The 2017 Emmy Awards let Sterling K. Brown finish his acceptance speech... backstage

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The Emmy Awards have wrapped. “Big Little Lies” was a big winner along with Donald Glover, “Saturday Night Live” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Lena Waithe made history as the first black woman to win for writing in a comedy series, “Handmaid’s” was the first streaming show to win drama, and Donald Glover was the first black man to win directing in comedy. Check out our behind-the-scenes stories, fashion breakdowns and red carpet interviews.

Donald Glover at the Emmys: ‘It’s been a pretty good year. I know everyone else is having an awful one, but mine is OK’

Donald Glover wins the Emmy for lead actor in a comedy series on Sunday night.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Dressed in a smart purple suit and looking pleasantly dazed, Donald Glover entered the press room Sunday night clutching the two Emmys that helped him make history. One for best director for a comedy series, and the other for best actor in the same series, “Atlanta.”

“I feel crazy,” Glover said. “I’m all right. It’s been a pretty good year. I know everyone else is having an awful one, but mine is OK.”

Like many others who came to the backstage podium, he touched on politics.

“I don’t really have much to say other than what I said; it’s pretty obvious people in dystopian societies don’t realize they’re in dystopian societies. I just want people to be aware, I think people are aware.”

Glover credited his history of working alongside incredible directors, including Ridley Scott, with helping him become a director in his own right.

“Directors usually don’t get to work with other directors, but I’ve gotten to work with a bunch of great directors. I’ve had a lot of research, so I guess it paid off.”

Despite the excitement surrounding his Emmy wins, Glover said he has not even begun to process what it all means.

“It has not sunk in at all. I don’t know what’s happening right now, it feels like a dream,” he said. “I don’t want to make the best indie movie, I want to make the best movie. I don’t believe in labels like that. I’m glad I made history, but that’s not what I was trying to do. I was trying to make the best product. I just wanted to make a really great show.”

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Here’s how ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ writer-producer and double winner Bruce Miller got ready for the Emmys

Before he became a double Emmy winner-- for both drama series and writing for a drama series-- and before he helped Hulu make streaming TV history, “The Handmaid’s Tale” producer spent Emmy morning, well, watching television.

“I sat with my daughter and watched ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’” Bruce Miller said when we asked him on the red carpet about his Emmy pre-game.

Gee, maybe there is something to be said about the power of strong female characters, Hollywood.

Praise be.

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Lorne Michaels on TV in turbulent times: ‘People trust television — certainly, our president does’

To say that “Saturday Night Live” has experienced a renaissance this year with one of its most politically charged seasons would be as understated as Alec Baldwin’s pursed lips when he’s impersonating Trump.

Asked about the importance of TV in turbulent times, Lorne Michaels, the creator and executive producer of the late-night sketch comedy show, says it comes down to trust.

“I think on a certain level, people trust television — certainly, our president does,” Michaels told The Times on the Emmys red carpet.

“The hard part of this last season was things were changing so quickly,” he added. “Something that you wrote on Wednesday was no longer relevant by Friday. ...You have to keep up. And when people are following the news, and paying attention the way they were this entire election, it helps us.”

That boost translated to nine Emmy wins this year for the show, including a win for variety sketch series as well as a supporting actor in a comedy series win for Baldwin and supporting actress for Kate McKinnon, who portrayed Hillary Clinton.

For more on “Saturday Night Live’s” big night, check out Times staff writer Meredith Blake’s piece here.

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Watch Stephen Colbert explain why everything’s better on TV

Stephen Colbert understands that sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Scratch that. Where you know everybody’s name. Because they’re on TV. And you’re watching it.

Regardless, the host of the 2017 Emmy Awards opened his show with a song-and-dance number reminding the world that when, well, the world gets to be a little too much, there’s always refuge to be found on television.

As delightful as Colbert’s performance is, the entire bit is elevated by a surprise appearance by Chance the Rapper, who implored viewers to watch TV, sure, but to also not blind themselves to the pressing social issues of our time.

Chance’s rap in full:

Yo, Stephen, what a beautiful segue
Let me take over, I can make us some headway
I love television, it’s a pleasant distraction
But just imagine taking action

I like “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” in fact I’m addicted
But where’s the cop show where one gets convicted?
I miss the classics, I still think “MASH” rocks
But if Hawkeye can be a soldier, why not Laverne Cox

“Bob’s Burgers” make you smile, but please don’t ignore
The decline of the independent, family-run store
I get them finales they got you focused
Just record the show and try to show up at the protest

Ya heard

The song can be heard in full above. And read more about Colbert’s hosting gig here.

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The stars aligned for the glittery Governors Ball, the Emmys’ official after-party

Elisabeth Moss of "The Handmaid's Tale" arrives at the Governors Ball on Sunday night.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

After the Emmy Awards wrapped, it was off to the Governors Ball, the evening’s official post-party celebration.

