A brief history of Lead Actress in a Comedy Emmy shenanigans
At the Emmys, lead actresses officially have the most fun. This year’s make out session between Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bryan Cranston is just the latest stunt pulled by the funny ladies nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category. Louis-Drefyus has been the main perpetrator of the category’s goofiness in recent years—but the legacy of shenanigans precedes her now three-year winning streak. Let’s look back at the greatest hits.
Sarah Silverman’s Mustache, 2009
When the camera cut to Sarah Silverman as Justin Timberlake announced the nominees, she reacted stoically…but was wearing a mustache. Timberlake giggled and cracked, “That’s what hormones will do.” Toni Collette ended up winning for The United States of Tara. Silverman shook her head as Collette took the stage.
The Pageant Queens, 2011
The nominees—Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Martha Plimpton, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, and Laura Linney–decided to pretend they were in a pageant, all gathering on stage when their names were announced. They got a standing ovation for being collectively fantastic. McCarthy ended up winning—she donned a crown and flowers—but really, everyone on that stage left a winner.
The Speech Swap, 2012
Louis-Dreyfus is no stranger to winning in recent years, and she began her tradition of turning her speech into a bit in 2012. She and Amy Poehler “swapped speeches”—meaning that Louis-Dreyfus thanked NBC, Parks and Recreation, and her “beautiful boys Archie and Abel” before she realized the error. She ended: “There’s one last thing written here. So sorry, it says, isn’t it a shame that Amy Poehler didn’t win?” The same could be said of this year.
Staying in Character, 2013
Last year, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her speech just like Selina Meyer would: with Gary in tow. Tony Hale stood behind her, holding her purse and muttering in her ear. When the camera cut to Anna Chlumsky, she, like her character Amy, was texting diligently.
The Makeout, 2014
This year, Louis-Dreyfus decided to enlist Walter White himself—Bryan Cranston—who, coincidentally, once dated Elaine on Seinfeld. (Cranston played the infamous “regifter.”) Before getting up on stage to accept her award, Cranston and Louis-Dreyfus made out. Like, really made out.