The 70th annual Emmy Awards have delivered a whole new crop of winners, with the chosen few receiving golden statues for their artistic efforts, creative prowess and dedication to making truly great television.
Much like the performances, this year’s winners’ speeches included a range of memorable moments. Some made us think, some made us laugh and some left us feeling slightly choked up. We won’t soon forget The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan using her time at the podium to encourage everyone to vote or Henry Winkler delivering a speech that was 40 years in the making.
Ahead, we’ve gathered excerpts from a handful of winners who made sure not to waste their time onstage.
Originally published Sept. 17, 2018. Updated Sept. 18, 2018 at 11:40 a.m. ET.
Amy Sherman-Palladino, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Accepting the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amy Sherman-Palladino quipped of her trophies, "My panic room’s gonna be so pretty!" She went on to profusely praise her crew, too.
Betty White, Special Honoree
Special honoree Betty White took the stage and, once again, proved she's the most precious woman on the face of the planet (at 96, no less). "I'm just going to quit while I'm ahead," White joked and pretended to walk offstage as she received a standing ovation. "It's incredible that I'm still in this business and you're still putting up with me."
Rachel Brosnahan, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Rachel Brosnahan snagged the outstanding lead actress in a comedy series award for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and used her time to issue an impassioned plea. "One of the things I love the most about this show, while I have you captive for another two seconds, is that it’s about a woman who is finding her voice anew, and it’s something that is happening all over the country right now," she said. "One of the most important ways that we can find and use our voices is to vote. So if you haven’t already registered, do it on your cell phone, do it right now. Vote, show up, and bring a friend to the polls!” We couldn't agree more, Rachel.
Alex Borstein, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Could Alex Borstein be any funnier? We think not. Borstein, who won outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for The Marvelous Miss Maisel, took the mic and immediately confessed that she went sans bra. Then she offered up some earnest advice: “Ladies, when you use a public restroom, sit down. If you sit, we can all sit. Stop peeing on the seat.” Borstein finished on a poignant note, thanking her dad. “You are the only man who has truly ever loved or taken care of me,” she said.
Henry Winkler, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
An overjoyed Henry Winkler accepted the award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series, joking, “I wrote this [speech] 43 years ago!” He then thanked the cast and crew of Barry before giving a shout-out to his three kids at home: “Zed, Joey, Max, you can go to bed now. Daddy won!”
Glenn Weiss, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
Glenn Weiss — who snagged an Emmy for outstanding directing for a variety special for his work on the Oscars — one-upped every other winner in attendance when he proposed to his girlfriend during his speech. After mentioning his sadness over the loss of his mother, Weiss revealed that his late mother “always believed in the sunshine in things” — and that she always loved his girlfriend. And with that, Weiss got down on one knee and asked his partner, Jan Svendsen, to be his wife. Spoiler alert: she said yes.
Merritt Wever, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series
A rather surprised Merritt Wever took the stage to accept her trophy for outstanding supporting actress in Godless, and kept her remarks perfectly short and sweet. “I really appreciate this, and I really hope you don’t mistake my fear right now for a lack of gratitude.” She thanked the other nominees before adding, “Thank you for making space for me, and for Mary Agnes," referring to the character she played.
Charlie Brooker & William Bridges, Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series
Black Mirror writers Charlie Brooker and William Bridges opened their acceptance speech with a little humor. “What a delightful but horrifying out-of-body experience this is,” Brooker said — which, frankly, is pretty much how we'd describe Black Mirror too — before the duo paid tribute to the “progressive American sci-fi” forerunners, Star Trek and The Twilight Zone.
Jeff Daniels, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series
Another winner for the Netflix western Godless, Jeff Daniels thanked a wide array of people — and animals — in his speech, including his horse trainer, Netflix, his horse wrangler, the crew and his horse. "Little tip for you young actors, when they call and ask if you can ride a horse, don't lie!" he said playfully. "Finally, I'd like to thank my horse, Apollo. He was Jeff Bridge's horse on True Grit and I felt he was making unfair comparisons. Three times he threw me off the horse, the third time he broke my wrist. It was my left wrist — it’s completely healed now,” Daniels said, holding up his award with his left hand.
Regina King, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series
A clearly emotional Regina King quickly admitted she was not prepared for her (well-deserved!) win for her role in Netflix's Seven Seconds. “Thank you for the opportunity to tell a story and hold a mirror up to what’s going on today,” she said of the show, in which she played a grieving mother. “I am just floored…I want to curse right now.”
Bill Hader, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
It’s impossible not to be happy for someone as humble (not to mention hilarious) as Bill Hader, who took home the award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for Barry. “I did not think this would happen. I took classes at Second City in L.A. I was taught there that you should always make the other people look good, so I hired other great actors who make me look good,” he joked before professing his genuine gratitude to his costars, including Henry Winkler.
Ryan Murphy, Outstanding Limited Series
Upon taking the stage to accept the outstanding limited series award for The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Ryan Murphy dedicated the win to victims of hate crimes, saying, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace is about a lot of things, it’s about homophobia, internalized and externalized. One out of every four LGBTQ people in this country will be the victim of a hate crime. We dedicate this award to them, to awareness, to stricter hate crime laws, and mostly, this is for the memory of Jeff and David and Gianni and for all of those taken too soon. Thank you very much.”
Thandie Newton, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
There's just something that makes a person even more likable when you can tell they genuinely didn't see their win coming. Westworld star Thandie Newton was so shocked upon taking the stage to accept her trophy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series that she accidentally swore. "I don't even believe in God, but I'm going to thank her tonight," Newton said, adding through a bleep, "I am so fucking blessed to work with the people I have gotten to work with. The cast and crew of — I can’t believe I’m here — the cast and crew of Westworld, I love you all so much."
Newton went on to thank her family, revealing, "My daughter Ripley turns 18 today, and I get to guide you and love you and protect you, which is my North Star. I love you so much, baby."
John Oliver, Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Picking up his third straight win in the outstanding variety talk series category, John Oliver proved predictably funny. "All the shows every year, we fly our staff here and we put them in the worst seats in the building to send a mixed message," he joked, adding of the night's monumental proposal moment, "On behalf of everyone in this room, I’d like to say thank you Glenn Weiss’ fiancée for saying yes — it could have been a very different evening. You really came through."
Oliver also thanked his wife, whom he called his "personal backbone," and the couple's 2-1/2-year-old son, who apparently isn't a fan. "[He] hates our show. He loves Paw Patrol," Oliver said. "And if our show is anything, it's the precise opposite of Paw Patrol."
Peter Dinklage, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage was happy to share the love when he accepted the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series. "Thank you, Dave [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] for changing my life. I can’t walk down the street anymore," he joked before getting serious. "But you are honestly the most talented, amazing people I know besides my wife, Erica [Schmidt], who I think I forgot to thank a few years ago. So, thank you, Erica, for putting up with me. I’m very temperamental; I love you very much."
Dinklage also gave a shoutout to a close costar and the series creator, saying, "Thank you to my brotha from anotha motha, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. I love you and I share this with you, ‘cause you are an amazing, handsome brother. And George Martin, for creating this darn thing. Thank you.”
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