British comedian Ricky Gervais delighted the assembled stars at the 60th annual Emmy awards today.
Gervais, who won best lead actor in a comedy series last year, took part in an awkward sketch with Steve Carrell, who said he was going to hold Gervais’ Emmy award hostage last year when the Briton could not attend the ceremony.
“I’ve come to get it back,” he said.
He also joked that he was going “off-script” and said the ceremony’s producers were getting nervous as he walked to where Carrell was sitting in the front row of the audience to retrieve his award.
The sleek 1960s drama ‘Mad Men’ made Emmy history as the first basic-cable show to win a top series award, while the sitcom ‘30 Rock’ and its stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin were the night’s top winners.
“We’re all so very grateful to have jobs in this turkey-burger economy,” Fey said after accepting the best comedy series trophy for her satire about a late-night TV show.
The upcoming US presidential election also featured heavily in the evening’s speeches after the ceremony got off to a rocky start with five reality TV hosts opening the ceremony in a rambling way.
Ryan Seacrest and his fellow hosts talked about how they had “nothing” to talk about, before turning to a slapstick comedy routine which involved supermodel Heidi Klum having her clothes ripped off, revealing black hot pants underneath her modest suit.
Gervais’s Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale was also nominated for best made-for-television movie, best writing and best directing in a mini series, movie or a dramatic special, best supporting actress – but missed out on all these awards.
On Saturday, Gervais joked that award ceremonies were only fun if you were a winner and said the Emmys, US television’s highest honours, were in “a different class” to other awards.
“If you lose, everybody that walks past with an Emmy you want to punch their face in,” he said.
“I was thinking about bringing my old ones just to walk around with them. Then when everyone goes: ’Hey you won’, I can go: ‘Yeah, they didn’t show it but I won’.”
Talking about his nomination for best actor, he was not confident of success.
“They’ve put me in the film category which is very flattering but I’ve got no chance I’m up against Kevin Spacey, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giammatti, Ralph Fiennes and me a fat bloke from England – forget it,” he said.
He added that there were no plans for another series of Extras.
“That’s the end and the next three things I’ve got out are all films,” he said.
“Ghost Town out at the moment, go and watch it. Then my first film that I’ve written and directed is out next year called This Side of the Truth, then myself and Stephen (Merchant) are doing a film which will be out the year after that.”
The winners were:
Best Series, Drama – ‘Mad Men’
Best Series, Comedy – ‘30 Rock’
Best Actor, Drama – Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’
Best Actor, Comedy – Alec Baldwin, ‘30 Rock’
Best Actress, Drama – Glenn Close, ‘Damages’
Best Actress, Comedy – Tina Fey, ‘30 Rock’
Best Supporting Actor, Drama Series – Zeljko Ivanek, ‘Damages’
Best Supporting Actress, Drama Series – Dianne Wiest, ‘In Treatment’
Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series – Jeremy Piven, ‘Entourage’
Best Supporting Actress, Comedy Series – Jean Smart, ‘Samantha Who?’
Best Reality-Competition Programme – ‘The Amazing Race’
Best Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Programme – Jeff Probst, ‘Survivor’
Best Made for Television Movie – ‘Recount’
Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series – ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart’
Best Miniseries – John Adams
Best Lead Actress, Miniseries or Movie – Laura Linney, John Adams
Best Lead Actor, Miniseries or Movie – Paul Giamatti, John Adams
Best Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie – Eileen Atkins, ‘Cranford (Masterpiece Theatre)’
Best Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie – Tom Wilkinson, John Adams
Best Directing, Drama Series – Greg Yaitanes, ‘House’
Best Directing, Comedy Series – Barry Sonnenfeld, ‘Pushing Daisies’
Best Directing, Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special – Jay Roach, ‘Recount’
Best Directing, Variety, Music Or Comedy Programme – Louis J Horvitz, ‘80th Annual Academy Awards’
Best Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Programme – Don Rickles, ‘Mr Warmth: The Don Rickles Project’
Best Writing, Comedy Series – Tina Fey, ‘30 Rock’
Best Writing, Drama Series – Matthew Weiner, ‘Mad Men’
Best Writing, Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special – Kirk Ellis, John Adams
Best Writing, Variety, Music Or Comedy Programme – ‘The Colbert Report’.