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BEST REASON TO CELEBRATE ACTING
Jon Cryer kicked off the SAG Awards by explaining why he chose to become an actor instead of an astronaut. ''Actors get to meet and work with the most beautiful women?Astronauts get to spend long duration space flights in pressure suits filled with their own urine.''
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BEST TRIBUTE TO ONE'S BETTER HALF
Beginners star Christopher Plummer honored his first SAG award for Best Supporting Actor by thanking his wife Elaine, whom he has credited with helping him cut down on alcohol. ''Forty-three years ago,'' he said, ''[she] came to my rescue and saved my life.'' He added backstage, ''I was a terrible drunk, and she said if you're serious about getting it together you have to cut down on the drinking. She was really quite vicious about it.''
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BEST OPPORTUNITY TO GET EMOTIONAL
Winning for her supporting role in The Help, Octavia Spencer teared up, thanked slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers, and dedicated her award to ''the downtrodden, the underserved, the underprivileged.'' Backstage, Spencer said that being vocal about injustice is what she took away most from working on The Help. ''To be silent is to be passive, and that's the biggest lesson I've learned.''
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WORST ATTEMPT TO APPEAR SHOCKED
Taking home his sixth consecutive statue for Best Actor in a TV Comedy, 30 Rock's Alec Baldwin made a faux Surprised Face and exclaimed ''OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!'' Sitting in the crowd with his eyebrows raised, fellow nominee Jon Cryer looked genuinely surprised that Baldwin won.
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BEST LITTLE-KNOWN TRIVIA
While presenting the award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy, Kyle Chandler revealed that nominee Edie Falco began her career by acting as Cookie Monster at children's parties.
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Betty White insisted that she shared her Best Actress in a TV Comedy award with her costars from Hot in Cleveland. Then again, she added, ''I'm not gonna let them keep this [statue] — but I'll let them see it.''
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Whose idea was it to let the child actors from Modern Family deliver that way-too-long acceptance speech for Best Cast in a TV Comedy? Watching the kids quote W.C. Fields and thank their agents was a little too Toddlers and Tiaras for our tastes.
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Though they won for Best Actress and Best Actor in a Miniseries, Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce) and Paul Giamatti (Too Big To Fail) couldn't make it to the ceremony. Armie Hammer, who presented the award, graciously volunteered to keep Giamatti's statue.
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BEST NEW DRINKING GAME
Introducing Bridesmaids, a nominee for Best Cast, Maya Rudolph revealed her favorite game: ''You have to take a drink every time — and I mean every time — you hear the word Scorsese.'' Then Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy name-dropped the director enough times to get everyone wasted.
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WORST COMPLIMENT GIVEN TO MARY TYLER MOORE
Okay, so Dick Van Dyke's tribute to Lifetime Achievement winner Mary Tyler Moore was mostly very sweet. But his praise for this groundbreaking comedienne felt weirdly old-school: ''She's one of the few performers — women — who can do a flat-out comedy scene and still be beautiful and feminine and adorable.'' And being ''feminine'' and ''adorable'' is important? why?
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BEST ADVICE FOR ACHIEVING LASTING FAME
Presenting the Best Actor in a TV Drama award alongside John Krasinski, Tina Fey quoted Kathie Lee Gifford: ''If drag queens love you, you'll have the longest career in the world. They know phony, and they know real.''
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BEST TIME TO TAKE A TEQUILA SHOT
After winning for Best Actor in a TV Drama and for Best Cast in a TV Drama, Boardwalk Empire's Steve Buscemi uttered those two special words that launched a thousand drinking games: Martin Scorsese. Upon hearing Scorsese's name, Tina Fey downed Buscemi's glass of wine.
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BEST REASON TO PUT DOWN YOUR FRENCH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY
Jean Dujardin, the French star of The Artist, won for Best Actor, and his speech needed no translation: ''MYGODMYGODMYGODMYGODMYGODMYGODMYGOD.''
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BEST HEARTFELT MOMENT
When Viola Davis won Best Actress, she made everyone in the room cry, from her costar Jessica Chastain to... were those actual tears in the corners of Angelina Jolie's eyes? Later, when The Help won for Best Cast, Davis got her best inspirational line: ''The stain of racism and sexism, it's not just for people of color or women — it's all of our burden,'' she insisted. ''All of us can inspire change.''