Emmy fever gets a little too hot
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Primetime Emmy Awards 2012: Best and worst

Emmy fever gets a little too hot
The 90-degree-plus temperatures in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday were brutal on the red carpet outside the Nokia Theatre, with one attendee collapsing and having to be carried off in a wheelchair. Never one to let a semi-serious moment get turned into mindless entertainment blather, KABC-TV Channel 7 pre-show co-host Rachel Smith lusted after one of the firemen. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Jimmy Fallon’s got the jokes
Sunday evening’s other Jimmy, Jimmy Fallon, wasn’t hosting (he’s an NBC guy), but he didn’t do himself any favors with his red carpet jokes that weren’t even worthy of an open mike night. Gags about Amanda Bynes’ driving and Clint Eastwood and empty chairs smelled like stuff rejected from the nightly monologue. (Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times)
Finally, a decent red carpet question
During ABC’s red carpet pre-show Sunday, a fan from the stands was selected to ask a star of his or her choice any question. What could have been an awkward disaster became a genuinely interesting moment (as far as red carpet moments go) when the fan asked Melissa McCarthy about her time working on “Weird Al” Yankovic’s old TV show. McCarthy warmly remembered the job. “He’s a lovely, lovely, funny man,” she said. McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone, offered, “I got my first acting job on that show.” Something McCarthy had forgotten. It was a better question and answer than the professionals had gotten all afternoon. Don’t expect to see the stunt repeated. (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)
‘Modern Family’ kids grate on the carpet
Rico Rodriguez and the rest of the underage cast of “Modern Family” all deserve their great success, but they’ve come to represent the worst of what child actors can be when it comes to their awards show exposure. Especially on the red carpet, where it’s hard for even adults to look casual, these poor kids come off as way too eager to please. Young Rodriguez, speaking with George Pennachio on KABC’s Emmy pre-show, revealed, “I ask my mom at the end of each day what my grade for the day is. How’d the interviews go?” Wouldn’t you know it, he’s getting straight A’s! (Matt Sayles / Associated Press)
Jimmy Kimmel kicks things off with the ladies
Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel thankfully bypassed the tired awards show opening of having himself edited into scenes from the various nominated series and instead employed the aid of several nominated actresses for a short, semi-funny opening sketch set in the ladies room. Among the actresses lending Kimmel support were Connie Britton, Kathy Bates, Mindy Kaling, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and a naked, cake-eating Lena Dunham. “I’m gonna host this show until it’s pregnant,” Kimmel told the actresses, no doubt prompting a few involuntary recoils in viewers. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
No surprises from Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Kimmel’s opening jokes hit all the expected targets from presidential candidates (“ ‘Downton Abbey’ gives you a sense of what it was like to grow up in Mitt Romney’s house”) to the woes of rival channels (after mentioning the cancellation of “Luck” after horse deaths on-set, Kimmel cautioned, “If you’re going to the HBO after-party, don’t eat the sliders”). Hire a late night host for an awards show, you’ll get a late night show monologue. (John Shearer / Associated Press)
Eric Stonestreet brings the heart
Too often, awards shows can trudge past without any semblance of genuine emotion or excitement. But full credit goes to “Modern Family’s” Eric Stonestreet for starting things off right with his second win for supporting actor in a comedy. His voice shaky with emotion, Stonestreet seemed genuinely moved, thanking his co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson as well as working in a few zingers. “I never knew I’d be on TV as a gay man, but I’m really loving the pictures of hairy chests you’re sending me. They’re amazing.” (John Shearer / Associated Press)
Jon Cryer goes full Swift
Jon Cryer, winning his second Emmy for “Two and a Half Men,” took a page out of the Taylor Swift awards show win book, effusively appearing shocked -- shocked! -- to win. “Something has clearly gone terribly wrong,” he told the crowd. “I’m stunned.” (John Shearer / Associated Press)
Emmy rule: Always be prepared
It used to be the cool thing to appear totally unprepared for a major award win. But now it seems much preferred to work up some shtick in advance, no matter what your chances. No one expected Julia Louis-Dreyfus to win for “Veep,” but she did work out something with her competitor Amy Poehler. The two actresses embraced during Louis-Dreyfus’ run to the stage and “mistakenly” swapped speeches. After fixing the mix-up, Louis-Dreyfus finished her speech, ending with, “Isn’t it a shame that Amy Poehler didn’t win.” Who needs writers when the stars are coming up with great bits like this? (John Shearer / Associated Press)
‘The Amazing Race’ is unstoppable once more
If you are a reality show, don’t bother to campaign for an Emmy. “The Amazing Race” will beat you. It’s lost the category only once, in 2010. It won again this year. “Top Chef” beat it once, but that was because “Race” had gotten lazy, careless. It won’t happen again. “Race” won’t let it. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Aaron Paul thanks his maker
The original plan for “Breaking Bad” was to have Aaron Paul’s character, Jesse Pinkman, killed off early in the series. But he and star Bryan Cranston had great chemistry and the character survived. That would explain Paul’s very sincere thanks from the stage to show creator Vince Gilligan, “Thank you so much for not killing me off!” (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Tracy Morgan is a man of few needs
Tracy Morgan is a go-along-to-get-along sort, so when Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel asked him to lie down onstage to fake an incident in which it appeared that the “30 Rock” star had collapsed, Morgan had just one request: “Hold my nunchucks.” Very down to earth, that guy. (John Shearer / Associated Press)
Jimmy Kimmel reveals a secret
Jimmy Kimmel reveals the truth. Coming back from a commercial break, he informed the at-home viewers what they were missing. “Try to imagine all of your favorite TV stars in one room, looking at their phones and ignoring each other,” he said. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
‘In Memoriam’ dies
The smartest decision made by this year’s Emmy show producers was to put several segments between the real “In Memoriam” montage and the fake “In Memoriam” montage dedicated to Jimmy Kimmel. Josh Groban helped out on piano, but what was remarkable was how a gag about dying could die so spectacularly onstage. (John Shearer / Associated Press)
Ricky Gervais has a crisis of (non)-faith
Best ad lib of the night: During the presentation of the award for directing for a variety series or special, a loud bit of voice suddenly rang out in the Nokia Theatre. Presenter Ricky Gervais appeared worried. “What was that?” he asked. “I’m an atheist and that worried me.” (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Jon Stewart drops an F-bomb
Jon Stewart probably won’t be winning another Emmy for “The Daily Show” after simultaneously dropping an F-bomb and ripping the taste of Emmy voters with his acceptance speech for variety series. Though don’t expect Bill Maher to benefit. He’s been nominated 28 times and has lost them all. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Tom Berenger gets cut off
Greatest unfinished acceptance speech of the night: Actor Tom Berenger, winning for “Hatfields & McCoys,” rambled into a magnificent speech that involved references to rabid racoons and demented garden gnomes before getting cut off by the house band. What’s the end of the speech? We’ll never know. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)