did I miss her?? I saw a picture on tumblr but I’ve been switching between E! and NBC.

T: They briefly showed her walking in front of photographers on E!, but alas, no interview. She is wearing all silver like a GD goddess.

M:OK, I did catch that. When I have a day when I feel extra gross looking my mental refrain is always “Ugh, I hardly look like a person.” That’s how I feel about Amy Poehler tonight. But, I mean, in a positive sense. How are you a real person??

So, I have a friend who has face blindness, basically. Like, he didn’t recognize his sister because she changed her hair. Anyway, that’s how I feel tonight. Because first January Jones, now Gwen Stefani. She looks nothing like herself.

Laverne Cox is taking a page from Amy Poehler by not even looking like a person. She looks like an ANGEL. OITNB really cleans up nice.

T: For anyone wondering why this is all going down on a Monday and not Sunday like normal entertainment awards shows, it all has to do with Sunday Night Football in September and the MTV VMAs already booked for last night… a lot of drama. Just like in TV. See what I did there?

M: Oh, I saw.

You know around Christmas or on vacation when people say that there’s “too much excitement” for little kids, like they just can’t handle it? That’s how I feel about the VMAs and The Emmys back to back like this.

T: Amy & Tina responded to “New phone, who dis?” to Seth, which is also something I hope they will text ME one day.

 “That’s right Jesse Pinkman made it. The serial killer on Dexter made it, but your mother didn’t make it kids, good night.” BUT THIS THO. #StillSaltyAboutHIMYM

 M: UGH.

Seth’s analogy between HBO and that one kid who turned out way better than you thought he would is super act. It’s come a long way from Grease 2 and Fraggle Rock.

“Duck Dynasty was the most VCR-taped”.

 T: I was really hoping Amy would give Fred the award but whatever. Ty looked really shocked. Also is the announcer doing the thing where she gives out random facts about the winner? “Ty was raised in Oregon”. Yeah, and “Amy Poehler was born as the second coming of Christ.”

M: “Amy Poehler’s first childhood memory is emerging fully formed from the sea atop an open shell.” Yeah, we’re substituting our own “fun facts” from this point forward.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Adam Driver, Girls

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Fred Armisen, Portlandia

Tony Hale, Veep

 Traci’s Pick: Tony Hale, Veep

As much as I like JTF/Ty Burrell/Modern Family, I’m really glad Tony Hale broke their winning streak. Besides the fact Tony’s hilarious in Veep, I also just want to see what bit he’ll do if he wins this year.

Molly’s Pick: Tony Hale, Veep

Exactly what Traci said.

WINNER: Ty Burrell, Modern Family


M: Yawwwwn. Ty Burrell seems like a very nice man and Modern Family is funny. But this is starting to feel like Cheerios winning Best Cereal. It’s good and all, but isn’t there something else out there by now?

T: Peter Pan looks wicked skinny, no?

M: She does know she doesn’t have to look like an 11 year old boy who lives on an island just yet right? [That was mean. The Emmy Awards would make me either stress-skinny or stress-eat, too.]

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series

David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes

Louis C.K., Louie

Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan, Orange Is The New Black

Alec Berg, Silicon Valley

Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, and Armando Iannucci, Veep

Traci’s Pick: Louis C.K., Louie

If this wins, it’s because of this scene right here.

Molly’s Pick: Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan, Orange Is The New Black.

I’m not even clicking on that link because it makes me cry which I don’t think was the intent.

WINNER: Louis C.K., Louie

 T: … why was Zooey SO EXCITED for Louie to win? Are they secret BFFs??

M: I hope so!  But for an outstandingly written comedy episode that one sure did make me tear up a lot. These categories are getting pretty fuzzy.

T: “One half of the comedy team Guillermo and Kimmel. Please welcome Kimmel.” I legitimately LOLed at this.

“I mean alright alright alright already.” Remember when McConissance talked about Pluto or Venus or whatever at the SAG awards??

M: We probably should have done a prediction for what he would rant about this year.

 Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Allison Janney, Mom

Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is The New Black

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

 Traci’s Pick: Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is The New Black

Since this is the first year for OITNB in the Emmys, I feel like they’ll walk away with at least a few trophies. The brilliant Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) has already won the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series prize, and hopefully Red will follow. Also, if Kate McKinnon wins I will run around my room screaming of happiness.

Molly’s Pick: Anna Chlumsky, Veep.

Sometimes I pretend I’m a Selina but I’m really more of an Amy. I will join you on your victory lap if Kate McKinnon wins. Or Kate Mulgrew, actually. 

WINNER: Allison Janney, Mom

T: Allison Janney – love ya girl, but I didn’t realize that the 90s trend of velour is back in style. I mean I knew it, but I refused to believe it. You know what would make this speech amazing? If she did a version of The Jackal. That’s a little The West Wing ref for you folks.

M: Holy velour. It can stay in 1994 with choker necklaces. Someone wore one at the VMAs (Katy Perry??) and now that the 90s are over, the only people wearing chokers should be teen ghost girls from R.L. Stine books who need them to hold their heads on.

Also, Mom is a show on television, apparently.

T: OH FUCK. This Parenthood promo just made me cry. A 20 SECOND COMMERICIAL.

M Me too, because I somehow didn’t know it was the farewell season?? NO.

T: Unforunately, yes. Parenthood AND Parks ending in one year is basically the end.

M: Shit. Maybe I need to start watching Mom.

I appreciate that the folks at NBC are giving us a countdown until Jimmy Fallon shows up.

T: So this directing win for Gail Mancuso for Modern Family is actually worth it for this speech.

T: Billy! I hope Elena shows up!

M: Like Elf, the Billy On The Street where he goes caroling with Amy Poehler is a Christmas thing that I could watch basically all year for a mood lift.

T: “Goble” OMG I AM CRYING.

M: Billy: “Miss, You’re a lesbian, you’re watching Orange Is The New Black?”

Lady: I am, but I’m not a lesbian.

Oh, ma’am. Your haircut says, at the least, that you entertained the idea in college. 

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Ricky Gervais, Derek

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Don Cheadle, House Of Lies

Louis C.K., Louie

William H. Macy, Shameless

Traci’s Pick: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Just realized 5 out of 6 of these nominees are on cable, which is really interesting for this category. Remember the days of Fraiser and Everybody Loves Raymond? Anyways, I’m just saying Jim because he won last year.

Molly’s Pick: Louis C.K, Louie

This is literally the only show on this list I watch so that’s where my brain is. Also The Big Bang Theory makes me feel icky.

WINNER: Jim Parsons

M: I hope he says “Did I do that?” or whatever the hell his nerd catchphrase is.

