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The 9 best moments at the 2024 Emmys and the 5 worst

Palmer Haasch,Caralynn Matassa   

The 9 best moments at the 2024 Emmys — and the 5 worst
Niecy Nash-Betts' acceptance speech and Pedro Pascal's jab at Kieran Culkin were some of the highlights of the Emmys.Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images; Kevin Winter/Getty Images
  • The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards took place on Monday.
  • "Succession," "The Bear," and "Beef" led wins during the evening.

The 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards finally happened on Monday night after a months-long delay due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. And for the most part, they pulled through.

Shows like "Succession," "The Bear," and "Beef" each took home multiple major awards, with their stars like Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edebiri, Ali Wong, and Steven Yeun getting plenty of love from the Television Academy.

And as a production, the Emmys were generally smooth, celebrating television through reunions of shows like "Cheers," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Martin." Host Anthony Anderson even enlisted his mother, Doris Bowman, to cut winners off with signs from the audience, rather than the traditional play-off music.

Still, there were some specific highlights, as well as a few disappointing moments. Here were the best and worst bits of the show.

Highlight: Niecy Nash-Betts' speech

Highlight: Niecy Nash-Betts
Niecy Nash-Betts accepts the Emmy award for outstanding supporting actress in a limited/anthology series or movie.      Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Niecy Nash-Betts took home the Emmy award for best supporting actress in a limited series for her performance in "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story."

Her acceptance speech was one of the best of the night. Nash-Betts thanked series creator Ryan Murphy and costar Evan Peters, as well as her wife. But she also made space for another important individual — herself.

"I want to thank me, for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do," she said. "I want to say to myself in front of all you beautiful people, 'Go, girl, with your bad self. You did that.'"

"Finally, I accept this award on behalf of every Black and brown woman who has gone unheard, yet overpoliced, like Glenda Cleveland, like Sandra Bland, like Breonna Taylor," she continued. "As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power, and baby I'mma do it 'til the day I die. Mama, I won!"

Highlight: Pedro Pascal and Kieran Culkin's ongoing faux feud

Highlight: Pedro Pascal and Kieran Culkin
Kieran Culkin and Pedro Pascal speak at the HBO & Max post-Emmys reception.      Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO & Max

At the Golden Globes, Kieran Culkin started a playful "feud" with fellow outstanding actor in a drama series nominee Pedro Pascal after his win, telling Pascal to "suck it" onstage.

Pascal paid back that jab in kind at the Emmys. While presenting the award for best supporting actor in a drama series, he explained that his arm was in a sling due to a shoulder injury.

"And I think tonight is a perfect time to tell everyone that Kieran Culkin beat the shit out of me," Pascal said, though his words were censored in the broadcast.

Culkin took the joke gamely, maintaining a blank face for the camera. He went on to win the award for lead actor in a drama later that night, beating Pascal once again.

Later, the pair were photographed chatting at the HBO & Max afterparty.

Lowlight: 'Better Call Saul' was completely shut out once again

Lowlight:
"Better Call Saul."      AMC

This year's Emmy Awards were the last chance for the acclaimed drama "Better Call Saul" to finally pick up some love from the Television Academy.

Unfortunately, the series didn't win any of the seven Emmys that it was nominated for, marking a terrible (and record-setting) losing streak: Out of the 53 nominations that the "Breaking Bad" spin-off series received over its six-season run, it won none of them.

Highlight: The 'Ally McBeal' and 'Cheers' cast reunions

Highlight: The
Greg Germann, Calista Flockhart, Gil Bellows and Peter MacNicol dance onstage at the 2024 Emmys.      Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images

The 2024 Emmys featured reunions for the casts of many iconic shows, from "Martin" to "Grey's Anatomy." They were pretty much all great, but a few stood out among the rest.

Calista Flockhart and her "Ally McBeal" costars breaking out into dance was a perfectly delightful — and simple! — tribute to the hit '90s comedy-drama. Obsessed.

And there's no way a big smile didn't break across your face seeing the legends of the "Cheers" cast have a "long-overdue class reunion" around a replica of the bar.

Highlight: Green goblin Princess Poppy stole the show on the red carpet

Highlight: Green goblin Princess Poppy stole the show on the red carpet
Queens from "RuPaul's Drag Race" on the Emmys red carpet.      Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

On the Emmys red carpet, a striking feature emerged — someone dressed as a goblin, complete with facial prosthetics, stringy hair, and bright-green skin.

That person turned out to be season 15 "RuPaul's Drag Race" competitor Princess Poppy, who un-retired from drag to launch the iconic look. Later in the evening, she finally claimed her throne, identifying herself as the verdant queen on Instagram.

Highlight: Christina Applegate’s Emmys return

Highlight: Christina Applegate’s Emmys return
Christina Applegate onstage at the Emmy Awards with host Anthony Anderson.      Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Christina Applegate was nominated at the Emmys for her series "Dead to Me." But earlier in the ceremony the actor, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2021, presented the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy to Ayo Edebiri.

Applegate received a standing ovation when she walked on stage.

"Oh my god! You're totally shaming me with disability by standing up, it's fine," she joked. "Body not by Ozempic."

The audience continued to cheer for her as she said that people may know her from the series "Married With Children."

