NBC decided to hold the Emmys a month earlier, in August,” began host Seth Meyers, about a third of the way through his opening monologue, “to avoid conflicting with Sunday Night Football. Which is keeping with the actors’ tradition of running away from jocks.”

Then he continued, aptly considering the muted response, “Jokes are like nominees: They can’t all be winners.”

That’s certainly true, though Meyers had a decent enough success rate during the evening. These were the best lines of the lot.

“This year we’re doing the Emmys on a Monday night in August—which, if I understand television, means the Emmys are about to get cancelled.”

We’re doing the show on Monday in part because the MTV Music Awards were last night. That’s right: MTV still has an awards show for music videos even though they no longer show music videos. That’s like network TV holding an awards show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix. That would be crazy.”

“We had so many great shows submitted this year. We had comedies that made you laugh, and comedies that made you cry… because they were dramas submitted as comedies.”

“There has been some controversy over which categories some shows were submitted in. For example, Orange is the New Black was submitted as a comedy rather than a drama. True Detective was submitted as a drama instead of a mini-series. And Bachelor in Paradise was submitted.”

“I have to say, the Emmys are my favorite awards show. Sure, the Golden Globes has alcohol, but everybody’s always talking and moving around. Here, everyone sits silently in one place and waits for the pills to kick in. Tonight, we are all Crazy Eyes.”

“This year we saw the series finales of many popular shows, including Breaking Bad, Dexter, and How I Met Your Mother. And if you had asked me which of those shows would have the saddest ending, I would not have picked the one about the nice man telling a story to his children. That’s right, kids: Jesse Pinkman lived, Dexter lived, but your mother didn’t make it. Sleep tight.”

“This will also be the final season for shows like Glee, Two and a Half Men, and Sons of Anarchy, as well as almost every new show to premiere this fall.”

“Shows like GoT, Good Wife, and Fargo have the right idea: When you show starts getting some attention and critical acclaim, kill off all the main characters. Otherwise, before you know it, you’re paying Sheldon a million dollars an episode. [To Jim Parsons:] You’re worth every penny. Every. Penny.”

“Congratulations to HBO. They have 99 nominations tonight, the most of any network. Not to be outdone, NBC is also a network.”

“I gotta say: HBO is like the kid you grew up with who ended up doing way better than you expected. 99 nominations. When I first met HBO, all he had was Grease 2 and Fraggle Rock. I wish I was nicer to him:

‘You guys want to watch Poltergeist?’

‘We watched it yesterday, HBO. How many times do you think people want to watch the same movie?’

‘One day I’m going to make a show about dragons.’

‘Okay, buddy, best of luck.'”

“There are so many different ways to consume TV. people don’t necessarily watch them when they air anymore. The most DVRed show of the past season was The Blacklist. Game of Thrones was the most pirated show. And Duck Dynasty was the most VCR-taped.”

“Congratulations to Game of Thrones, nominated for 19 Emmys, including Best Drama, Best Supporting Actor, and Worst Job Security. If you’re an actor on Game of Thrones I bet you wait for next week’s script the way most people wait for biopsy results. “I think you better sit down: Your character has been invited to a wedding.”

“Please welcome the only person from ER to ever amount to anything: Julianna Margulies.”