Nobody who was anybody escaped the river of formally clad folks walking from the Microsoft Theater to the nearby L.A. Convention Center, where a score of stairs awaited those who’d been walking in heels all day. Jimmy Kimmel was spotted making the trip, as were Priyanka Chopra, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis and directing nominee Lesli Linka Glatter.

Tables packed with glasses of Champagne and bottles of water greeted the guests as they reached their destination and entered a room that had been transformed for the evening.

Massive Emmy statues flanked the entry and dots of blue light looked like stars on a dark sky surrounding the festivities. Hanging from the ceiling were hundreds — maybe thousands? — of gold tubes that gave the effect of walking through the heart of a fantastical pipe organ.

Dancers perform at the Governors Ball on Sunday.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In the middle of the room, a round, tiered, rotating stage rose toward the ceiling. As the celebration began, a quartet of women in shining gold dresses played the strings on instrumental renditions of tunes by Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars and Journey. The dancing wouldn’t start until much later.

Susan Sarandon arrived promptly, chatting while Seth MacFarlane fought the flow of bodies to pop back outside for a bit. Debra Messing made her way across the room, and Thandie Newton simply glowed as the hundreds of guests streamed in.

At a table in the A-list cluster of seats, presenter Anika Noni Rose of BET’s “The Quad,” chiffon skirt surrounding her like a pink cloud, tucked into the Patina Catering meal right off the bat. Alec Baldwin flew solo past her, toting his third Emmy as if he had carried one around his whole life.

Viola Davis, left, with Cicely Tyson at the Governors Ball.
(Tibrina Hobson / AFP/Getty Images )

Staff in tuxedos, gold bow ties and white gloves stood at the ready at half a dozen engraving stations near the back of the large ballroom, waiting to personalize the winners’ statues. Along with a trophy, each winner took home a pricey, specially packaged silver bottle of Sterling wine.

The meal started off with a salad laden with heirloom tomatoes, plums, red quinoa and balsamic jelly. Pan-roasted filet mignon with roasted grapes, purple potatoes and a horseradish puree followed, topped off by a finger-thin brownie bar with dulce de leche and roasted cherries.

Two hours into the party, the number of famous faces still in the crowd was remarkable. To name a few: Sterling K Brown and his wife, “Atlanta’s” LaKeith Stanfield, Dave Chappelle, Chris Sullivan of “This Is Us,” Jeffrey Wright of “Westworld,” Cicely Tyson and Padma Lakshmi.

Then it was off to a long line of black SUV limos and shuttles waiting to take people off to other parties thrown by HBO, Netflix, Hulu and more — with a Groundwork coffee bar strategically placed on the way out, to give the guests a boost and keep the night’s parties going.

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Sterling K. Brown’s Emmys speech was cut off but Nicole Kidman’s wasn’t. Viewers noticed

Just like the “This is Us” star himself, folks in the audience were annoyed that Sterling K. Brown was played off during his acceptance speech for lead actor in a drama at Sunday night’s Emmy Awards. “Nobody got that loud music,” he said from the stage as he got the wrap-up sign and the crowd in the Microsoft Theater began booing when his microphone was cut.

The moment felt extra galling given that when Nicole Kidman gave her speech for lead actress in a limited series for “Big Little Lies,” the orchestra never began playing and she talked for far longer, 2:46 vs Brown’s 1:57.

Later, in the press room, Brown reclaimed his time to share more thanks to his real and TV families. (For another 1:25.)

And of “This is Us” creator Dan Fogelman he said, “In his own little, small, special way, he’s not trying to make America great again, he’s trying to make America the best it’s ever been.”

See his heartfelt remarks above.

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The biggest Trump burns from the 2017 Emmy Awards

Hollywood came for President Trump at the 2017 Emmy Awards. Many nominees, presenters and winners took aim at the president from the Microfost Theater stage. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin even pulled out old quotes from their 1980 classic “9 to 5” call

The stars of Sunday’s Emmy Awards had plenty to say about Donald Trump during a night when it seemed as if everyone from host Stephen Colbert to the winners took a shot at the president.

“At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy,” said Alec Baldwin upon winning the Emmy for supporting actor in a comedy series for his work on “Saturday Night Live.”

Week after week during the 2016-17 television season, Baldwin took to the “SNL” stage with his now famous Trump impression.

Baldwin’s dig took aim at the fact that Trump, though nominated, never won an Emmy for “Celebrity Apprentice,” which even Colbert mentioned earlier in the show.

But the night was just beginning. “9 to 5” stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin -- with a no-comment Dolly Parton in the middle of them -- referenced the premise of their own movie to call Trump a “sexist egotistical lying hypocritical bigot.”

“Atlanta’s” Donald Glover used his winner’s speech to thank “Trump, for making black people No. 1 on the most oppressed list.”

“Veep’s” Julia Louis-Dreyfus even mentioned an abandoned story line involving impeachment.

Watch some of the harshest Trump burns from the 2017 Emmys in the clip above.

