Television's biggest night returned with a glamorous red carpet and live audience.
The 73rd annual Emmy Awards returned to a bit of pre-pandemic normalcy compared to last year's mostly-virtual event, as Sunday's soiree featured both a star-studded red carpet and live audience.
Cedric the Entertainer was tapped to host -- making him only the third Black host in Emmy history behind Michael Che and Bryant Gumbel -- as television's biggest night moved from the Microsoft Theater to L.A. Live's Event Deck in 2021.
And with last year's Covid regulations keeping most attendees watching -- and accepting their trophies -- from the comfort of their own homes, this year's in-person ceremony once again allowed presenters and winners to grace the stage. Though Seth Rogen, it seemed, thought the event would be a little more socially distant (more on that in a second).
The big winners of the night were "Ted Lasso," "The Crown," "Mare of Easttown" and "The Queen's Gambit," which swept most of the acting categories and the top three: Outstanding Comedy, Drama and Limited Series.
Click below for all the winners ... and keep reading for the night's most viral moments.
Kicking off the show, host Cedric the Entertainer promised it wouldn't be a subdued affair -- and proved it right off the bat with a tribute to both television and the late Biz Markie.
Cedric and L.L. Cool J got things off to an exciting start by altering the late rapper's "Just a Friend" to sing about this year's nominees. But they weren't the only two to take part in the opening song, as "This Is Us" stars Mandy Moore and Susan Kelechi Watson, "The Neighborhood's" Annaleigh Ashford and Beth Behrs, "Black-ish" stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, Coach Beard from "Ted Lasso" and more all got in on the action.
But the most surprising: Rita Wilson, who did more that just sing the chorus, but rapped her own verse. Color us impressed!
Rita Wilson saw Glenn Close doing da butt at the Oscars and said, "Hold my beer"
The first presenter of the night was Seth Rogen, who hit the stage with a collection of jokes about how inside the technically-outside affair was.
Starting by exclaiming there were "way too many of us in this little room," Rogen asked what the hell they were all doing there. "They said this was outdoors."
"It's not! They lied to us," he continued. "I would not have come to this! Why is there a roof?! It's more important we have three chandeliers than that we make sure we don't kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided."
He concluded: "I went from wiping my groceries to having Paul Bettany sneeze in my face."
“They said this was outdoors…it’s not!” Seth Rogen is genuinely not happy about the COVID situation.
The first two wins of the night went to Ted Lasso, with Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein both taking home the gold for their supporting roles on the comedy.
As she took to the stage, Waddingham let out a big scream and exclaimed, "Jesus Christ on a bike ... I'm not responsible for whatever comes out of my mouth after this." She then thanked Jason Sudeikis and the show's writers, before expressing her shock at actually giving a speech. She also gave a special thanks to Juno Temple and her parents, who she noted she "nearly lost" during filming.
When Goldstein got on stage, he took a note from his Roy Kent alter ego and while he said he was told not to swear, did just that. The producers were ready though -- watch the uncensored version above.
He's here! He's there! He's every-f—ing-where! Roy Kent! Roy Kent!
Picking up the trophy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, John Oliver took a moment to pay tribute to two other legends: Conan O'Brien, whose show just came to an end this year, and Norm Macdonald, who passed away this month.
"I was kind of rooting for Conan, so this is bittersweet," Oliver said. "Thank you Conan for 30 years of inspiring comedy writers. You're the best."
"This is an award for late night comedy. No one was funnier in the last 20 years than Norm Macdonald in late night comedy," he added. "If you have any time in the next week, do what I did and spend time YouTubing clips of Norm and Conan because it doesn't get better than that."
"Saturday Night Live" picked up the trophy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, but Robin Thede made a great argument for why "A Black Lady Sketch Show" should have won.
As Lorne Michaels and the cast and crew of SNL walked to the stage, the camera cut to Thede seething in her chair as Issa Rae tried to console her. It, of course, was all a bit -- but a good one, and funnier than a lot of the bits of the night.
Robin Thede also deserves an Emmy for that reaction. #Emmys
One of the most confusing bits of the night was a pre-taped sketch in which Cedric released a fly into the world ... the same fly that would then land on Mike Pence during his debate against Kamala Harris.
The fly moment happened way back in October 2020, leaving everyone wondering why the hell we were getting jokes about it still in September 2021. It also went nowhere and had nothing to do with anything else of the night.
