Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

11 Most Infamous Moments From Primetime Emmys History

The time has come once again to dive into the Emmys. With the biggest night in television happening, well, on television, it’s little wonder that we might get nostalgic for ceremonies of yesteryear. The Emmys have been around since 1949, which means there are plenty of infamous Emmy moments.

More: Constance Wu Presenting at the Emmys Really Fired Up Viewers

While the Emmys isn’t exactly the kind of place where you might expect something to happen that will go down in infamy, there have certainly been some infamous and memorable moments. Sure, it’s not the MTV Movie Awards, where things get wild frequently, but looking back, there have been some odd acceptance speeches and very unusual presenter moments that surely demand our attention. Take a look.

1. Sofía Vergara is put on a pedestal, & it’s very weird

Falling into the “more awkward” category of infamous Emmys moments, Sofía Vergara was put on a literal pedestal to be looked at while Bruce Rosenblum, chairman of the Emmys awarding body, gave facts and figures about the voting body while people were made to look at Vergara’s body. Very weird.

2. Kathy Griffin thanked Jesus for her Emmy in her own special way

Kathy Griffin dares to live outside convention most of the time, so naturally, she took her chance to make her Emmys speech count by telling Jesus to “suck it” at the Emmys.

3. Betty Thomas is the butt of the joke at the 1985 Emmys

When Betty Thomas won her Emmy in 1985, a wild thing happened: professional imposter Barry Bremen hijacked the podium, posing as an official, to announce Thomas wasn’t there to accept the award even though she clearly was. The show quickly cut to commercial and thankfully, Thomas was able to laugh it off.

4. Patty Duke’s confusing acceptance speech

Considered very confusing and controversial at the time, the well-liked Patty Duke gave a slow, wandering thank-you speech that led many to speculate after the 1970 Emmys whether she was on drugs.

More: We Can’t Watch Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Emmys Acceptance Speech Without Ugly-Crying

5. Donald Trump goes full Green Acres with Megan Mullally

It’s odd to say this now but once upon a time, the president of the United States of America appeared in overalls and a straw hat singing the Green Acres theme song with Will & Grace star Megan Mullally.

6. Tom Bergeron drops Heidi Klum at the 2008 Emmys

Tom Bergeron Heidi Klum Emmys
Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While performing a dance number at the 2008 Emmys, Tom Bergeron proceeded to accidentally drop Heidi Klum on her hip and no, it wasn’t part of the routine. Once they got offstage, they reportedly showed off Klum’s bruised hip as proof.

7. Barbara Stanwyck’s wardrobe snafu in 1961

Looking back, it’s a mild moment, but for old Hollywood star Barbara Stanwyck, getting her cape caught in her chair on live TV was kind of a big thing, even if she looked totally graceful trying to untangle herself.

More: Anyone Have a Fire Extinguisher? Donald Trump Is Getting Burned at the Emmys

8. Charlie Sheen’s sober apology

After a tumultuous couple of years and with rumors and shocking reports about his personal life spread around in the papers, Sheen returned to the Emmys stage in 2011 to apologize and wish his Two and a Half Men cast the best of luck without him.

9. Sally Fields’ odd anti-war (but not really) speech

Sally Fields lost the plot a little when she got up to accept the Best Lead Actress Emmy. After saying her thank-yous, she began rambling a little, peppering in commentary about the ongoing war (presumably in Afghanistan) before getting cued by the music to exit the stage, wherein she hastily circled back to making her speech about her award.

10. Matthew Perry smooching Doris Roberts

Friends star Matthew Perry definitely made his congratulatory kiss count while presenting Everybody Loves Raymond star Doris Roberts with her Emmy in 2003.

11. Alan Alda’s cartwheel at the 1979 Emmys

Alan Alda was clearly over the moon about winning for M.A.S.H. and wasn’t afraid to show it when he won for his performance at the 1979 Emmys.

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.