“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m full! I am stuffed!”
Newly minted Emmy winner Jennifer Coolidge rightly exclaimed the producers of Monday night’s Emmy Awards when they inexplicably laughed at her during her acceptance speech.
Undeterred, the veteran actor, won her first Emmy for HBO’s “The White Lotus,” started dancing to the “get off stage” music – making her an instant hero.
I think I speak for every TV fan and award show aficionado by saying, how dare they play out Jennifer Coolidge!
It was a mind-boggling choice that was repeated during Monday’s otherwise merry ceremony, with several exciting wins. Matthew Macfadyen — Tom Wambsgans on “Succession”, one of .’s MVPs the show’s spectacular third season – also played out, leaving me wanting to throw water bottles at my screen, the way Tom threw them at Cousin Greg. (Macfadyen’s speech was “business at executive level!”) Similarly, the show’s creator, Jesse Armstrong, was laughed at during his Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series speech, which made me want to yell “Fuck off,” à la “Succession” patriarch Logan Roy.
As “Abbott Elementary” creator, writer and star Quinta Brunson, whose breakthrough TBEN hit has transformed and revived network TV, rounded out her speech for winning Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, they played “Time to Say Goodbye.” What?
During their speeches, several other winners ran breathlessly through their comments, citing the flashing cues on stage urging them to wrap up. But hey, I need to make room for medical drama montages or Kia sponsored content.
How long winners should speak is a perennial question about the awards ceremony, along with everything else about the often lengthy duration of the ceremonies. For years, the producers of various Hollywood award shows have experimented with methods of shortening the speeches. This year’s Emmys included a small scroll on the screen where each winner could submit a list of the names of people they wanted to thank, something the Oscars have also attempted in recent years.
Of course, a prize winner standing on the podium and naming a lot of names is not the most interesting television for the viewers at home. But forcing the winners to, in some cases, barely say anything on one of the biggest nights of their careers is quite insulting and robs them of their big moment.
It also deprives viewers of great television. Often the most memorable parts of these ceremonies are the acceptance speeches. Sometimes they can be routine and predictable. But often they deliver really exciting moments, sometimes full of pure joy and sometimes completely wild. Anyway, people tune into live television for the possibility of spontaneity — not for the canned bits and cringey banter.
Ask any award show fan and they can probably list their favorite speeches from their favorite stars over the years. One from Monday night that will go down in history as one of the greatest awards show speeches of all time: “Abbott Elementary” star and living legend Sheryl Lee Ralph is definitely bringing the house down and does not leave dry eyes.
Fortunately, the Emmy producers didn’t play out the veteran of stage and screen. Imagine the outrage if they played Sheryl Lee Ralph.