These Past Emmys Award Show Moments Will Never Be Topped

It’s nearly time for the 2019 Emmy Awards. While we count down the hours until the big event on Sunday, let’s take a look back at some of the greatest moments of the past few ceremonies. There’s a lot to live up to here.

All the nominees on stage

Here’s the thing: Award shows often try to be self-aware, especially when it comes to the hosts. But that’s a hard line to walk, taking the awards seriously and mocking them for what a spectacle they are. However, this was perfectly done in less than five minutes at the 2011 Emmys.

As Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara announced the six nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, each one took the stage, beginning with Lowe’s Parks and Recreation co-star, Amy Poehler. They all held hands, and win Melissa McCarthy was announced the winner, they hugged one another as she received a tiara and roses. It was a perfect way to both make fun of the pageantry of the event and show that they are all there to support each other.

Tina Fey and Poehler do it again

Let’s be honest for a second — the Emmys has never been great when it comes to choosing hosts. A few have done well (we can’t forget Andy Samberg’s turn), but for the most part, they just take up too much of the show and don’t provide a lot of laughs. The host in 2013, Neil Patrick Harris, poked fun at this idea by having past hosts come up and give him pointers.

But that bit itself wasn’t great. What was funny was when Fey and Poehler, who the Hollywood Foreign Press Association wisely had host the Golden Globes that year and the next, started taunting Harris, and then took to the stage casually to present the first award of the night. Every award show is better with these two at the helm.

Jon Hamm’s crawl to the stage

Mad Men star Jon Hamm may have won the Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series Emmy in 2015 for his portrayal in the, well, dramatic one-hour program, but he’s actually a pretty funny guy most of the time. We know this now, after seeing him in shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and films like Tag.

But at the time, his goofy side wasn’t seen too often. So many were surprised to see Hamm saunter up to the stage and crawl onto it to receive his award, skipping the stairs entirely. He then began his speech by saying, “There has been a terrible mistake, clearly.”

Viola Davis’ powerful acceptance speech

Plenty of nominees cry while giving speeches. Some even manage to bring the audience and viewers to tears just a bit. But few have accomplished anything close to the beautiful and powerful moments that How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis did when she accepted her Lead Actress In A Drama Series Emmy in 2015.

She began by quoting Harriet Tubman, which transitioned into discussing the lack of roles for black women in TV and film. Davis dedicated the award to those behind the scenes, like executive producer Shonda Rhimes. She also thanked other women of color in TV, like Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington, both of whom can be seen tearing up from the crowd.