10. Regina King, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, Seven Seconds (Netflix)
She already had two Emmys under her belt for her work in American Crime, but Regina King looked thoroughly shocked to win her third trophy, for starring in Netflix’s Seven Seconds. “Really?” she asked when she took the stage, while presenter Leslie Jones of Saturday Night Live cheered her win behind her. “Oh my God. Okay. So I dropped lipstick on my dress, and I was trying to get it out… I have nothing to say, because I wasn’t really expecting this!” Even as she sounded overwhelmed, King explained how “floored” she felt — “I want to curse right now!” she exclaimed — and collected herself just in time to wrap up her speech with a clever callback to co-host Michael Che’s earlier joke about no one thanking Jesus. “Thank you, Jesus, Michael Che,” she concluded to cheers and laughter.
9. John Mulaney, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (Netflix)
Sometimes, things might has well happen to the comedian, who’d previously won an Emmy for his work on Saturday Night Live. Mulaney appeared stunned as he approached the stage and thanked his fellow nominees, lightly tripping over trying to thank both Steve Martin and Martin Short, before pivoting to a solid one-two punch of jokes: The first was the reveal that his wife told him she “can’t fly across the country and watch you lose.” (“I still think she made the right decision,” he quips.) The second was the beginning of an excellent, memorable kicker: “There’s an old story about when a reporter asked Charlie Chaplin about what it’s like to perform comedy that you’ve written,” Mulaney said, “but it’s not a very good story, so I’m not going to tell it.” And with that, he exited stage left.
8. RuPaul, Outstanding Reality Competition Series, RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
Work! An effusive RuPaul took the stage to accept the Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Series — the first win in the category for RuPaul’s Drag Race — on behalf of “the 140 drag queens we have released into the wild.” The star (and three-time winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Reality Host) left the stage with a message to “all the dreamers” watching: “Listen, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are young going to love somebody else?” He said. “Can I get an amen up in here? Now let the music play!”
7. Claire Foy, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, The Crown (Netflix)
God save the Queen — and give her an Emmy. For her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in the second season of Netflix’s The Crown, Claire Foy was honored with the award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama. “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” the actress said. “I just felt so proud, then, of being in the company of such extraordinary performances. I know everyone’s talking at the moment about women in the industry, but if that’s anything to go by, bloody hell — that’s technically not swearing!”
Foy’s tenure on the throne came to an end in the second season, as the cast of the drama — which is moving at a breakneck pace through the latter half of the 20th century — will be replaced by older actors in season 3. “Thank you, Emmys. I had the most extraordinary two and a half years of my life,” she continued. “I was given a role that I never thought I would ever get a chance to play, and I met people I will love forever and ever and ever, and the show goes on, which makes me so, so proud.” She dedicated the honor to the next cast, and to her onscreen Prince Phillip, Matt Smith. All hail.
6. Thandie Newton, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Westworld (HBO)
Congratulations to Thandie Newton, first-time Emmy winner (for her work on HBO’s Westworld) and the sole dropper of an F-bomb during an acceptance speech on Monday night. Of course, that’s not the only reason her speech was among the best: Newton began by saying, “I don’t even believe in God, but I gotta thank Her tonight. I am so blessed.” That’s one bold statement — a statement her counterpart, Maeve, would surely love.
5. Matthew Rhys, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, The Americans (FX)
The best part of The Americans actor Matthew Rhys’ speech? Not only did he thank everyone involved in the six-season spy drama, but he also revealed real-life partner and co-star Keri Russell made a very Elizabeth Jennings-appropriate threat: “Finally, to the woman who truly got me this award, who stands in front of me every day, and puts up with me — she said, ‘If you propose to me, I’ll punch you clean in the mouth,’” he explained to laughs from an audience that saw a proposal occur earlier in the night on stage. And that’s invaluable intel.
4. Ryan Murphy, Outstanding Limited Series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)
The award for Best Limited Series went to The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and executive producer Ryan Murphy accepted the honor with a moving speech. “The Assassination of Gianni Versace is about a lot of things,” he said. “It’s about homophobia, internalized and externalized; it’s about a country that allows hatred to grow unfettered and unchecked. One out of every four LGBTQ people in this country will be the victim of a hate crime. We dedicate this award to them. We dedicate this award to awareness, to stricter hate crime laws. This is for the memory of Jeff [Trail] and David [Madson] and Gianni [Versace], and all of those taken too soon.”
3. Rachel Brosnahan, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Brosnahan accepted her first Emmy with a confidence and charm Midge Maisel would approve: After jokingly wresting the trophy from presenter Tiffany Haddish, Brosnahan thanked her fellow The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel cast and crew, expertly recovered from a quick flub (“Thank you to our incredible crast — crast? Cast!”), and managed to fire up the audience with a well-crafted plea for audiences to vote. “[Maisel] is about a woman finding her voice anew, and it’s something that’s happening all over the country right now,” she said to cheers. “One of the most important ways to find and use our voices is to vote. Vote, show up, and bring a friend to the polls.”
2. Henry Winkler, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Barry (HBO)
On his sixth Emmy nomination, 42 years after his first, Henry Winkler finally took home the gold Monday night, for his role on Barry. “I wrote this 43 years ago,” he said when he got to the stage. “Skip Brittenham said to me a long time ago, ‘If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you.’ Tonight I got to clear the table.”He went on to thank the Barry team and his family, ending with a message to his children. “You can go to bed now,” he told his (now-adult) children. “Daddy won!”
1. Glenn Weiss, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special, The Oscars (ABC)
The most showstopping speech of the night had to be the one delivered by Glenn Weiss, who took home a statuette for directing this year’s Oscars ceremony. He began by thanking his daughters and honoring his mother, who died two weeks ago. “Mom always believed in finding the sunshine in things, and she adored my girlfriend Jan. Jan, you are the sunshine in my life, and Mom was right: Don’t ever let go of your sunshine,” he said. “You wonder why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend?” He asked Jan. “Because I want to call you my wife.”
The audience erupted in cheers — Leslie Jones couldn’t stop screaming — as a tearful Jan stood up and made her way to the stage. “I didn’t ask yet!” Weiss reminded the hysterical crowd. When Jan got to the podium, Weiss took out a ring. “This is the ring that my dad put on my mom’s finger 67 years ago,” he said. “Will you marry me?” Luckily for everyone involved, Jan said yes (John Oliver thanked her for doing so, and saving the whole night, during his own acceptance speech later in the ceremony). Finally, as the newly engaged couple left the stage, Weiss cried out, “Thank you to the Academy!”