T: Ugh. I hope Jim’s pay raise is worth all this. #Bazinga.

M: Ah yes, there it is.

T: I really like when Seth introduces his guests as “my good friend {insert name here}”. He’s good friends with a lot of people, I’ve found.

Ok, I need Jimmy Fallon elaborate on the whole Miley Cyrus homeless teen thing last night at the VMAs bc Jimbo looked mad confused.

M: “Amy Pueblo, Parks And Recreation”

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Lena Dunham, Girls

Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Taylor Schilling, Orange Is The New Black

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Traci’s Pick: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Just like at the Golden Globes earlier this year, I’m saying Amy just so it’s out there in the universe in hopes she’ll win her first Emmy. If JLD wins, that’s cool too, but come on. Amy.

Molly’s Pick: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

I’m also using The Secret on this one and picking Poehler. Agreed about JLD.

WINNER: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep 

T: Oh boy. We love Amy, obvs. But JLD always makes her acceptance speeches worth it. (Also I just stood up in hopes that would help Amy Pueblo win)

M: The comedy actress category always gives me a knot in the stomach. I feel like Venus and Serena Williams’ parents must feel.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Amazing Race

Dancing With The Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

Top Chef

The Voice 

Traci’s Pick: The Voice

My heart will always and forever be with SYTYCD, but I don’t think it ever has a chance of winning. Hopefully I’m proved wrong.

Molly’s Pick: The Voice

Oh God. There are so many categories in this damn awards show.

WINNER:The Amazing Race

T: It’s like an Amazing Race to get up to the stage, amirite?  (SYTYCD WAS ROBBED. YET AGAIN.)

M: Since SYTYCD didn’t win, the absolute only thing I cared about with this category was that Mindy Kaling and John Mulaney presented it.

T: Everything that comes out of Melissa McCarthy’s mouth is pure gold. Everything.

M: This bit is reminding me of the Q and As in the Carol Burnett show. All of my references are things your weird old aunt would say.

T: COLIN! CECILY! FRED!! I WANT TO BE IN THE SNL CORNER!!!

M: New awards show format idea. Just read out the rest of the nominees real quick then let us listen to the SNL corner talk amongst themselves for the next 2 hours.

T: I’m into it.

T: Do you think Larry Kramer is in the corner cursing and on his way back to NY right now?

M: I wish this was the Golden Globes so he and Amy Poehler could just get drunk together and talk about how they deserved to win. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven

Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven

Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven

Allison Tolman, Fargo

Ellen Burstyn, Flowers In The Attic

Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart

Traci’s Pick: Allison Tolman, Fargo

Allison won the Critics’ Choice Award earlier this year and has been getting a lot of buzz, so I’m voting for her. But Ellen Burstyn always wins…

Molly’s Pick: Allison Tolman, Fargo

Friendly neighborhood reminder that Flowers In The Attic was really, really bad.

WINNER: Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven 

T: No but really, are these “fun facts” about the winner just about where they were born? Is it supposed to be funny?

M Fun fact: Kathy Bates lost a significant sum of money when her husband came home drunk as a pig celebrating and lit a fire on their money. (She’ll always be Molly Brown to me.)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Colin Hanks, Fargo

Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart

Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart

Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart

Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart

Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow

Traci’s Pick: Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart

I guess someone from The Normal Heart will walk away with this. Hopefully it will go to Matt Bomer because he was phenomenal and made me cry like a bebe.

Molly’s Pick: Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart

That was a tough call. I hope the votes don’t get split up among the nominees from The Normal Heart.

WINNER: Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow

 T: WHOOOAAAAAA That is a total upset for The Normal Heart. Also, this makes be believe the TV Academy has turned into the Oscars Academy – aka all old white men.

M: Waittt….. so you mean old white men are in charge of something? This changes the whole game…

T: I know, it’s a different group of folks than usual, you know, like the super diverse government with women and minorities.

M: Well, I for one think it’s time we give those crusty old coots a chance.

Doesn’t anyone realize that Normal Heart was really, really good? I mean usually they just assume things on HBO are really, really good without necessarily even watching them.

T: AMYY Honestly always excited when she appears on my television screen.

M: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson planned their outfits together harder than me, in fifth grade, before a dressdown day. Because why wear street clothes if you can’t wear matching courduroy overalls with your best friend. Or muted jewel tone suits, as the case may be. 

T: I think the sequel to True Detective should be a buddy cop comedy version of the first season with these two fools.

M: Literally every one of our TV ideas has been better than most of what we’re seeing tonight.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing On The Edge

Martin Freeman, Fargo

Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

Idris Elba, Luther

Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow 

Traci’s Pick: Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

Probably Mark Ruffalo’s best performance ever.

Molly’s Pick: Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

Although if Idris Elba wins we all get to watch him for a minute or two – so in that case, everyone wins.

Winner: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow

M: I’ll admit it. I’m probably going to lose any internet cred I ever had. But I’m not in any of the appropriate fandoms to know why Benedict Cumberbatch is so magical. Like I take everyone’s word for it.

T: Yup. agreed. We’re gonna get trolllllssss! Can’t wait.

M: Oh, man. This is going to be worse than that time I wrote about the top scrubs of the tv movie about TLC.

T: IMPORTANT: I FEEL CHEATED OUT OF SEEING IDRIS ELBA IN A TUX.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven

Helena Bonham Carter, Burton And Taylor

Minnie Driver, Return To Zero

Kristen Wiig, The Spoils Of Babylon

Cicely Tyson, The Trip To Bountiful

Traci’s Pick: Helena Bonham Carter, Burton And Taylor

Honestly, I just want Wiig to win this, but did anyone see The Spoils of Babylon? Especially the Emmy voters?

Molly’s Pick: Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven

Or maybe Jessica Lange? Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how great all of these nominees are. I mean in general. Not in these projects, because I haven’t seen them (except AHS).

WINNER: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven 

M: Weird Al is making up lyrics to instrumental tv theme songs, and isn’t this something everyone does already? No, just me? I’m also learning that it’s one of those things that’s only entertaining when you’re doing it in front of your tv waiting for a show to start. Not as an awards show segment.

But nice S/O to Claire Danes’ ugly crying!

T: What in the actual fuck is this medley? Remember how much better this was last year with the choreography category? It also feels super out of place. There has been no singing and dancing a la NPH or Jimmy Fallon, so this is coming out of nowhere and doesn’t fall within the tone of Seth’s comedy…

Outstanding Miniseries

American Horror Story: Coven

Bonnie & Clyde

Fargo

Luther

Treme

The White Queen 

Traci’s Pick: Fargo

I’m basing this on the fact this show got a lot of nominations.

