Tonight, Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which were again held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California. A recorded segment of Neil watching various television programs started the show before he made his way to the stage for his opening bit. Past hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O’Brien all joined him on stage to give their two cents on hosting the show. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey sat in the front row and heckled Neil as they chomped on popcorn and wore 3-D glasses, encouraging him to remove his pants.
The duo then (literally) climbed up on stage to present the first award of the night, which was for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The nominees in this category were: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Jane Lynch (Glee), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), and Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie). Merritt Wever took home the award. Her speech was very short – she only thanked everyone very much before saying she had to go and heading off stage.
Emily and Zooey Deschanel presented the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The nominees included Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neil, and Ty Burrell from Modern Family; Adam Driver from Girls; Bill Hader from Saturday Night Live; and Tony Hale from Veep. Tony Hale won the award.
Robin Williams spoke briefly in tribute to Jonathan Winters, his mentor, who passed away in April.
Jon Hamm and Alec Baldwin were up next to hand out the award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, for which Laura Dern (Enlightened), Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) were nominated. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who likes to make jokes of her acceptance speeches, took home the award for the second year in a row. Her co-star, Tony Hale, accompanied her on stage to carry her purse and stand beside her to nod along with her speech. He also whispered things to remind her who to thank. She specifically left Tony out of her thank yous, and they also showed Anna Chlumsky texting during her speech.
Jimmy Kimmel and Sofia Vergara gave the award for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. The nominees were: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Louis C.K. (Louis), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory). Jim Parsons picked up his third Emmy for his role as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.
Rob Reiner paid tribute to Jean Stapleton, most well-known for playing Edith Bunker.
Elton John performed “Home Again” at the piano in tribute to Liberace.
After having introduced Elton John, Matt Damon and Michael Douglas remained on stage to present the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. The nominees were: Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Asylum), Laura Linney (The Big C: Hereafter), Helen Mirren (Phil Spector), Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake), and Sigourney Weaver (Political Animals). Laura Linney was not present, but she won the award. After accepting on her behalf, Matt and Michael presented the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Morena Baccarin (Homeland), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), and Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) were nominated, and it was Anna Gunn who won the award.
Jane Lynch was up next to pay tribute to Cory Monteith.
Neil Patrick Harris lightened the mood with a song and dance number called “The Number in the Middle of the Show.” He was joined by the Emmy Gold Dancers, Nathan Fillion, and Sarah Silverman.
Mindy Kaling and Stephen Amell presented the award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program. Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, The Amazing Race, Top Chef, and The Voice were each nominated, and The Voice was this year’s winner.
Diahann Carroll and Kerry Washington stepped on stage to present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The nominees included Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad), Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad). Bobby Cannavale won the award.
Dylan McDermott and Julianna Margulies presented the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The nominees were: Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Damian Lewis (Homeland), and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards). Jeff Daniels took home the Emmy.
Carrie Underwood sang The Beatles’ “Yesterday” in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and The Beatles’ first-ever performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Jimmy Fallon presented the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as the microphone moved up and down unexpectedly, finally leaving him sitting on the floor as the nominees were read. Connie Britton (Nashville), Claire Danes (Homeland), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Kerry Washington (Scandal), and Robin Wright (House of Cards) were nominated. Claire Danes won her third Emmy and took home the award in this category.
Michael J. Fox paid tribute to Gary David Goldberg, who was his mentor.
Neil Patrick Harris performed another song and dance number and was joined by various dance professionals who performed short routines to represent various shows before presenting the Choreography Award to Derek Hough, for Dancing with the Stars.
Alyson Hanigan and Cobie Smulders presented the award for Outstanding Variety Series. The nominees in this category were: The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Saturday Night Live. This year, The Colbert Report won the award.
Edie Falco spoke in tribute to the late James Gandolfini.
Anna Faris and Allison Janney were up next to give the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, for which Scott Bakula (Behind the Candelabra), James Cromwell (American Horror Story: Asylum), Scott Benjamin Hickey (The Big C: Hereafter), Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake), and Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story: Asylum) were nominated. James Cromwell took home the award.
Mark Harmon and Andre Braugher presented the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. The nominees included Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals), Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Asylum), Charlotte Rampling (Restless), Imelda Staunton (The Girl), and Alfre Woodard (Steel Magnolias). Ellen Burstyn won the Emmy.
Bryan Cranston and Claire Danes made their way on stage to present two awards: the first was Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade’s End), Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra), Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra), Toby Jones (The Girl), and Al Pacino (Phil Spector) were nominated, but it was Michael Douglas who took home the award. The second award was for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie. The nominees were: American Horror Story: Asylum, Behind the Candelabra, Phil Spector, Political Animals, The Bible, and Top of the Lake. Behind the Candelabra was the winner.
Will Ferrell walked out on stage wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals and was accompanied by his children, explaining he was called at the last minute and couldn’t find child care. He then presented the final two awards of the night – the first was Outstanding Comedy Series. The nominees were: 30 Rock, Girls, Louie, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, and Veep. As always, Modern Family won the award. The second and final award was for Outstanding Drama Series. The nominees included Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, and Mad Men. Breaking Bad was this year’s winner.
What did you think of tonight’s show? Were you surprised at any of the winners? Did your favorites win or lose? Leave a comment below!