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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Vicky Jessop

Six things we learned from the 2024 Emmys: from the host bringing his mum to winners' rampant kissing

After a year of delays, strikes and a fair amount of drama, the world’s TV stars descended on the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles for the 2024 Emmy Awards. And, wow, did it deliver.

Last night’s ceremony saw unexpected reunions (such as the cast of Two and A Half Men, weirdly), memorable speeches and a fair amount of lip-locking, mostly by Kieran Culkin.

Here are six things we learned from last night’s ceremony...

Emmy voters only watch four shows

Award winners Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri, stars of The Bear (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

It was always going to be a bit of a closed race. The Bear, White Lotus, Beef and Succession were up for so many awards that it seemed inevitable they would clean up between them, and so it proved here: Succession scooped most of the drama awards, The Bear took home the comedy gongs and Beef won in limited series.

That’s all well and good (and the awards were well deserved) but it did mean that also-excellent shows like Barry and Better Call Saul were unfairly overlooked. Please watch more TV, Emmy voters: there are other great shows out there that also deserve some love.

Feuds run deep

Sometimes old wounds don’t heal – as Pedro Pascal proved when he took to the stage to accept his award for Best Actor. Pascal, who had been up for an award alongside Succession’s Kieran Culkin (who memorably told him to “suck it” at the Golden Globes) still had his arm in a sling. Apparently, though, it was for good reason: “Kieran Culkin beat the shit out of me,” he deadpanned. Cut to a stony-faced Culkin in the crowd – before he burst into laughter.

It wasn't just the award winners being shown the love

Big love to Christina Applegate, who made a surprise appearance on the Emmys stage after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2021. She was there to present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, but received a standing ovation of her own from the crowd, which brought her to tears. “Oh my God! You’re totally shaming me with disability by standing up,” she joked. “It’s fine!”

The weirdest speeches are the best

Why did John Oliver choose to start listing the Liverpool starting 11 in his acceptance speech? Who knows, but it certainly raised eyebrows – as did Blackbird’s Paul Walter Hauser, who was mid-snack when his name was called and had to rush to the stage to deliver his acceptance speech (in the form of a poem, naturally), still chewing.

And how could we not mention Niecy Nash-Betts, who took a moment to thank herself in her own acceptance speech. “I want to thank me for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do,” she said. “And I want to say to myself, in front of all you beautiful people, “Go on girl with your bad self! You did that!”

A great hosting tip – bring your mum

After the blazing bin fire that was Jo Koy’s time at the Golden Globes, the Emmys were, thankfully, better. Host Anthony Anderson had some good jokes, but his real trump card was bringing along his mother Doris, to wrap up the acceptance speeches (rather than having the traditional orchestra playing long-winded speakers off). How? By waving a sign with a clock on and calling out from the crowd, as she did with Jennifer Coolidge. “Baby. Baby. Time,” Bowman told her.

His mother popped up several more times during the show, too – she proceeded to call Harrison Ford “Henry”, stopped him from talking about the latex suit he wore on stage made him feel “moist”, and called time on Jon Oliver before he managed to get onto Liverpool's midfield. That's efficiency.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach is a passionate man

(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

What better way to celebrate The Bear winning just about every award under the sun than (if you’re Ebon Moss-Bachrach, anyway) planting a big sloppy kiss on your co-star? His lip-locking moment with Matty Matheson as he went up to accept the award for Best Comedy Series was unexpected, to say the least, and went on for… quite a while.

And the smooches didn’t stop there: anybody spot Kieran Culkin sneaking a cheeky kiss from his Succession co-star Brian Cox on his way up to accept the award for Best Actor? And ambushing J Smith Cameron on the red carpet as she was giving an interview? The man’s a menace.

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