See who crawled on stage, who broke a major record and who was just happy they didn’t fall “ass over tit” as they collected their trophy.
This weekend, the Emmys will celebrate the very best of television and entertainment from the past year. With all of TV’s biggest stars in one room, there’s sure to be some memorable moments — from hilarious skits and monologues to touching acceptance speeches. And with over 70 years of Emmys history, the annual ceremony has provided us with iconic memories for decades.
Take a look back at some of the show’s epic moments you may have forgotten and be sure to tune in to the Emmys on Sunday, September 19 at 8:00 PM on ABC.
Reminisce on these Emmys’ moments below…
1. Tracy Morgan Makes A Triumphant Return
After surviving a devastating car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury, Tracy Morgan made a surprise return to the public eye at the Emmys in 2015. He was given the honor of presenting the final award of the night for Outstanding Drama Series and was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience. While on stage, Tracy thanked his friends and fans for their support during his recovery over the past year.
“I miss you guys so much. Last year, Jimmy Kimmel stood on this stage and said, ‘We’ll see you back here next year, Tracy Morgan.’ Well, Jimmy, thanks to my amazing doctors and the support of my family and my beautiful new wife, I’m here, standing on my own two feet,” Tracy told the crowd.
2. Director Glenn Weiss Proposes To His Girlfriend On Stage
During the Emmys in 2017, Glenn Weiss won the award for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special for his work on the Oscars. When it came time for his acceptance speech, he took the chance to thank the most important person in his life — and propose to her! His girlfriend Jan soon joined him on stage where he got down on one knee and made things official with his mother’s engagement ring.
3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Broke Records For Her Role In “Veep”
In 2017, Julia Louis-Dreyfus made history when she took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for her role in “Veep,” breaking the record for most awards won for a single role. The award also marked her eighth Emmy win as an actress, which tied her with Cloris Leachman for most ever Primetime Emmy wins by a single actor.
“Obviously you’re always hoping to win and thinking you’re going to lose. I’m flummoxed by all of it,” Julia told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the win.
4. Andy Samberg Gives Out His HBO Now Login
Back in 2015, Andy Samberg wanted to make sure viewers were able to keep up with the HBO shows that received nominations so he actually gave out his HBO Now login information. Andy explained that the CEO of HBO had said “he doesn’t think password-sharing for their streaming services is a problem” and indeed, the company didn’t seem to mind Andy’s stun. They were reportedly given a partial head’s up about Andy’s plans but not all of the details. When the account was eventually disabled, HBO used the opportunity to promote their 30-day free trial.
5. Melissa McCarthy & Other Comedy Nominees Turn The Show Into A Pageant
During the Emmys in 2011, the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series decided to have a little fun while their names were being announced. Presenter Rob Lowe looked like he was completely in the dark as each nominee made their way to the stage when he called their name — effectively turning things into a pageant. The women stood in a line, holding hands and hugging and when Melissa McCarthy was announced as the winner, she was given a bouquet of flowers and a tiara.
6. Ricky Gervais Reclaims His Award
Ricky Gervais took back what was rightfully his at the Emmys in 2008. The year prior, he had won an Emmy but wasn’t there to claim it so Steve Carrell jokingly accepted it on his behalf. It seems as though Ricky wasn’t pleased that Steve took his award so when he attended the show in 2008, he taunted Steve until he gave the award back. Ricky even went off script and came down to the audience forcing Steve to finally pull the Emmy from under his seat.
7. Alexander Skarsgård & Nicole Kidman Share A Kiss To Celebrate His Win
When Nicole Kidman won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, she shocked fans with what she did when they announced her name. Nicole gave her “Big Little Lies” co-star Alexander Skarsgård a kiss on the lips as her husband Keith Urban watched on from nearby! While the move was a big surprise to viewers, Nicole says the unexpected smooch wasn’t a big deal.
“I did kiss him but you have to understand, I did everything with Alex. I have an amazing, supportive, gorgeous husband who I love more than anything in the world and I gave Alex a congratulatory kiss,” Nicole said on “The Graham Norton Show.”
John Travolta wasn’t the only one to mispronounce someone’s name at an award show! In 2016, Kiefer Sutherland incorrectly pronounced Tatiana Maslany’s last name. Instead of the correct pronunciation of “Mass-LAN-ee,” the actor said “Mahs-lee.” Following the mistake, Kiefer was given grief on social media, but Tatiana was able to make light of the moment — despite not actually receiving an apology.
“I was like, ‘I think it’s me?’ He’s Canadian too! And he said it in the voiceover before. I will not talk to him now,” Tatiana joked on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
9. Conan O’Brien Locked Bob Newhart In A Glass Cylinder
In a skit that spanned the entire show, Conan O’Brien locked Bob Newhart in a glass cylinder in order to remind everyone to keep their acceptance speeches short. Conan joked that the airtight chamber would run out of oxygen in three hours — the exact runtime of the show. If anything went over, Conan said that it would be the end of the line for Bob. Thankfully, the show ended with just enough time to spare!
Late night talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon battled it out on stage at the Emmys in 2011. During a funny bit, Jimmy Kimmel tackled Jimmy Fallon while trying to steal the acceptance speech he wrote in case he were to win an award. He was able to obtain the speech and read it in full, including the bit where Jimmy Fallon insisted that Jimmy Kimmel would never “mock or belittle” him in public — which he definitely ended up doing when he tackled him on stage!
11. Jon Hamm Crawls On Stage To Accept His Award
In 2015, Jon Hamm finally took home an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for his role in “Mad Men.” It was his eighth time being nominated for the role and he says that the attention his win garnered was an embarrassing experience.
“It was a very odd experience. After I made my hilarious joke of climbing on the stage the way I chose to, I turned around and realized people were clapping for me. I was mortified,” Jon told The Hollywood Reporter.
12. Helen Mirren Accidentally Gets Raunchy
Helen Mirren shocked Emmy viewers when she accidentally got a little inappropriate while accepting her award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie in 2006. During her acceptance speech, Helen commended herself for making it on stage by saying, “My great triumph is not falling ass over tit as I came up those stairs.” The moment was so unexpected that it didn’t get cut from the show and Helen went on to deliver a very poised and grateful speech.
In 2014, Bryan Cranston got the chance to relive his days on “Seinfeld” playing Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character’s love interest. While the duo were presenting an award together, they bantered about their old on screen relationship and then got to continue the joke later in the show. While Julia was making her way to the stage to accept an award, Bryan pulled her in for a steamy kiss. While it looked like it took Julia by surprise, she says it actually involved some planning.
“Bryan and I were talking on the phone about what we were going to do for the presenting bit—we were kind of going through it—and then it dawned on me that this would be a nice part three of the joke. So I asked my husband if he was okay with that, he said ‘Sure,’ and Bryan checked with his wife and she said ‘Sure,’ and we said we would go for it. But we wanted to really make sure the presenting stuff worked in and of itself. And obviously I might not have won. That was very stiff competition,” Julia told Elle.