Molly’s Pick: Fargo

Yeah, I think critics were really into it. Bonnie & Clyde was OK I guess.

WINNER: Fargo

M: I know I probably should have watched this, but the last time I watched some Minnesota-talking people hang out where it’s cold was Sarah Palin’s Alaska and that was quite enough for me, thanks.

Outstanding Television Movie

Killing Kennedy

Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight

The Normal Heart

Sherlock: His Last Vow

The Trip To Bountiful

 Traci’s Pick: The Normal Heart

Because if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you are missing out on an important piece of American history.

Molly’s Pick: The Normal Heart

Honestly, if The Normal Heart doesn’t win…

WINNER: The Normal Heart

M: Nice work, Old White Guys. Maybe you fellas are going to make it after all. 

Speaking of white guys, Ricky Gervais is here to give us the giggles after we all (read: I) cried a bit for a while there. He reads the speech he would have given, calling out “Joey from Friends” and “Louis from Louie, spelled slightly differently.”

Sarah Silverman wins for writing of a variety special and opens with “wow, this didn’t occur to me!” Me either, Sarah. And I think she’s hilarious, I just didn’t think she’d win. She seems pretty energetic so I think she maybe didn’t hit her vape pen yet, but then she calls us molecules hurtling through the universe or something. But she does it SO MUCH QUICKER than Matthew McConaughey would have.

T: Guys. Sarah Silverman is high right now. Like legit. Like she showed Giuliana Rancic her “liquid pot” vape on the red carpet. Which, I didn’t even know was a thing.

M: Yeah, that’s why all those vaporizer stores keep cropping up. It’s not for the weird flavored tobacco.

T: Guys did you know that Jordan Peele and Chelsea Perretti from Brooklyn Nine-Nine are dating? Just found out the other week.

M: CUTE! And hilarious, probably. I did not know that.

T: Chris Hardwick s/o to internet trolls.

 

M: Is it the center part? Is that why I can’t recognize Gwen Stefani? Or is it because she doesn’t have her posse of creatively dressed young Asian girls? (Does she still have them? Not sure.)

T: It might be the lit’rally thousands of Swarovski crystals hanging from her Versace gown…

Outstanding Variety Series

The Colbert Report

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Real Time With Bill Maher

Saturday Night Live

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Traci’s Pick: The Colbert Report

I don’t think shows besides Colbert and Jon Stewart are allowed to win this category.

Molly’s Pick: The Colbert Report

Yeah, I agree. But I’d love for Fallon to win.

WINNER: The Colbert Report

Photo Aug 25, 9 07 32 PM

T: JIMOTHY. DIDN’T EVEN SEE HIM COME UP. I appreciate that Jimbo and Amy Pueblo keep popping up even though they both aren’t winning tonight.

M: I was looking at my computer and then I was like “wait, a Colbert guy sounds just like Jimmy Fallon… wait a second!”

T: I cannot with Sofia Vergara. Everything she does is hilarious. No one is listening to this Academy guy.

M: Okay, THANKS. I know a lot of people who think she’s over-the-top or schtick-y but she has straight-up Lucille Ball vibes a lot of the time. I love her.

T: YES. Def Luicille Ball vibes. If anyone hasn’t seen her “Cover Girl commercial” with Ellen, watch that now. Or you know, at a commercial.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey

Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones

Josh Charles, The Good Wife

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Traci’s Pick: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

AP ❤ I just want to see him cry and talk about how much he loves the BB cast and his gorge wife. If anyone else has a chance, it’s Josh Charles (for dying) and Mandy Patinkin (probs for the beard).

Molly’s Pick: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

I don’t watch GoT (yet) but I think Peter Dinklage seems like a real gem, so I wouldn’t mind if he won.

WINNER: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

M: Do Aaron Paul and Chris Pratt have a secret pact to spread happiness, joy, and belief in true love across the nation? Because it’s working.

T: If they do, it’s the best secret society to ever exist. I’m gonna throw up because I’m excited for you too, Aaron. And to reiterate for the 10 millionth time, the love AP has for his wife is utterly disgusting and amazing and I’m just super jealous.

M: Here is his wife’s foundation that he mentioned. What a couple of dolls.

M: I can’t be sure there’s anyone even left in Hollywood after watching that In Memorium. Man, we lost some good ones this year.

T: Oh boy here we go. Honestly shed more tears during Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart speech. Does this make me a horrible person? The Robin Williams, tribute however…

M: Right before it started I was about to write “fortunately, I must have missed the Robin Williams part of the In Memorium so I’m still doing okay.” Damn it.

 T: Guys Cary …F… True Detective director. Ok quick story: after I finished watching True Detective, I looked this guy up and was SO SURPRISED to see how HOT he is (and that he briefly dated Michelle Williams of Dawson’s Creek). But he’s currently sporting some sort of long braid which is… not hot. Speaking of Michelle Williams, the “fun fact” for Cary was that he was a PA on the set of the Destiny’s Child Survivor video. I really can’t tell if these are supposed to be jokey or not.

M: Fun fact: that’s how I do my goddaughter’s hair if it’s a day she’s going to be out playing a lot.

T: I’m sure Cary will be doing a lot of playing/partying tonight.

M: Well then I hope he used the fun glitter hairspray, too. Really keeps things in place on the playground in STYLE. (Hair aside: he’s a looker).

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

Lena Headey, Game Of Thrones

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

 Traci’s Pick: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Like OITNB’s winning streak as a new Emmy show, BB’s final season will (hopefully) pick up statues for all involved.

Molly’s Pick: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Process of elimination pick

Winner: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

T: Uh… did Katherine Heigl win an Emmy for Greys?

M: Not sure. Maybe for Roswell? Also I could have sworn she was introduced by the voice of Amy Poehler but I may be losing it like that one Full House episode when D.J. sees Steve everywhere when they go to Disney.

T: Just confirmed – she won Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007. Ugh. I mean she was good, but really? Okay. 

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad

Moira Walley-Beckett, Breaking Bad

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game Of Thrones

Beau Willimon, House Of Cards

Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective 

Traci’s Pick: Moira Walley-Beckett, Breaking Bad

Moira Walley-Beckett wrote Ozymandias, the third to last episode with the showdown in the desert, and probably one of the best hours of television I have ever seen in my life. The ep Vince Gilligan is up for is the series finale, which is also good, but I watched Ozymandias like 3 times, which is saying something, because normal people don’t do this.

Molly’s Pick: Beau Willimon, House Of Cards

I DON’T KNOW OKAY. I hovered my cursor between this, Moira Walley-Beckett & Game Of Thrones for like a full minute.

