By Darren Franich
Updated September 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT

Modern Family won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series. It’s the fourth straight win for the show — which means the ABC comedy, which is about to start it fifth season, has won for every year of eligibility. Creator Steven Levitan joked that this was a happy moment in the saddest Emmys ever, and ended his speech with a rather unique show of thanks. “None of us grew up feeling like winners. So thank you to the winners, to the bullies, to the popular kids, who rejected us and made fun of the way we ran. Without you, we never would have gone into comedy.”

Family defeated serious contenders like 30 Rock‘s final season, the ascendant HBO comedies Girls and Veep, and the critically-acclaimed Louie. Having one four times in a row, the show has now officially completed its journey from “scrappy newcomer” to “Frasier-in-1997.”