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Emmys 2013: We rank the acceptance speeches

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The Emmys honor the best performances, but the Emmys telecast is all about celebrating the best speeches. Here’s how we called it:

1. Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: The night’s first winner had the most succinct speech: “Thank you so — Oh no! Thanks so much. Um. Thank you so much! Um…I gotta go. Bye,” she said. Backstage, she explained: “It’s hard to do those,” she said. “I’m scared. I’m scared. It was unexpected. I don’t know how to feel yet. I mean, I have therapy next week.”

2. Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: The nominees in the category didn’t have a bit this year, but Louis-Dreyfus did. She handed her purse to Tony Hale, who plays the vice president’s personal aide on the HBO comedy, and he followed her on stage, stood behind her dutifully, and reminded her to thank her family. Anna Chlumsky, who plays the veep’s chief of staff, mimed texting in the audience.

3. Behind the Candelabra‘s Michael Douglas, Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie: He was classy, thanking his (estranged) wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and giving a shout-out to his incarcerated eldest son, Cameron, saying he hopes to be allowed to see him soon. But he wasn’t afraid to work the room: “This was a two-hander,” he said, addressing his costar/fellow nominee Matt Damon. “You’re only as good as your other hand.” He told Damon he deserved half the award: “So, do you want the bottom or the top?”

4. The Colbert Report‘s Stephen Colbert, Outstanding Variety Series: Finally beating The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in this category, he opened by admitting it’s not only a cliché to say just being nominated is an honor, it’s also a lie. Then, he tugged at the heartstrings, thanking his late mother: “I want to thank my mom for not worrying about me, and for believing that I would be okay.”

5. 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Wigfield started by apologizing to her parents because she knows they love Louis C.K., but Fey quickly took over with one of the lines of the night: “No one said you could talk, Tracey.” Fey said she shares the award with her partner of seven years, Robert Carlock — but still kept it light and funny.

NEXT: Upsets make for good TV