WINNER: Moira Walley-Beckett 

M: Like, IS that Amy Poehler’s voice, or…? Moira Walley-Beckett does not pull off the phrase “mad skills, yo” very well. She does pull off that dress and writing compelling television, so hey, everyone can’t do everything. 

T: How are we running so late already? Let the woman speak! I blame Weird Al. 

M: I WAS JUST ABOUT TO BLAME WEIRD AL. 

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Claire Danes, Homeland

Robin Wright, House Of Cards

Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex

Kerry Washington, Scandal 

Traci’s Pick: Robin Wright, House Of Cards

I’m over Claire Danes winning. I really, really want Kerry to win, but compared to the other ladies’ shows, Scandal seems like a soap opera. But whatever, Kerry deserves it. So in saying that, it’s going to Robin Wright.

Molly’s Pick: Kerry Washington, Scandal

Who do I think will win? Probably not Kerry Washington. Just so we’re clear, my picks are a hodgepodge of people I want to win and people I predict are most likely to win.

WINNER: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Photo Aug 25, 9 10 40 PM

T: Bless you Kerry Washington for having the best ‘I didn’t win but I’m so happy for Nurse Hathaway’ face.

M: Everyone’s into this contouring makeup now with the bronzer to show us where your cheeks are or whatever, but in 20 years we’re all going to look back on the 2010s as the time when everyone’s face looked kind of dirty. This goes out to, honestly, most of those lovely, talented actresses in that category.

Mindy knows what I’m talking about.

T: Update: apparently after Aaron Paul gave a shout out to his wife’s nonprofit, the website legitimately crashed. Perfect human. (KindCampaign.com)

M: I know! I went to it to try to link to it when I was posting and kept getting an error message. Great job, buddy! Ugh they really are the perfect couple.

T: Kevin Spacey brought a cane with him tonight. Just FYI.

 M: His bow tie looks like Samantha Parkington’s hairbow. I wonder if the cane is more of a fashion thing or a function thing. 

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Kevin Spacey, House Of Cards

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

Woody Harrelson, True Detective

Matthew McConaughey, True Detective

 Traci’s Pick: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

I keep changing my choice for this, so I would be fine if either Bryan or the McConaissance win. If Emmy voters are feeling sentimental this year, it’ll go to Bryan Cranston. If they want to see headlines of Matthew saying ‘Alright Alright Alright’ and saying it’s his year for winning an Oscar AND Emmy within months, it’ll go to him. Or Jeff Daniels could win and ruin everything. This is probably the category to watch for the entire night.

Molly’s Pick: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

I have McConaughey fatigue.

WINNER: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad 

T: Legit clapping very loudly for BryCran right now (I am by myself. At work.).

I think it’s funny that Jay Leno is supposed to be like this big ‘surprise’ guest. No one cares. Bye Felicia.

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory

Louie

Modern Family

Orange Is The New Black

Silicon Valley

Veep

Traci’s Pick: Orange Is The New Black

Again, I need a show to break Modern Family’s winning streak.

Molly’s Pick: Orange Is The New Black

I really hope OITNB or Veep wins. Or Louie. I’m so bored of Modern Family winning. And you all know how I feel about The Big Bang Theory.

WINNER: Modern Family

posting this pic, because, kerry.

T: UGH MODERN FAMILY GTFO (I will say that Las Vegas episode was one of the best ever, though).

M: Guys, you don’t have to act surprised. Let’s not Taylor Swift it, here.This cutoff music, though. It makes me want to use that Miss Manners-y expression, “poor planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.” If I won one of the biggest awards I wouldn’t cut my speech short because they let Weird Al make shit up for 7 minutes.

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey

Game Of Thrones

House Of Cards

Mad Men

True Detective

Traci’s Pick: Breaking Bad

A well deserved one last hurrah for Walter White and co., please.

Molly’s Pick: Breaking Bad

Downton and Mad Men weren’t at Emmy winner caliber this year, TBH.

WINNER: Breaking Bad

T: YO BITCH THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE JUST STOOD UP FOR A TV SHOW. When does that ever happen? I can tell you when it didn’t happen – when Modern Family won.

M: Yes, but when you have laurels like Modern Family, you rest on them.

So, overall: I was happy with some of the wins, but I have to say that a lot of winners – and frankly, nominees – prove that the Emmy voters are not watching the same tv (or in the same way) as the rest of us.

Can’t win ‘em all, I suppose. Thanks everyone for joining us and tune in tomorrow for our Best/Word Dressed picks and the rest of the week for our TV-themed posts!!

Everyone’s Got Jokes at the Nerd Prom

On Saturday, the biggest names in Hollywood and media will descend upon Washington D.C. to mix and mingle with the slightly less ‘household name-y’ politicians of the nation’s capital for the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, or what is otherwise (lovingly) called the ‘Nerd Prom’.

While the White House Correspondents’ Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the dinner itself has been around since 1944. As the years go on, the event has seemingly become more ‘Hollywood’ (much to the chagrin of critics) as the press get to invite their own guests to the dinner, which usually results in the attendance of a veritable Who’s Who in the zeitgeist.

For example this year, USA Today is hosting Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba of Orange is the New Black, NBC News has invited Kevin Hart and Olympic snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg, while ABC News is keeping it in the network fam with Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara, and of course no D.C. event isn’t complete with out Darby ‘Sassy Gabby’ Stanchfield, and the POTUS & FLOTUS Tony Goldwyn and Bellamy Young.

Not to mention a comedian is hired every year to host, with the 2014 honor going to The Soup’s own Joel McHale (#SixSeasonsAndAMovie). He’s used to slamming reality TV and news hosts on his show, but will he be able to bring politics in the mix? (My answer: yes)

Over the years, talented comedians have been asked to prepare a comedic speech – usually a roast of the President and politicians – and some have proven to be better than others. Here’s a list of my favorites from the past few years – and a President for good measure.

5) 2012 – Jimmy Kimmel

Best Jokes:

“If you told me when I was a kid I would be standing on a dais with President Barack Obama, I would have said, ‘The president’s name is Barack Obama?'”

“Remember when the country rallied around you in hopes of a better tomorrow? That was hilarious.”

To New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: “I think you’re misunderstanding New Jersey’s slogan. It’s not the Olive Garden state.”

“Where are the CNN tables? Are the CNN tables real tables or virtual tables?”

4) and 3) 2011 & 2013 – Barack Obama

Because the President gets to crack his own jokes too. And Obama has been the absolute best.

