Emmy Awards Highlights: “Stranger Things” Sandwiches, Matt Damon’s Cameo and “The People v. O.J. Simpson”

Last night’s 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards brought laughs, surprises and of course, awkward moments. Although it was Jimmy Kimmel’s second time hosting the event, which honored the best in television, for some of the winners, their walk to the Emmy stage was their first.

But, if for some reason, you had something better to do than watch a three-hour awards show last night, we understand. Here are some highlights of what you missed.

1. Kimmel’s “Road to the Emmys”

At the beginning of every Emmy Awards show, the host always tries to celebrate the best of the best in television that year, usually by inserting himself in the middle of the action. When the show opened up with a white Bronco car chase, inspired by scenes from the The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, it was no surprise that Kimmel was in the backseat.

While he did follow the formula of the hosts before him, this year’s opening actually had a theme: cars (plus a dragon). Kimmel traveled from the Bronco, to the Modern Family‘s Dunphy family van, to James Corden’s carpool, to Khaleesi’s dragon in order to get to the Emmys. He also ran into Jeb Bush along the way, who seems to have taken on a new career path as an Uber driver.

2. Aziz Ansari and his speechless speech.

Courtesy: Getty Images
Courtesy: Getty Images

Ansari and his writing partner, Alan Yang, won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a comedy series for the episode, “Parents,” in Master of None (Ansari’s first Emmy!). While Yang gave an excellent acceptance speech about the need for more Asian-Americans in the entertainment industry, it seemed to have taken up all of the time. The moment Ansari stepped up to the microphone, he was cut off by the music. As you can imagine, a very awkward moment ensued, which included Ansari running offstage and the camera panning to Jimmy Kimmel. Fortunately, Ansari did get an opportunity to thank his parents when he presented an award later on in the show.

3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Tearful Acceptance Speech.

Courtesy: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Courtesy: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While we’re used to seeing Julia Louis-Dreyfus accept an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, her acceptance speech last night was very different from previous years. As always, she did insert some humor into her speech by apologizing on behalf of the “current political climate,” but she also seemed very emotional. At the end, we found out why. “Lastly, I’d like to dedicate this to my father, William Louis-Dreyfus, who passed away on Friday,” she said. “And, I’m so glad that he liked Veep, because his opinion was the one that really mattered.”

4. The Bill Cosby joke.

An awards show isn’t complete without at least one cringe-worthy moment, and this one takes the cake. Just look at Ellie Kemper and Tina Fey’s expressions when Bill Cosby is announced as a presenter. The gag certainly was a bold move on Kimmel’s part.

5. The moment when the Stranger Things kids delivered sandwiches to the audience.

Evidently, Kimmel stole a page from the Ellen Degeneres hosting handbook. This year, he had food passed out to the audience, but with a twist. The food was his mom’s PB&J sandwiches, and everyone’s favorite kids from Stranger Things helped deliver them to the stars. It was definitely one of the more memorable moments of the night.

6. Sterling K. Brown won his first Emmy for his role in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. 

Courtesy: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Courtesy: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When it was time for the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie to be given out, it was pretty clear that Sterling K. Brown would be the winner. Yes, he was up against David Schwimmer and John Travolta for their roles as Robert Kardashian and Robert Shapiro on the same show, but his performance as Christopher Darden could not be be beat.

Brown delivered a heartfelt and humble acceptance speech. “Thank you to the Academy,” he said. “A lot of you may not have known who I was, but you checked the box anyway, and that makes me very very happy.” He also gave a shout out to his wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe, saying, “And contrary to popular belief, I got the hottest chick in the game rockin’ my chain.”

7. Sarah Paulson apologized to the real Marcia Clark during her acceptance speech.

Courtesy: Charles Sykes/AP Images
Courtesy: Charles Sykes/AP Images

As the Emmy wins for The People v. O.J. Simpson kept on coming, Sarah Paulson’s acceptance speech was another one that stood out among the others. Her acceptance speech was less about herself and more about the real Marcia Clark. “Now the responsibility of playing a real person is an enormous one,” she said. “You want to get it right, not for you, but for them.”

Paulson continued: “The more I learned about the real Marcia Clark, not the two-dimensional cardboard cutout I saw on the news, but the complicated, whip-smart, giant-hearted mother of two, who woke up every day, put both feet on the floor and dedicated herself to righting an unconscionable wrong, the loss of two innocents–Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown–the more I had to recognize that I, along with the rest of the world, had been superficial and careless in my judgement, and I am glad to be able to stand here today in front of everyone and tell you I’m sorry.”

8. Matt Damon made an appearance.

It’s been years since the Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel “rivalry” began, but the chemistry between these two is still undeniable. After Kimmel lost out to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for Outstanding Variety Series, Matt Damon couldn’t resist rubbing it in. The audience certainly got a kick out of it, especially when Damon made his “apples” joke right before he went offstage.

9. Rami Malek couldn’t believe he won an Emmy.

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Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY

“Please tell me you’re seeing this, too,” Malek exclaimed after he won his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Mr. Robot. Malek chose to honor the people who are similar to his character, Elliot, in his speech. “I play a young man who is, I think, like so many of us, profoundly alienated,” he said. “And the unfortunate thing is, I’m not sure how many of us would want to hang out with a guy like Elliot. But I want to honor the Elliots. Because there’s a little bit of Elliot in all of us, isn’t there?”

10. Game of Thrones won the big award of the night.

Courtesy: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Courtesy: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Things were looking a little bleak for the Game of Thrones cast throughout the evening. Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams, who were nominated for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, lost out to Downton Abbey‘s Maggie Smith, who was absent again this year. Peter Dinklage and Kit Harington, both nominated in the Supporting Actor category, lost to Bloodline‘s Ben Mendelsohn, who was also absent.

Nevertheless, the show still won awards for Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing and finally, Outstanding Drama series, making Game of Thrones the scripted show with the most Emmy wins in history.

The ceremony ended on a high note for Game of Thrones fans as the cast gathered onstage to collect the show’s 38th award.