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Here’s what Hillary Clinton thought about Kate McKinnon’s Emmy-winning ‘SNL’ tribute

Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, left, and the real Clinton on "Saturday Night Live" in 2015.
(Dana Edelson / Associated Press)

Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among the memorable figures frequently spoofed by two-time Emmy Award winner Kate McKinnon on “Saturday Night Live.”

During Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards, McKinnon picked up her second trophy for supporting actress in a comedy and during an emotional acceptance speech thanked the former presidential hopeful for her “grace and grit.”

It was an interesting choice of words, given that Clinton’s recently released memoir, “What Happened,” touched upon McKinnon’s take on the candidate following her loss to Donald Trump in the November election. The chapter was titled “Grit and Gratitude.” ABC News’ Chris Donovan tweeted a picture of the excerpt about McKinnon on Sunday night.

“On the Saturday after the election, I turned on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and watched Kate McKinnon open the show with her impression of me one more time. She sat at a grand piano and played ‘Hallelujah’.... As she sang, it seemed like she was fighting back tears. Listening, so was I,” Clinton wrote.

“At the end, Kate-as-Hillary turned to the camera and said, ‘I’m not giving up and neither should you.’”

Watch the clip below.

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See Stephen Colbert take aim at President Trump, Bill Maher and more in his Emmys monologue

Stephen Colbert came locked and loaded for his monologue at last night’s Emmy Awards ceremony, and had plenty of targets in his sights.

The host of “The Late Show” was nothing if not consistent, mocking President Trump throughout his opening remarks, just as he typically does nightly on his show.

But the joke may have ultimately been on Colbert himself, with his introduction of Sean Spicer in a painfully unfunny gag about crowd size that left a bad taste in the mouths of many.

To see Colbert’s remarks in full — including a sick burn on Bill Maher — check out the video above. Read all about the highlights of Colbert’s Emmys opening salvo here.

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Kate McKinnon steps out with girlfriend Jackie Abbott at the Emmys

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

“Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon stepped out with her girlfriend on Sunday when she picked up her second trophy for supporting actress in a comedy series at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.

The “Rough Night” and “Office Christmas Party” actress, who memorably played presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on the long-running NBC sketch comedy, was accompanied by Jackie Abbott, whom McKinnon hugged when Gina Rodriguez and Shemar Moore announced that she had won.

It was McKinnon’s first public appearance with Abbott, a New York-based actress, photographer and artist, according to People. The comedic actress was last spotted out with Abbott in April 2016 backstage at a performance of Broadway’s “Fun/Home,” People said.

“Being part of this season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ was the most meaningful thing that I will ever do. So I should probably stop now,” the emotional McKinnon said during her acceptance speech.


Riding high on Trump, ‘SNL’ wins big at the Emmys

The complete list of 2017 Emmy winners and nominees

This year’s Emmys didn’t even pretend not to be political

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Issa Rae, RuPaul, Milo Ventimiglia and more on the last show they had an emotional response to

At the 2017 Emmy Awards we asked the people responsible for making “Peak TV”: “What is the last show you had a strong, emotional response to?”

The answers ran the gamut of the recent Emmy nomination list, with many, many nominees and presenters picking eventual drama series winner “The Handmaid’s Tale” as the show that elicited strong feelings.

John Turturro from “The Night Of” name-checked the Margaret Atwood adaptation (because “unfortunately, it seems very relevant”) as did Emmy winner RuPaul Charles and “Feud’s” Jackie Hoffman.

Meanwhile, Milo Ventimiglia from “This Is Us” offered a variety of titles including limited series winner “Big Little Lies,” “Stranger Things” and this surprising reveal: “At times even ‘Big Bang Theory’ gets me.”

“The Night Of” star Michael Kenneth Williams picked the last season of “Shameless,” and guest actor in a drama series winner Gerald McRaney of “This is Us” reached back to extol his affection for previous Emmy favorite “Downton Abbey.”

Of Carson, Bates, Edith and the gang, the former star of “Major Dad” said, “I loved those people.”

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Jackie Hoffman had the best reaction when she lost the Emmy to Laura Dern (#soreloser)

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

If there’s one thing new Hollywood could learn from old Hollywood, it’s the value of a celebrity feud. Luckily, actress Jackie Hoffman is bringing vendettas back to the forefront – even in jest.

Hoffman, who portrayed Mamacita on FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan,” which detailed the complicated rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, looked to start a competition of her own after losing the Emmy for supporting actress in a limited series or movie to Laura Dern.

Hoffman delivered an outsized reaction to the announcement of the winner Sunday night, yelling “damn it!” and hitting the seat in front of her in what appeared to be a delicious moment of reality among the facade of smiles and polite clapping.

She then turned to Twitter to share some salacious rumors she had heard about six-time nominee Dern, including tales of exploitation and art looting.