2011 aka The One with Uncomfortable Donald Trump in the Audience

Best Jokes:

Basically all of the Donald Trump part.

2013 aka The One Where We Realized Barry O Had Better Comic Timing and Delivery Than A Lot Of Actors in Hollywood

Best Jokes:

“This whole controversy about Jay Z going to Cuba. I got 99 Problems, and Jay Z is one of them. That’s another rap reference, Bill (O’Reilly).”

“The sequester… the Republicans fell in love with this thing. And now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album.”

“I remember when Buzzfeed was just something I did in college after 2am.”

On not being on the cover of magazines lately, while Michelle graced the cover of Vogue: “I guess I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.”

“I’m also hard at work for plans on THE Obama Library, and some have suggested I put it in my birthplace, but I’d rather keep it in the United States.”

2) 2006 – Stephen Colbert

Ah, yes. The most controversial WHCD speech to date. Stephen Colbert went up as “Stephen Colbert” and basically shut down George W. Bush … to his face. Some fans of Bush even left the event because Colbert’s cutting remarks. But hey, who’s got the last laugh now?

Best Joke:

“I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound—with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.”

1) 2011 – Seth Meyers

The WHCD was made for Seth Meyers. He’s intelligent, knowledgable and able to pull off a joke without being rude. I mean this is a guy who had been the anchor on SNL’s Weekend Update for years, and he knows some of the best writers in the biz. Get them all together and you have a speech of Fey/Poehler Golden Globes-like proportions. And the best host of the dinner by far.

Best Jokes:

“This event tonight has grown past Washington and many Hollywood celebrities are also here tonight. John Hamm is here. Yea. John Hamm looks the way every Republican thinks they look. Zach Galifianakis is also here. Zach Galifianakis looks the way Republicans think every Democrat looks.”

“Let’s start with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wrote a book titled “No Apologies.” No apologies? When you have to proclaim ‘no apologies’ isn’t that a tacit admission you’ve made a lot of mistakes? If I come home from a trip to Vegas and the first thing I say to my girlfriend is ‘no apologies’, we’re going to have a follow-up conversation.”

“Donald Trump has been saying he will run for President as a Republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke… Donald Trump said recently he has a great relationship with the blacks, but unless the blacks are a family of white people I bet he is mistaken.”

“The President and Joe Biden were not invited to the Royal Wedding and when Biden found out he immediately said to the President: ‘you, me, Wedding Crashers 2.’ I’ll book us two Amtrak tickets to London. The Vice-President loves the trains. And I assume it must have been hard for the President to tell Biden the new budget cut $1.5 Billion from high speed rail. ‘Joe, come on in, take off your Engineer’s cap. I have some bad news about the Choo-choos.’ As he broke the news, one of the straps on Joe’s overalls, sadly drooped off his shoulder.”

Passing the Pickle: Preparing for Seth Meyers’ Late Night Debut

It started as a gift from Late Night creator David Letterman to his successor Conan O’Brien in 1993. Conan then gave it to Jimmy Fallon, and a few weeks ago, Jimmy gave it to Seth Meyers.

Yes, that is a giant pickle. A ceremonial torch, if you will (it all comes back to the Olympics, folks). When Conan gifted the odd item to Jimmy in 2009, he left a note that said, “Whenever you’re done, which won’t be for a long time, make sure you pass it on to the next sap. Knock ’em dead. Conan.”

With that, Seth became the next Late Night host, but he officially makes his debut on Monday, and one thing’s for sure – we’ll be watching.

Now if you’re not too familiar with Seth’s work or doubt he’s going to do a good job, here are a few reasons why I think he’ll be able to hold on to the pickle for a long, long time (stop, that didn’t sound dirty at all).

He’s Charlie Rose meets Stephen Colbert meets less enthusiastic Jimmy Fallon

Here’s the thing about Seth – he’s the straight man. Everything you need to know about him shows in the past eight years he’s been doing Weekend Update. He’s obviously funny, knows how to deliver a joke, but he’s smart – like intelligent smart. He’s into politics and can make a good joke about current events and then tell you in detail what he’s joking about. So don’t expect him to come out dancing with Justin Timberlake or singing with Bruce Springsteen. It’s a different kind of funny than his Late Night predecessor, and it’s a welcome one. The Fallon/Meyers duo will attract similar yet different audiences, but that’s exactly what NBC needs to draw in more viewers.

He knows how to bring the funny to interviews

You’ve seen him with Stefon (which is obviously scripted) but with real people, he has the goods too. Just watch him practice during a recent sit down with Ellen. And keep an eye out for Kanye – he’ll be a guest during Seth’s first week.

He can make politicians laugh

As previously mentioned, Seth is up on the world of politics. So much so that he was even tapped as the host of the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011. Basically it’s a chance for a comedian to spout out jokes in FRONT of the politicians they make fun of. It’s great. But if you can make them laugh, you’re doing a good job.

He can make athletes laugh

Because Seth is a well-rounded individual, he’s not only smart and up with politics but he’s a sports fan too. And that’s why he was invited to be the host of the ESPYs. Just look at all those athletes who could easily beat him up but choose not to because they know he’s funny and probably speaking the truth.

Fred Armisen as his bandleader

Happy Thanksgiving from Garth and Kat!

Guys. GUYS. FRED ARMISEN IS THE LEADER OF THE STUDIO 8G BAND. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Before Fred graced us with his presence on SNL in 2002, he was a total rocker. In 1988 he was in a punk rock band called *Trenchmouth* and even played the drums for the Blue Man Group in Chicago in the ’90s. He showed his musical chops throughout his tenure on SNL, with characters like Fericito (one of my early faves), Ian Rubbish, and probably one of my all-time fave characters, Garth and Kat. Basically Lorne Michaels is slowly taking over NBC, and it’s fine.

A+ Writers/Crew

Listen up, nerds: this writing staff is great already and I haven’t even heard a single joke from them. Everyone on the staff has an impressive resume from Upright Citizens Brigade to Colbert Report to The Onion and of course, SNL. Namely, executive producer Mike Shoemaker (aka Shoe, aka former Jimmy Fallon & SNL producer aka guys who is friends with all the people I want to be friends with) Alex Baze (Weekend Update, Jimmy Fallon and now Head Writer for Seth), and John Lutz (from 30 Rock’s Lutz). Well played, Seth Meyers. Well played.

A+ Guests

The first week alone, Seth’s got some pretty solid guests. It’s very ‘Late Night worthy’ if that makes any sense. So there’s Kanye, writer Robyn Doolittle (Toronto Star reporter who wrote a bio about Rob Ford – see, politics, current events, etc.) Lena Dunham, Anthony Mackie (who is like Will Smith 2.0 in interviews), Kelly Ripa, John Mayer Trio (The Trio is back!), and Sir Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart together!