"We don't have to applaud every time I do something," she said.

Lowlight: The strikes went mostly unacknowledged during the show

Lowlight: The strikes went mostly unacknowledged during the show
"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" won the award for outstanding writing for a variety series.      Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

This year's Emmy Awards actually did a pretty good job of celebrating television as a medium by spotlighting iconic series like "Cheers" and "Grey's Anatomy" through cast reunions. But one facet of the industry barely got touched on throughout the show: the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that occurred last summer. Given how much the strikes defined the entertainment industry in 2023, it was a little weird!

The strikes were, in fact, the reason that the Emmys fell so late (they typically take place in the fall). But writer Sofia Manfredi was the only winner to acknowledge the strikes while accepting the award for outstanding writing for a variety series for "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver."

Highlight: The 'It’s Always Sunny' cast griping about not getting any nominations

Highlight: The
The "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" cast onstage at the Emmy Awards.      Monica Schipper/WireImage

You can't really count the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" cast presentation as a reunion, because all of its five core members are still on the show, which has been running for 16 seasons. But it was a pretty good moment — especially when they all started to gripe about the acclaimed series never having received any love at the Emmys.

"We've been on the show since 2005, I've never even been here," Glenn Howerton said.

"Yeah, hang on. Have you guys been doing this every single year without us?" Charlie Day asked.

Danny DeVito and Rob McElhenney reflected on their respective Emmy wins for "Taxi" and "Welcome to Wrexham" — but none for "Sunny."

Highlight: Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Matty Matheson’s on-stage kiss

Highlight: Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Matty Matheson’s on-stage kiss
Matty Matheson and Ebon Moss-Bachrach kiss while accepting the best comedy Emmy.      Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

It was a big night for "The Bear," which swept three of the four comedy acting categories, including best actor (for Jeremy Allen White), best supporting actor (for Ebon Moss-Bachrach), and best supporting actress (for Ayo Edebiri).

So, it's no surprise that the entire cast was already on a real high by the time "The Bear" took home the trophy for best comedy series near the end of the awards show. The jubilant energy was immediately apparent as they took the stage and it only got wilder when Moss-Bachrach planted a big ol' kiss on costar Matty Matheson. Matheson's joyful speech capped off one of the night's most memorable moments.

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Lowlight: The Emmys 'In Memoriam' segment had some notable absences

Lowlight: The Emmys
Ray Stevenson attends the "Allegiant" New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on March 14, 2016 in New York City.      Jim Spellman/WireImage

The Emmys "In Memoriam" segment featured those in the industry who died in the time since the 2022 Emmy Awards, honoring actors like Matthew Perry, Lance Reddick, and Angus Cloud.

But some notable actors were left out: Ray Stevenson ("Ahsoka"), Tom Sizemore, Ryan O'Neal, Jerry Springer, Raquel Welch, and Julian Sands all appeared to have been left out from the segment.

Highlight: Elton John's EGOT

Highlight: Elton John
Elton John performs during the 2022 Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.      Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Though he wasn't present at the ceremony, Elton John officially became the 19th person to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony — colloquially referred to as an EGOT.

The artist took home the award for outstanding variety special (live) for "Elton John: Farewell from Dodger Stadium." He's previously earned the other three awards through films like "The Lion King" and the musical "Aida."

Lowlight: Laverne Cox mispronounced Hannah Waddingham's name

Lowlight: Laverne Cox mispronounced Hannah Waddingham
Hannah Waddingham at the 75th Emmy Awards.      Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Laverne Cox hosted E! Network's red carpet coverage, and interviewed "Ted Lasso" star Hannah Waddingham.

However, when she greeted the actor, she mispronounced her last name as "Waddington."

"Waddingham," Waddingham corrected. "Waddingham, let's get that right."

Awkward.

Highlight: Ariana DeBose and Bella Ramsey show they have no beef post-Critics Choice Awards

Highlight: Ariana DeBose and Bella Ramsey show they have no beef post-Critics Choice Awards
Bella Ramsey and Ariana DeBose were spotted hugging at the Emmys.      @evanrosskatz/Instagram

At the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, Ramsey was presenting alongside Anthony Ramos when they read a joke about DeBose, as well as Jack Black and Ryan Gosling, as "actors who also think they are singers."

DeBose, who starred in the Disney film "Wish" and is a Broadway musical veteran, said on Instagram that she didn't think that the joke was funny.

But Ramsey and DeBose don't seem to have any lingering beef — they were spotted embracing in the audience at the Emmys. Writer Evan Ross Katz posted a photo on Instagram of the pair hugging.

Lowlight: The bizarre 9/11 inclusion in a montage of television's most important moments

Lowlight: The bizarre 9/11 inclusion in a montage of television
The Television Academy's "Top TV Moments" collage.      The Television Academy

The Television Academy compiled 75 of the most important moments in television history in honor of the 75th annual Emmy Awards. The list includes moments like Ellen's coming out episode on "Ellen" and the "Conjunction Junction" animated short from "Schoolhouse Rock!"

But it also features news moments, like television coverage of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, and notably, coverage of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

It was a bit jarring to see footage of the Twin Towers burning among clips of The Beatles performing, "The Simpsons," and the "Friends" series finale.

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