Hoffman’s outlandish tweets harkened to the catty backstabbing depicted in “Feud,” where Crawford and Davis actively worked to undermine the other’s chance at an Oscar for “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Still, Hoffman didn’t let the ruse go on too long, tweeting later in the ceremony, “I hear the media actually taking my reaction seriously? Are you kidding me?”

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Inside the Governors Ball with Elisabeth Moss, Donald Glover and more stars of the 2017 Emmy Awards

"The Handmaid's Tale's" Elisabeth Moss holds up her Emmy Awards out side the Los Angeles Convention Center.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

As the last of the winners wrap up their remarks, the Emmy Awards telecast comes to an end. But that does not mean the night is completely over.

For some, including “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Elisabeth Moss, “Atlanta’s” Donald Glover and “Master of None’s” Lena Waithe, the celebration continues at the glitzy after-party held just across the street.

The theme of this year’s Governors Ball was “Golden Grandeur.” The ceiling at the Los Angeles Convention Center was decorated with more than 5,000 gold-colored, paper tubes to set the mood.

Here’s a peek inside the official 2017 Emmys after-party.

"Atlanta's" Stephen Glover, left, and Donald Glover are all smiles at the Governors Ball. (11:27 a.m.: An earlier version of this caption misidentified Stephen Glover as Brian Tyree Henry.)
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Lena Waithe of "Master of None" won the Emmy for writing in a comedy series.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
"This Is Us's'" Chrissy Metz, right, poses for a selfie at the Governors Ball.
“This Is Us’s’” Chrissy Metz, right, poses for a selfie at the Governors Ball.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)


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Creators of Emmy-winning ‘Veep’ on the differences between their show’s insane politics and the real world

David Mandel and "Veep" winning the Emmy for comedy series.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday was a good night for HBO’s “Veep.” The political satire, a two-time Emmy-winning comedy series about the first female POTUS, not only received 17 Emmy nominations in all but took home the Emmy for best comedy series.

With a mix of cast and series creators behind them, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and executive producer David Mandel addressed the crowd.

“In our show, when Selina does something horrible or lies, she gets caught and actually pays a price for it,” Mandel said, alluding to President Trump.

On whether the evening’s wins for women indicate a permanent shift in Hollywood, Louis-Dreyfus jumped in: “God, I hope so; let’s hope this is the beginning of something even better in our country -- and in the world -- because I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge,” she said.

Then she turned to Mandel: “Right, David?!”

“You ARE in charge,” Mandel replied. “You’re my boss!”

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Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe asked to step aside for the cast of ‘Big Little Lies’

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

There was an awkward moment in the press room when Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari of “Master of None” were asked to step aside at the Emmys on Sunday night to make way for the cast and crew of “Big Little Lies,” fresh off their win for limited series.

Although it had been announced that the group from “Big Little Lies” was coming up next, Waithe and Ansari walked in holding their Emmys. Waithe had just made history as the first black woman to win for comedy writing and the two stood by awkwardly while the “Big Little Lies” cast failed to emerge.

Instead of being ushered to the podium to take questions since they were there, Waithe and Ansari were escorted to the side where they waited patiently through a long question-and-answer session once the “Big Little Lies” team arrived. (The situation would’ve been uncomfortable regardless of which shows were involved, but the optics weren’t great.)

After a while, Ansari took Waithe’s picture at the side of the podium. They later gamely took to the stage after being introduced, not by their names as many winners were, but simply as the winners of writing in a comedy series.

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ cast celebrates a night of wins with dystopian-themed cocktails

Elisabeth Moss from "The Handmaid's Tale" clutches her two Emmys.
(Yvonne Villarreal / Los Angeles Times)

It was just before 10 p.m., and the cast of “The Handmaid’s Tale” hadn’t yet arrived at Hulu’s Emmy party at downtown L.A.’s Otium — the curse of being winners and making the media rounds at the Microsoft Theater. Their presence was felt in other ways, though — like with specialty cocktails: “Blessed be the Fruit,” “Praise Be” and “Under His Eye.”

By 11 p.m., the cast began making their way into the Hulu party.

Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, author Margaret Atwood and writer-producer Bruce Miller celebrate "The Handmaid's Tale's" Emmy win for best drama at the Hulu party.
(Yvonne Villarrea / Los Angeles Times)

Samira Wiley was among the first to arrive.

How are she and her fellow handmaidens processing their big showing at the Emmys?

“We’re all freaking out, are you kidding me?” Wiley said as she walked into the party. “We just keep looking at each other screaming. This has been an amazing night.”

When “The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood walked in, party attendees cheered. “No one thought it was just a show,” Atwood said of the series adapted from her 1985 novel. “When people woke up on Nov. 9, no one felt it was just a show.”

Star Elisabeth Moss appeared shortly after, holding two Emmys, one for her win as actress in a drama and one as a producer on the series.

“This is a pretty great workout,” Moss said, curling the trophies like hand weights. “I’m going to be sore tomorrow.”

Writer-producer Bruce Miller, who also took home a pair of Emmys for the series, said, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now. But I’m so happy and proud of everybody. They all deserve it so much and they work so hard.”