But the guests I’m most excited about? His very first guest – Amy Poehler.

(If you’re new to this blog please refer to this post, this post and this post for our thoughts on Poehler) These two are best buds from back in the day, even before they co-anchored Weekend Update. Anytime they’re together, it’s like watching besties hang out and I cannot WAIT until he interviews her. Wouldn’t you want one of your closest friends to help you out on the first night of the biggest job in your life?

But wait – it gets better. The second guest on his show? VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES JOE BIDEN.

I CANNOT EVEN DEAL WITH THIS AMAZINGNESS. It’s Leslie Knope’s dream come true and it’s all happening IRL with Amy being on her BFF’s new talk show. Too much to handle, brain is already exploding.

In short, you should probably watch Late Night with Seth Meyers, because it’s gonna be good. If you don’t like it, wait a week and come back to me. If you don’t like it after that – we can’t be friends.

Good luck Seth! We’re rooting for you!!

All Hail The Queen: Famous People On Amy Poehler

Happy Amy Poehler Day! In celebration of the birthday of our favorite comedienne/life guru/producer/queen, we offer a collection of things other celebrities have said about Amy. After all, the best way to know that a person is awesome is if everyone who knows them says so (but let’s be real, those opinions hold a lot more weight coming from a famous person. No offense to your non-famous friends; sure they’re great). In case you’re wondering, the second-best way is for the person to just straight-up tell everyone that they’re awesome. Or, I guess just to consistently be fantastic and see if people catch on. poehler

Let’s take this September 16 to remind ourselves to live in such a way that this is how people talk about us behind our backs:

Aziz Ansari

I have found that she is as kind and caring a person as she is hilarious. Simply put, Amy Poehler is my hero.

Vanessa Bayer (describing her first night on SNL):

Yeah, I was so emotional. I started tearing up. It was so surreal. I actually stayed on stage because I wanted to hug Amy Poehler. She was the host that week, and I wanted to thank her because she was such a wonderful person to work with. So I gave her a hug, and I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I said something like, ‘It was amazing to do my first show with you,’ and she held my hand and walked offstage with me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. She was so kind and generous.

Matt Besser:

These days you don’t think of Amy as a female comedian, you just think of her as a comedian, and I think that’s a plus. And she didn’t go for that whole notion that women are not treated fairly. She was just like “I’m just going to do my best and not give a shit,” and it worked. She didn’t care about being pretty and dainty on stage, or charming, or all those things you might say about a successful sitcom actress, a prototypical one. She could be weird or nasty or ugly or whatever. Those are things that guys more typically do. But really it’s what a comedian should do and that’s why she is.

Rachel Dratch (when asked about the “inordinate” amount of page space devoted to Amy Poehler in her book, Girl Walks Into A Bar):

I guess she just has a good aura. People gravitate to it. She’s very supportive and she’s got a good combo of being cool enough that she’s one of the guys, but she’s also sensitive and wise.

Tina Fey (in Bossypants, a book that was a decoy answer on Million Second Quiz this week. If you’re reading this more than 2 months in the future, maybe Google what that was. Jimmy Fallon objected to a gross bit Amy was doing and she totally shut him down):

With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it. I was so happy. Weirdly, I remember thinking, ‘My friend is here! My friend is here!’ Even though things had been going great for me at the show, with Amy there, I felt less alone.

Kathryn Hahn

It all starts with [Amy] Poehler. She’s such an incredible number one to have on a contact sheet, on a cast list. Cream just rises. She’s such a stud and such a nice person. She’s a goddess. I worshipped her before, and I worship her even more after seeing how she behaves on a set

Mamrie Hart:

I love women with balls, and Amy’s got the biggest sack swinging in Hollywood at the moment. She really doesn’t give a shit if people don’t agree with her on a subject.

Rashida Jones:

I would go gay for her. It doesn’t seem fair that I get to work with her. I love her unconditionally.

Mindy Kaling (describing the time during her brief, not-awesome guest writing gig on SNL when Amy made her come out with the other writers and actors):

But when this popular, pretty genius made this kind gesture to me? That’s the moment I started adoring Amy Poehler. She knew I was going to be a coward, and she was going to have to gently facilitate me into being social… When I said something even a little bit funny, Amy cackled warmly. (This sounds weird, but that’s the best way I know to describe Amy Poehler’s laugh: a warm, intoxicating cackle.)

Seth Meyers:

  • We started together on the same day and we just hit it off right away. On our fourth show, we did this scene called “Little Sleuths”—they were like Encyclopedia Brown solving real murders—and we thought it was going to be this big franchise and were already seeing the Little Sleuths action figures in the NBC Experience Store. It got cut from dress, like, five times and it never aired again. We always said that the one case the Little Sleuths couldn’t solve is what the fuck happened to the Little Sleuths.
  • She’s this incredible combination of warm, silly, and smart, which I think makes her such an engaging performer… There’s just no meanness to anything Poehler does. Her outlook and attitude about how to work, and how to be funny, are contagious.

Nick Offerman (referencing multiple FNL characters in a transparent and successful attempt to make me fall in love with him):

I met Amy in the early 90′s and she is like a superhero mixed with both Coach and Tammie Taylor from FNL, as well as Tim Riggins and a little Landry.

Jim O’Heir (while campaigning for Amy as Best Lead Actress In A Comedy Series):

Amy’s awesome. Yeah. You know, I guess when you get the most lines on the show, you get nominated for awards. Put another one on her shelf… How about someone saying Hey Jim, How’s it been for you, Jim? Amy’s awesome. And I’m rooting for her to get that Emmy. I hope you win… you son of a bitch.

Aubrey Plaza:

She’s already kind of my girlfriend, and I’m not saying that in a jokey way. We had a moment last year, late at night, when we decided we were gonna end up together. For now, we have to let boys come and go, but we’re kind of in love.

 Bill Poehler (Amy’s dad):

She would just jump in and succeed or fail—it wouldn’t matter. Once, in the fourth grade, the principal was on stage and he had the mike up high. Then little Amy walks across, goes up to the mike, grabs the little knob, twists it, pulls it down, and I said to myself, Oh my God, she has no stage fright whatsoever.

 Eileen Poehler (Amy’s mom):

We recently went to “Parks and Rec,” and our biggest thrill is hearing how much the crew, from the girl who cleans the trailer to the driver to the director, like working with Amy. How good she is to everyone. She’s the same girl. We’re really proud of that.