A taped bit about the fly on Mike Pence’s head? Tonight he’s just Cedric…
Jean Smart won Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series for her role as Deborah Vance in "Hacks", following the death of her husband Richard Gilliland back in March.
After getting a standing ovation from the entire audience, Smart took to the mic and said, "Before I say anything else, I had to acknowledge my late husband who passed away six months yesterday."
"I would not be here without him, without his putting his career on the back-burner so I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I've had," she said, before thanking their two "incredible, unselfish" children for being "very courageous individuals in their own right."
Jason Sudeikis picked up his first Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on "Ted Lasso".
After thanking all his real life "teammates" -- including his parents, costars, children and the folks at Saturday Night Live, he took a moment to specifically call out Lorne Michaels, who was nowhere to be found.
"I want to thank Lorne, who went to go take a dump now," he cracked. "He's gonna get home, he's gonna watch it, he loves watching the Emmys at home. Which home, is the big question."
Jason Sudeikis taking up precious time from his finite awards speech to roast Lorne Michaels is A+ content
After getting a shoutout from John Oliver earlier in the night, Conan O'Brien decided to get some more screen time by crashing Stephen Colbert's acceptance speech for Outstanding Variety Special Live win.
O'Brien ran on stage with the whole Late Show crew, as Colbert joked, "And all of these people behind me ... most of these people behind me ... most of the people behind me really deserve this Emmy right now."
Jada Pinkett Smith, Ava DuVernay, Ellen Pompeo and Michael Douglas were on hand to present the legendary Debbie Allen with the Governors Award -- and her speech did not disappoint.
"I wanna say thank you for this glorious moment in the sun," she began, before warning producers not to play her off. "Turn that clock off, I ain't paying attention to it. Turn it off!"
After listing off a ton of people who have helped and supported her through the years, she then sent an empowering message to viewers at home, all around the globe.
"Let this moment resonate with women across the world, across this country and across this world, from Texas to Afghanistan," she proclaimed. "And young people have no vote, who can't get the vaccine, they're inheriting the world that we leave them. It is time for you to claim your power, claim your voice, sing your song, tell your stories. It will make us a better place. Your turn."
Michaela Coel earned a well-deserved win for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series for "I May Destroy You." After getting a pep talk from Cynthia Erivo, she hit the stage and gave one helluva speech.
"Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn't comfortable. I dare you," she said. "In a world that entices us to browse through the lives or others to help us better determine how to feel about ourselves and to in turn feel the need to be constantly visible, because visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success, do not be afraid to disappear, from it, from us for a while and see what comes to you in the silence."
She concluded the speech by saying, "I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault, thank you." Coel got another standing ovation ... and an assist offstage from Kathryn Hahn.
The fact her powerful, succinct speech came after Scott Frank, who ran far too long and told the producers to quiet the music multiple times, only made it all the better.
So important to have realistic stories about what sexual assault does to a person and then to have an artist like Michaela Coel telling those stories on her own terms, without letting the industry play her. I hope this opens infinity more doors
The Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series category at this year's Emmys was stacked, but when Kate Winslet won, it really didn't seem like she expected to take home the trophy. This may have been one of the most excited speeches of the night.
"Mom, they're standing up! Okay, breathe," she exclaimed when she got on stage. She then acknowledged all the other women in her category, saying that, "in this decade that has to be about women having each other's backs, I support you, I salute you, I am proud of all of you."
As she rolled off a list of names from the show, she then acknowledged her kids and her husband and added that, because of them, "Yes, I am the winner!"
Kate Winslet is so remarkably un-chill about these things, and I continue to adore it.
If you were paying attention all night, it was pretty easy to predict what would win at least two of the final three categories; Comedy, Drama and Limited Series.
After taking home Outstanding Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Comedy, "Ted Lasso" took home the Outstanding Comedy Series award too. Meanwhile, "The Crown" won Outstanding Drama Series after wins for Lead Actress, Lead Actor, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor.
The big surprise was "The Queen's Gambit," which took home Outstanding Limited Series after only picking up Outstanding Directing -- and no acting awards -- earlier in the night.
After their big win for Comedy Series, the stars of Ted Lasso broke into the show's infamous (and NSFW) Roy Kent cheer backstage and it was glorious.