"Handmaids" await guests outside the Hulu party.
(Yvonne Villarreal / Los Angeles Times)
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It wasn’t just Sean Spicer: How Donald Glover, Lena Waithe and, yes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus made Emmys history

Reed Morano is the second woman to win a directing Emmy. She got the nod for "The Handmaid's Tale."
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

This year’s Emmys were memorable for a number of reasons, and not just for Anna Chlumsky’s shocked reaction when Sean Spicer rolled that lectern onstage.

Donald Glover, the multi-hyphenate behind FX’s groundbreaking comedy “Atlanta,” became the first black director to win an Emmy for comedy direction. Glover won for “B.A.N.,” an experimental stand-alone episode set in “Atlanta’s” alternate-universe Black Entertainment Television. It was one of the first-year series’ best episodes, blistering in its honest and funny look at race, outrage culture and black masculinity.

"Atlanta's" Donald Glover is the first black director to win an Emmy and is only the second black man to win lead actor in a comedy.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Glover also won the Emmy for lead actor in a comedy, becoming just the second black man to take that award. Robert Guillaume won forBenson” in 1985.

Lena Waithe, the first black woman ever nominated for comedy writing, took that Emmy for the “Master of None” episode “Thanksgiving,” which she co-wrote with series creator Aziz Ansari. The episode’s story, inspired by Waithe’s own life, followed her character, Denise, discovering her sexuality over the course of her life and finally revealing it to her mother.

Lena Waithe, the first black woman nominated for comedy writing, took the Emmy for co-writing the “Master of None” episode “Thanksgiving.”
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

“I had survived that thing that I was so afraid of,” Waithe told The Times of her coming-out experience.


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Watch Stephen Colbert wake up naked in a ‘Westworld’ diagnostic facility

It turns out Stephen Colbert may be more than the typical Emmy “host.”

Or so viewers were led to believe during a skit that transported the Emmy emcee to the world of “Westworld.”

When Colbert started spouting gibberish on stage, two people clad in hazmat suits appeared to drag him away. When Colbert came to, he was face to face with Jeffrey Wright, a.k.a. Bernard from HBO’s “Westworld.”

In “Westworld,” the androids that populate the immersive theme park are known as “hosts.” What follows is Wright running a diagnostic on Colbert.

“Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” asks Wright.

“Every day since November 8th,” answers Colbert.

Watch the full segment above.

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Margaret Atwood talks about her Emmy win: ‘You can say the handmaids have escaped’

Bruce Miller, from left, Margaret Atwood and Elisabeth Moss accept the Emmy for drama series for "The Handmaid's Tale."
Bruce Miller, from left, Margaret Atwood and Elisabeth Moss accept the Emmy for drama series for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

With “Game of Thrones” debuting too late to be eligible for this year’s Emmys, plenty of fresh names were in the running for best drama series. But ultimately, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” — based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a futuristic, totalitarian patriarchal theocracy that prizes fertile women above all else — scored the top honor.

Creator Bruce Miller had no trouble answering what he hopes audiences will take away from the show: “a desire to watch the second season,” he replied quickly. “No, if we’ve done our job well, it’ll be different for everyone who watches it.”

On Hulu being the first streaming service to win one of the Emmy’s top two prizes,” Miller added: “The way Hulu handled our show, they were bold and behind us and committed to making something different. If streaming services continue to do that, I don’t see a limit to what they [can do].”

The entire evening, said Elisabeth Moss — who won the Emmy for lead actress for her role as Offred — was a “roller coaster of emotions.”

Perhaps that’s what prompted the F-bombs during her acceptance speech.

“That was the best version you could have gotten of that — that was the clean version,” she joked. “You do have an out-of-body experience [accepting the award]. It’s a surprise. It should be a surprise; otherwise, you’re an A-hole.”

On a more serious note, Moss added that the many wins for women Sunday night — and for such strong roles — could be considered a positive turn for Hollywood: “We’ve made incredible progress, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” she said. “But obviously incredible progress is being made. It’s not just women in front of the camera but behind the camera. ... we need to see more of that.”

“As a young actor, you don’t pay attention to the limitations placed upon you,” said Ann Dowd, who won the Emmy for supporting actress. “Now there are so many more opportunities. It’s a beautiful thing.

“There’s a war going on every day, a battle for women’s rights,” producer Warren Littlefield added. “And the fact that we can remind people that the resistance is alive — there are days in America that feels like it’s a prequel to [the show’s fictitious Republic of] Gilead, so maybe we can help with the fight.”

Atwood finally stepped forward to offer what she hopes people will take away from the book and the TV series.

“Well, one take-away would be ‘never believe it can never happen here,’” she said. “Which was one of the premises I used for the book. Nothing went into the book that people hadn’t done at some point in time, in some place.”