Chris Pratt:

I disagree that talented people are nice to be around. No. I’m serious. Especially when they’re number one on the call sheet. It’s the truth. Most of time when someone is really talented and they’re the top dog actor, the first name that comes up on the screen, basically, Amy’s position on this, they’re not always nice. And the fact that you are, and the fact that you made everybody feel good, and you always laugh at jokes, I’ve never seen you in a bad mood, it all rolls down hill. This whole family vibe and everyone getting along well, it comes from you. It has always come from you.

Maya Rudolph:

If you go to eat with Amy, it’s like, “Alright, let’s order. Does everybody know what they are going to get?” She’s in charge, she’s the leader, she’s like, “We’re not wasting any time, let’s do this.” And in the most loving way, I can say, she’s incredibly bossy. And I fucking love that about her. And I love the combination of the fact that she is a teeny tiny person and she’s really tough.

Retta:

Well, Mike Schur is the boss, but we call Amy our fearless leader. I think whoever the lead of the show is dictates what the set is like. Amy is always planning nights out for us. She’s just so cool, she’s not a diva. English directors when they come in want to do tons and tons of takes. And I can tell she wants to wrap it up but she just says “sure” because she wants them to be comfortable.

Andy Samberg:

Amy is beloved by all. That’s her secret move. No one doesn’t like her… I came in when Amy was kind of in the middle of her run. I would say her and Seth, maybe more than anyone, really looked out for me and took me under their wing and made sure I was doing OK.

Michael Schur:

There is exactly one thing in the entire range of acting that Amy Poehler does not do well: impressions. So we make her do them constantly.

Adam Scott

It was intimidating at first, but she’s so cool and down to earth, that it immediately went away. Still, when I’m working with her, I’m, you know, taken aback by how good she is and how hilarious she is and quick and all of that. It sounds kind of lame to say, but I do learn from her a lot, you know, when we’re working together. She would think that’s lame, but it is true that I’m kind of in awe of how great she is.

Mike Scully

Amy Poehler is the funniest person on TV, period. The fact that she’s the nicest is a bonus.

Emily Spivey

Amy’s a hero. I cannot think of anyone who’s done more, in my opinion, in front of the camera and behind the scenes for ladies than Amy. If I could make a lady comedy flag, it would have Amy Poehler’s face on it. She’s just amazing. She’s a little blond girl, but she’s gonna fucking get this done. And everyone’s in love with Amy. She has a way just making everyone- boys and girls- feel so comfortable and confident in not only what she’s doing but what they’re doing.

Taylor Swift (on Poehler’s shortcomings as a human being in general):

There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.

Casey Wilson:

Amy Poehler’s like a cheerleader—kind of like a mama bear. She wanted the other women to succeed and that’s trickled down to Kristen, and then trickled down to me. I think people want there to be some sort of feud or tension, but it’s like “Why can only one of us do well?” One time I remember we were doing a “Mad Men” sketch, and I was playing the redhead. And I had a funny bit where basically I came in and dropped off some papers, but I didn’t have a line. It wasn’t even Amy’s sketch, but she piped up and said to the writers, “Let’s give Casey a funny line when she comes in.” She didn’t have to do that.

Seven Minutes in (Comedy) Heaven

With three (soon to be four) SNL cast members not returning this fall, Lorne and co. is on the hunt for the next big sketch comedians. A few names have been released, but most importantly among them is Mike O’Brien – or as he’s being listed now, Michael Patrick O’Brien. Irish much? Mike/Michael has been a part of SNL since 2009, when he audition to be a player on the show, but was ultimately hired to be a writer. Seems like Lorne is changing his mind and putting Mike in the forefront just like he did Tina Fey. So if you’re not already, let’s get acquainted with this guy.

Don’t know who Mike/Michael is? Maybe if you’ve got a keen eye, you’ve seen him on SNL before:

Screen shot 2013-08-24 at 1.03.29 AM

Or you might know him as the guy who hangs out with celebrities in closets and tries to make out with them in the hilarious web series, 7 Minutes in Heaven. He started in 2011, and it’s slowly become popular over the years. He’s interviewed everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Patricia Clarkson to a Juggalo from the Insane Clown Posse. Here are just a few to get you pumped up for his (reported) debut as a featured player on SNL this September. And yes, kissing is involved…22famous1-articleLarge

Kristen Wiig

In another life, Kristen Wiig makes soup in California.

Amy Poehler

Honestly, some of Amy’s best hat work she’s ever done.

Jason Sudeikis

Jason was Mike’s office buddy at SNL (bc NBC can’t afford to give EVERY cast member & writer their own office), and it looks like that they proved the unimaginable – they got even closer than ever before.

Ellen DeGeneres

Still can’t believe Ellen agreed to do this.

Jack McBrayer

In another world, Jack McBrayer and Mike O’Brien are brothers. In this world they’re two guys who awkwardly kiss in a closet.

John Hamm

Ron Draper is Dick Whitman’s alter ego.

Seth Meyers

In which Mike quizzes Seth in alllll the movies he’s been in and his lines in the said movies.

Paul Rudd

Rudd’s got a lot of experience in kissing men – especially thanks to the Vogelchucks sketch from SNL.

Tina Fey

I know the queen Tina Fey is in this video and everything, but Mike’s pornstache is wayyy too distracting.

Farewell to the Men of SNL

Last week, we were given the unfortunate confirmation that we’ve all been dreading: Jason Sudeikis is leaving the show after 10  years. And that, my friends, is proof that bad things come in threes – first Bill Hader, then Fred Armisen, and now Sudeikis. Not to mention Seth Meyers is leaving at the end of this year to go be a talk show host – which is a move I can get behind. But with all of these folks are departing, there will be a giant hole where these men leave their legacy. While I do have faith that my boys Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan will carry the torch, we’ll definitely miss the longtime SNL players and their great characters. Here are some of their greatest sketches over the past seasons…

Bill Hader

Joined in 2005

Fun Fact: Hader was discovered by a comedienne who worked with him in a LA comedy troupe called “Animals From the Future”. She suggested to SNL executive producer/godfather of comedy Lorne Michaels that he would be really good on the show. That woman? Megan Mullally of Will and Grace.

Dwayne Vogelcheck: the brother in Kissing Family

The family that kisses together, stays together? I mean I guess. This sketch is so disgusting but it’s like a car accident – you can’t look away. Paul Rudd is one of the best hosts that has ever walked into the Vogelcheck family.

Herb Welch: crazy old reporter man with a knack for putting a mic in people’s face

What’s sad is that Herb Welch is probably a real reporter out in middle America somewhere. The fake dying gets me every time.

