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What a ceremony the 2017 Emmy Awards were! With comedian Stephen Colbert at the helm, the night seemed to go by quicker than previous years (though maybe it was just us).
There were a few upsets, in our opinion — most notably the loss of RuPaul’s Drag Race to The Voice in the Best Reality Competition Series category — but overall it was a jubilant night.
Here are 10 moments that really made the 2017 Emmy Awards shine for us:
1. Colbert announces the 2017 Emmy Awards were the most diverse ever
Yep, for the third year in a row, the Emmys have been getting more and more diverse, presenting the stories of people of all sorts. As Colbert acknowledged, particularly significant this year was the high number of black names nominated and in the audience: Jeffrey Wright (Westworld), Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale), Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) and Anthony Anderson (Blackish).
The evening also treated us to a special segment on diversity from the past year’s television. In terms of race, ethnicity, ability, orientation and gender, we saw diversity both in front of and behind the camera.
2. Colbert calls out Donald Trump for his lack of Emmy wins
In a move that’s sure to elicit a Tweet storm at 4 a.m., Colbert admonished the 2017 Emmy Awards audience for their role in getting Trump elected. He posited that had Trump won one of those three Emmys The Apprentice was nominated for, he might not have run for president. “Aren’t morally compromised anti-heroes” kinda Hollywood’s thing, Colbert asked the crowd. Trump is basically “Walter White but much whiter.”
Then, with the best zinger of the entire night, Colbert quipped, “Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”
3. Sean Spicer makes his Emmys debut
The auditorium became one giant gasp when former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer rolled a podium onto the stage during Colbert’s monologue. Spicer announced that the audience for this year’s Emmys — both in person and at home — would be the largest of all time. “Period.”
As awkward as the moment was for all of us, no one was feeling that awkwardness more than Melissa McCarthy, sitting smack dab in the front, who was herself nominated for playing Spicer on this past season of Saturday Night Live. The look on her face: priceless.
4. Finally, the 9 to 5 reunion we’ve been waiting for
That’s right, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda took the stage together, and they looked amazing. (Particularly Jane Fonda, who at 79 is getting nothing but compliments in her high pony, bangs and hot pink gown.) The women even got a standing ovation from the crowd.
Trump’s ears no doubt perked up when Fonda said about 9 to 5, “Back in 1980 in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” To which Tomlin replied, “And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!”
Parton proved to be quite the upstart, at one point referring to her breasts as “Shock and Awe” and remarking that she wants a Grace and Frankie vibrator in her Emmys swag bag.
5. RuPaul treats us to the funniest sketch of the night
In what was without a doubt the most (only?) humorous sketch of the night, RuPaul — himself this year’s Emmy winner for the category of Reality TV Host — portrayed “Emmy.” As in, the literal Emmy statue that actors, directors and producers take home. It was the very first on-camera interview with “Emmy,” and Colbert took the honor.
“Emmy” claimed she used to date Oscar, Tony is gay (no shocker there) and the People’s Choice Award is “messy,” having once gone home with a bowling trophy.
Ru, as “Emmy,” even offered up some advice to all those industry players who would be taking her home tonight: “Don’t say how heavy I am. That’s just rude.”
6. Kate McKinnon takes home an Emmy
We’ve long been fans of McKinnon and her work on SNL, and not just because she’s part of our queer community. Tonight the hilarious actress took home her second consecutive award (and her fifth nomination for her work on the series).
In tears onstage, McKinnon told the crowd, “Being part of this season of SNL is the most meaningful thing I will ever do, so I should probably just stop now.”
7. Lena Waithe makes Emmys history
Tonight’s award for Best Writing of a Comedy Series went to two people: Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe for their work on Master of None. While it was Ansari’s second Emmy, the award made history as Waithe is the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Even more historic, she’s also a queer POC!
From the stage, Waithe acknowledged her girlfriend before giving a shout-out to her LGBTQIA family. “I see each and everyone of you,” she said. “The things that make us different — those are our superpowers. So everyday when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out and conquer the world. Because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
8. Black Mirror‘s “San Junipero” episode took home two awards
The famed episode — the fourth of the sci-fi anthology series’ third season — won the night’s awards for Best Writing in a Limited Series or Movie and TV Movie.
In the episode, a shy young woman (Mackenzie Davis) visits a beach resort town, where she falls in love with another woman (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). You eventually find out the town of San Junipero is a simulated reality, and anything else would spoil the episode’s amazing message.
9. Many in the 2017 Emmy Awards audience sport blue ribbons
Among those who wore blue ribbons on their gowns and tuxes were Padma Lakshmi, Kumail Nanjiani, Kathryn Hahn, Judith Light and Riz Ahmed. The ribbons were in support of the ACLU.
Tatianna Maslany, of Orphan Black fame, was actually sporting a blue ampersand, which was in support of GLAAD.
10. The gay writer of The Handmaid’s Tale took home the night’s final award
The final award of the 2017 Emmy Awards, for Writing for a Drama Series, went to the Margaret Atwood adptation The Handmaid’s Tale. Accepting the award was producer and lead writer Bruce Miller.
He left the audience with a simple directive: “Go home. Get to work. We have a lot of things to fight for.”
We couldn’t agree more.