Then she mentioned several pop cultural offshoots of “Handmaid’s Tale” that the show’s popularity has sparked. There’s a graphic novel, she said, and a man’s version of “The Handmaid’s Tale” on YouTube, apparently. And she receives fan pictures of viewers’ pets — dogs, cats — dressed in Handmaids’ garb.

“In a way, you can say the handmaids have escaped,” Atwood said. “They’re out there, and they’re coming to you again in Season 2!”


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Emmy-winning TV movie ‘San Junipero’ from ‘Black Mirror’ originally starred a hetero couple

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero” won big at the Emmys Sunday night. Creator Charlie Brooker won writing for a limited series or movie, and later the episode picked up a second win for TV movie.

In a backstage reveal at the Emmys, Brooker explained that the episode — starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis — about technologically star-crossed lovers, was originally written for a heterosexual couple. It wasn’t until Brooker decided to make them a queer couple that things started to fall into place.

“It became more fun, more interesting,” he said. “It was sort of easiest to write in a way. We felt we captured something special, and the reaction has been quite overwhelming — the way people have taken it to heart. I’m genuinely a cynic, as you can tell from the series, so the fact that this happened blows up my worldview.”

He also addressed the fact that the winning episode is markedly different from most of the “Black Mirror” offerings in that it presents a world of hope rather than the usual ultra-dark fare the series offers.

“It was out of place deliberately. It was the first episode I wrote for this season because I wanted to blow up my preconceptions for the show,” Brooker said.

That subversion of tone became particularly resonant this year, a point the “Black Mirror” showrunner underlined in his acceptance speech.

“I’ve heard 2017 described as being trapped — like being trapped in one long, unending ‘Black Mirror’ episode,” Brooker said, “But I like to think if I had written it, it wouldn’t be quite so on the nose with all the sort of Nazis and hate.”


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The 2017 Emmy Awards was a big win for the LGBTQ community

Lena Waithe giving her acceptance speech with Aziz Ansari at the 2017 Emmy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Among the biggest winners at the 2017 Emmy Awards: LGBTQ stories and storytellers.

Kate McKinnon was one of the early winners of the evening Sunday, beating a field that included some of her “Saturday Night Live” colleagues to take home the award for supporting actress in a comedy series. The first openly lesbian cast member of the sketch comedy show, McKinnon made her mark this season with portrayals of Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Betsy DeVos and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Lena Waithe of “Master of None” made history as the first black woman to win the Emmy for writing in a comedy series. Waithe, who also plays Denise on the Netflix series, co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode with the show’s co-creator, Aziz Ansari. The intensely personal story was based on Waithe’s own coming out story.

In her speech Sunday, Waithe gave a shout-out to fellow members of the LGBTQ community, calling them superheroes and saying that “the world would not be as beautiful as it is if you weren’t in it.”

“Black Mirror” won for its “San Junipero” episode, which tells the story of two women falling in love at a beach resort town (which — spoiler alert — is actually a simulated reality). The show won for best TV movie and writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special.

During the telecast, host Stephen Colbert sat down for an interview with the Emmy statue herself, a golden-winged woman played by RuPaul, TV’s most famous drag queen.

RuPaul was a winner this year too, nabbing the award for host of a reality or reality-competition series for the second consecutive year at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend.

And no fewer than three gay icons came together during the ceremony’s “9 to 5” reunion. The Emmys brought Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda onstage to present the award for supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie (won by Alexander Skarsgard for “Big Little Lies”).

Add a big night for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which had its own lesbian story line, and that’s a lot of love for LGBTQ television -- even in a year when “Transparent” went winless.

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Emmys 2017: A view from the treacherous march from the Emmys to the Governors Ball

Governors Ball 2017 Emmy Awards performance

Making it from the Emmys broadcast home at the Microsoft Theater to the convention center across the street, where the Governors Ball is held, is no easy feat for those in heels. But even with screaming toes and ankles betraying our age, the select few with ball tickets make the trek.

“We’re all teetering at this point of the night,” actress Yvette Nicole Brown said. “But I’m not above taking these off... I don’t care if it’s downtown. They can talk.”

Her friend, actress Anika Noni Rose, laughed and mused about what could make the walk easier in the future.

“Golf carts. Moving walkways. I’ve thought about all of this,” she said.

Walking up to the Governors Ball, guests were met with a red carpet lined with bottles of water and pre-poured white wine. A string version of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” -- played by an all-female quartet on the inside -- was in the air.

Once inside, the convention center was transformed into a faux starry night sky. Gold pipes hung from the ceiling in waves.

Then the quartet kicked into a rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” And no one who made that long walk did.

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Why Stephen Colbert was the right Emmys host in the year of Trump

Emmys host Stephen Colbert being carried in a bit inspired by HBO's "Westworld."
Emmys host Stephen Colbert being carried in a bit inspired by HBO’s “Westworld.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

For its 69th festival of self-benediction, broadcast Sunday on CBS, the Television Academy brought on Stephen Colbert as its master of ceremonies. Already on the CBS payroll, already schooled in hosting — it is two years almost to the day that, having abandoned his ironic “Colbert Report” persona, he took over “The Late Show” — he was an obvious choice for this job. It was a choice made even easier, to be sure, as his numbers improved and the narrative surrounding “The Late Show” turned from disappointment to delight.

