Teddy Perkins is a white character from one episode of "Atlanta" portrayed by Donald Glover in prosthetic makeup, which led many media outlets to quickly declare that the comedian was dressed up as that character during the broadcast. Perkins could be seen hugging Bill Hader after his win for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, beating last year's winner ... Donald Glover.
Later in the broadcast, though, Glover was seen as himself. So did he dress up as Perkins to accept the Emmy in character, should he have won, or was that someone else underneath that wig and makeup? If it was Glover, he went to great lengths to quickly get into and out of that gear for a gag. If it wasn't, that's some masterful trolling.
As an Easter egg for "Atlanta" fans, it was beautifully presented, as Perkins was just another person sitting in the crowd, although one who looked a little odd and a lot white. Considering the fact that Hader did hug him on his way up to the stage, maybe it was Glover. Or maybe Hader just thought it was.
After the show, Perkins showed up again, which would mean Glover would have had to change back into the costume again, as he'd already been seen post-Hader's win as himself. Some people started speculating that it could be his "Altanta" co-star Lakeith Stanfield, but then an image emerged with all three personalities.
The whole thing is too much for us to figure out, so we're handing it over to the sleuths in the Twitterverse. They've been having a field day with it all night.
Hmmm, so perhaps it was a third party portraying Teddy Perkins. Or perhaps, as the episode indicated, Teddy Perkins was there as himself and Glover pretending he wasn't real was the true joke, all along. Or, and bear with us, it was Glover as Perkins in the audience (in case he won), but then someone else dressed up as Perkins later...
The only thing that might be creepier than this mystery is the episode it's based on. "Teddy Perkins" is based on the trauma child stars due with a particular nod to the strange and tragic life of Michael Jackson. It is dark and surreal and spooky and utterly brilliant. But seeing Teddy Perkins at the Emmys was somehow even more disturbing than his episode.