Alan Alda/Back to the Future

Hader is one of the greatest impressionists that has even been on SNL, and his Alan Alda is so spot on that it’s crazy. Just close you eyes and it’s almost as if Alan is in your ears auditioning for a hit 80s movie. Also, Fred Armisen as Prince .

Keith Morrison – Dateline

If you’ve ever watched Dateline, you know that Keith Morrison’s intros are particularly odd for some reason. And Hader’s follows suit.

Stefon

Presented without commentary.

Fred Armisen

Joined in 2002

Fun Fact: Fred went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, but dropped out to begin a career as a rock drummer.

Garth and Kat

I feel like this might not be as popular as I think it is, but I literally cry from laughing so hard at this. Their off the cuff songs are so ridiculous and with Wiig just trying to follow Fred is worth it in itself.

Nooni Schoener

Nooni. You’re saying it wrong. Nooni. The accents that Fred and Maya use are beyond …

President Obama

Fred + Maya + Obamas + classic duet = Unforgettable sketch

Ferricito

Fred hasn’t done his Ferricito character in a while, yet I still find myself saying “I just keeedinng,” but no one ever gets the reference. I should probably stop saying it so much.

Governor Patterson

Remember that time New York had a legally blind Governor? The way both he and the real Governor deliver horrible jokes is just so bad it’s good.

Bonus: Fred as Joy Behar on The View. ‘So what, who cares?!’

Jason Sudeikis

Joined in 2005

Fun Fact: Jason’s uncle is George Wendt, aka Norm Peterson from Cheers.

Male A-hole of the Two A-Holes

You’re A-holes in these sketches, but I still don’t believe that you’re both A-Holes IRL. Bonus Jon Hamm & Mad Men cast in this too!

Dancer on What’s Up with That

Literally, all Sudeikis does in this sketch is dance in 80s gear. And it’s amazing. This sketch never makes sense, so why does his dancing have to?

One half of Bon Jovi opposite band ‘Jon Bovi’

Jon Bovi: the two band Bon Jovi parody tribute band with Sudeikis and Will Forte. When I work at the theater, Brian and I would rename the shows. It started because there was a play called “Crowns,” and a lady called up asking for tickets to “Hats.” This sketch is similar.

ESPN Classics

Am I the only person who has ever seen Ladies Bowling on ESPN Classic for real? If you’re not a freak like me, this sketch is pretty much spot on. Sudeikis’ awkward Vagasil promos is almost as awk sauce as the Vogelcheck family.

Joe Biden

Perhaps his most famous role on SNL, Sudeikis brings that charming demeanor to our Veep that makes you want to hug him after he says ridiculous things.

Best SNL Sendoffs

Remember the pomp and grandeur of high school and college graduation? Saturday Night Live sendoffs are nothing like that, thank God. It’s more like that last get-together before all your friends took off for freshman year of college, or the final walk-through of your college house the week after graduation. It’s informal, and everyone is trying to be light-hearted. In most cases, you are genuinely happy for the opportunities ahead for your friends. But underneath all of it, there’s that knowledge that you have reached the end of the life you’ve gotten used to. A few tears, some laughs, and a lot of gratitude – here are a couple of my favorite goodbyes from cast members leaving Studio 8H.

Seth Meyers and Bill Hader

I wrote this post last week hoping against hope that I would be able to add another great goodbye from this weekend. I wasn’t disappointed. This included Stefan’s club attractions brought to life, Anderson Cooper, Amy Poehler, and the wedding of Stefan and Seth, who were sent off by all of the great Weekend Update regulars of the past several years. I loved it, and keep seeing new callback club characters every time I watch it. Which has been … some times.

Kristen Wiig

I cried watching this. I cried re-watching it. Then, I cried just thinking about it as an emotional Kristen Wiig took the stage as an SNL host this month. Everything about this was perfect. Poehler and Dratch even show up, which is exactly how I plan to leave every job ever.

A note: a few articles after the fact talked about how Jason Sudekis was clearly pissed off because he wasn’t clapping and dancing. I disagree – am I the only one who sees the man fighting back tears? I recognized the need to hang back, as another person who is terrible with permanent goodbyes. Seriously. When I said a prayer over my grandmother’s coffin, I think I told her “I mean, we’ll still get coffee sometimes or something.” When I visit graves of loved ones, I pray “don’t worry, we’ll totally keep in touch.” I get it.

Jimmy Fallon

We were just teens in the early 2000s, when this blog would have probably been hosted on Livejournal and called Cookies + Juiceboxes. And man, did we spend our fair share of study halls and lunch periods discussing the merits of Jimmy Fallon. So, how much did I love it when Jimmy went out on a parody of a classic high school flick right before we graduated high school for real?

On a related note, for all of you cringing at the YouTube video clearly snagged off of someone’s tv screen, let me tell you this. When I was in high school, we would have watched this as a camcorder video made of someone’s home VHS recording of the episode. And it would have been posted on Kazaa. And that’s if we were LUCKY, because we usually had to wait for someone to get off the phone so we could use the internet. I mean, we were practically accessing the internet via a tin can and string. You kids don’t know how comparatively okay you have it.

Gilda Radner

On my well-worn childhood VHS tape of The Best of Gilda Radner, there was the classic sketch “Dancing in the Dark.” I didn’t learn that it was also used as a farewell until years later. As fate would have it, Gilda’s dancing/comedy partner Steve Martin was hosting SNL the day she died, and this is how he said goodbye. Radner passed on early on a Saturday and there was time to assemble a tribute by showtime. Of course. In fact, she even would have been ready for prime-time.

A note: I wrote this post last week, as well as another mentioning Gilda that will be posted later in the week. I didn’t realize it at the time, but today marks the 24th anniversary of her death. The subconscious is a funny thing. Not funny “ha-ha,” like this classic song I’ll throw in for good measure:

Phil Hartman and Chris Farley

[http://www.buzzfeed.com/stacylambe/the-top-5-snl-departures?sub=1578360_309810]

Sorry for all of the tragedy and heartbreak in this post. I didn’t mean to. I still remember how shocked I was by both of these deaths.

All sorrow aside, this is by far the most ’90s thing you’ll probably watch all week.

Do you spy Sarah Silverman looking exactly the same 20 years ago as she does now? I think she bathes in the blood of virgins.

The only place I could find this video online was a Buzzfeed article with the exact same thesis as mine. No surprise there — Buzzfeed is always one step ahead of me. When I order a special at a restaurant, and they “just ran out,” I am almost positive that Buzzfeed ordered the last one. It’s like that.

Amy Poehler

As always, among the best of the best.