As a comedian, it’s Colbert’s job to take things apart, but he is temperamentally a thoughtful, philosophical, gracious, happy sort of humorist. Like “The Late Show,” where Colbert shows himself more interested in philosophy than celebrity self-promotion, Colbert’s Emmys show was, not surprisingly, genial, pointed, exuberant, just a little bit outrageous and marked by a kind of bemused patience with the vanities of Hollywood that did not exempt the host. When he led the audience in “the traditional Hollywood prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us talent and beauty and the gaping hole inside of each of us that craves love and will never be filled,” that was not meant just in fun. . . .

Stephen Colbert hosts the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Stephen Colbert hosts the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

. . .The monologue began as a mix of good and bad jokes, like any late-night monologue, mostly on lightweight topics. There was the usual engaging with selected stars in the front row seats. But it was the Donald Trump jokes — the current administration being the source of much of “The Late Show’s” invigorated focus — that one awaited.

Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. This is all your fault.

— Stephen Colbert

“If we’re honest with ourselves,” Colbert said finally, “we know that the biggest TV star of the last year is Donald Trump,” whom he grouped with television’s other “morally compromised anti-heroes” as “Walter Much-Whiter.” He read, in Trump’s voice, an old Trump tweet about Seth Meyers hosting the Emmys: “He is very awkward, with almost no talent. Marbles in his mouth.” Meyers, in the audience, opened his mouth, and marbles poured out.

“Unlike the presidency,” said Colbert, “Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.” And then an aside, “Where do I find the courage to tell that joke in this room?” . . .

. . .What did shock the room came next, as Colbert, noting Trump’s obsession with ratings, and wondering whether there were a way to know how well the broadcast was doing at that moment, brought former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on to say, “This will be the largest audience to witness any Emmys, period, both in person and around the world.”

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Just a big ol’ gallery of Emmy winners kissing their trophies

Lena Waithe of "Master of None."
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Here it is, the obligatory roundup of Emmy favs kissing on their Atom lady. But what sparks this trophy love between recipient and award? Is this genuine joy from an ecstatic winner, or was it prompted by the red carpet photographers angling for a quality photo-op?

Truly this is the chicken and the egg conundrum of award season. We may never know the answer, but also who cares Lena Waithe looks great holding gold.

Donald Glover poses with his Emmys for lead actor in a comedy series and director of a comedy series, for "Atlanta."
(Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)
Elisabeth Moss of "The Handmaid's Tale" with her Emmys for drama series and actress in a drama series.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room with her awards for lead actress in a comedy series and omedy series for "Veep."
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Kate McKinnon with her award for supporting actress in a comedy series for "Saturday Night Live."
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)

MORE: Photos from backstage at the Emmys


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Riz Ahmed talks about diversity onscreen after his Emmy win for ‘The Night Of’

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Riz Ahmed, Emmy winner for best actor in a limited series for playing the role of “Naz” in the bleak HBO drama “The Night Of” fielded questions about the importance of diversity onscreen.

“I don’t know if any one person’s win of an award, or one person’s snagging one role, or one person doing really well, changes anything when it comes to a systemic lack of inclusion,” he said. “I think what we’re starting to see is more awareness around how beneficial it can be to tell a diverse range of stories in a way that is authentic.”

Still, he was very pleased to be standing right where he was.

“When I heard my name announced, I thought, ‘Whose idea is that?’ I just felt really lucky to be mentioned bedside those actors,” he said of winning in a category that included Robert DeNiro, Geoffrey Rush and his “Night Of” co-star John Turturro. “I learned so much from John in particular, I feel like I share this with him.”


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Emmy-winning ‘Big Little Lies’ on those Season 2 possibilities: ‘I don’t think you should trust anything we say’

When “Big Little Lies” director Jean-Marc Vallee and the star-studded cast of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” appeared backstage after winning the Emmy for best limited series, everyone wanted to know one thing: Just how “limited” did the show’s creators intend to keep it? Would there be a Season 2?

“I’m just like the audience, and like these girls and everyone else,” Vallee said, gesturing to two of his leading ladies, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who stood smiling beside him. “It would be great to reunite the team. Are we gonna be able to do it? I wish. We’ll see what the future holds.”

Witherspoon giddily interjected, “You already know we’re liars, I don’t think you should trust anything we say.”

Kidman also fanned the flames of fan hope for the popular show, which was based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty.

“We loved playing these roles. The story lines are so interesting, and it would be fantastic if we could continue.”

However, the only person who really has the authority to decide the future was Moriarty, who said coyly, “I’m thinking about it, it’s a beautiful possibility.”

The show, Witherspoon said, stands on its own whether a Season 2 comes to pass, thanks to its thoughtful treatment of its Emmy-nominated female leads.

“If you talk about changing things in society, about the way you see women in film and women at the center of a story ... this is a real watershed moment for me,” she said. “All of these women are the heroes of their own stories, and they are complicated. They aren’t good or bad. The performances are very diverse.”


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Hollywood was not having Sean Spicer’s Emmy cameo

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sean Spicer’s cameo during the Emmy Awards generated a mixture of emotions.

There was surprise, of course, when Spicer made an appearance during Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue. But inside the Microsoft Theater on Sunday evening there also appeared to be a bit of consternation. Cameras, for instance, caught Melissa McCarthy, who impersonated the embattled former White House press secretary on “Saturday Night Live,” appearing less than amused.

Colbert wheeled out Spicer at the end of his monologue for a gag that recalled Spicer’s presser about President Trump’s inauguration attendance.

“This will be the largest audience to witness the Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world,” said Spicer, who’s been making several public appearances since his departure from the White House in July.

But the former communications director’s reception on Twitter was far more scathing. In this divisive political era, critics berated the Emmys for making light of Spicer’s behavior. As press secretary, Spicer was known for his combative behavior, as he often reprimanded reporters, and he came to symbolize the administration’s use of so-called “alternative facts.”

Here’s a sampling:

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Sterling K. Brown finishes his acceptance speech backstage at the Emmys

Sterling K. Brown backstage with his Emmy for lead actor in a drama series.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

NBC’s “This Is Us,” which follows the story of a family at different stages in their lives, is nothing if not a tearjerker. So it was appropriate that when Sterling K. Brown took the podium in the press room on Sunday, his eyes were seemingly bloodshot, as if he had been crying.

When asked if he had more to say after his acceptance speech was cut off, he quickly brightened.

“I wouldn’t mind finishing, thank you for the invitation. I want to thank our writers,” said Brown, who won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series. “You guys are our life supply.” He then went on to thank the show’s producers and directors and his family members.

“I want to represent; I don’t want to be a flash in the pan,” Brown said. “I love what I do so much. I feel like I have 1,000 people living inside of me, and I’m just looking for an opportunity to let them all out. It feels big.”

“This Is Us,” he said, has resonance, even internationally, because “it’s about real people dealing with real life and trying to figure out what’s next. Everyone can relate to that.”


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It’s still not safe to exhale: Full skirts, nipped waists make a run for popularity at the Emmys

Nicole Kidman, Elisabeth Moss, Emmy Rossum and Millie Bobby Brown on the Emmys red carpet.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times, left, and Associated Press)

If you took a tally, body-conscious evening gowns still outnumbered any other silhouette on the Emmys red carpet, insuring the continued profitability of the Spanx brand.

Yet the women who chose differently proved that there’s something so lavish, exuberant and freeing about an evening gown with a vast, full skirt. (A big plus: No figure-control garments required.)

The standouts? Emmy winner Nicole Kidman’s lipstick-red gown from Calvin Klein by Appointment; Elisabeth Moss in structured baby pink satin by Prabal Gurung; Emmy Rossum in Zac Posen; and Millie Bobby Brown in a ballet-inspired Calvin Klein that makes us want to dance -- and breathe a sigh of relief.

Our picks for best- and worst-dressed on the 2017 Emmy Awards red carpet »


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Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her Emmy wins: ‘I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge’

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was all smiles backstage with her Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

Sunday was a good night for HBO’s “Veep.” The political satire and two-time Emmy-winning comedy series about the first female POTUS not only received 17 Emmy nominations, but took home one of the evening’s top prizes, the Emmy for best comedy series.

With a mix of cast and show creatives behind them, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series, and executive producer David Mandel addressed the crowd.

“In our show, when Selina does something horrible or lies, she gets caught and actually pays a price for it,” Mandel said right off the bat, alluding, with a verbal wink, to President Trump.

On whether the evening’s many wins for women indicate a permanent shift in Hollywood, Louis-Dreyfus jumped in.

“God, I hope so,” she said. “Let’s hope this is the beginning of something even better in our country -- and in the world -- because I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge.”

Then she turned to Mandel: “Right, David?!”

“You ARE in charge,” Mandel said to her. “You’re my boss!”


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Here’s what got bleeped out from Elisabeth Moss’ acceptance speech

(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The 2017 Emmy Awards did not use its tape-delay much but it definitely had a moment during Elisabeth Moss’ acceptance speech for lead actress in a drama series.

After going through a laundry list of people who have supported her over her years in the industry – Moss has been acting since she was 8 – she made a point to single out her mother.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” actress then credited her mother with teaching her that, “You can be kind and a [F-word] badass.”

Though audiences at home didn’t hear the message due to censors, it’s a sentiment worth sharing.


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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ wins Emmy for drama series

Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” wins the Emmy Award for drama series.

The other nominees were:

“Better Call Saul”

“The Crown”

“House of Cards”

“Stranger Things”

“This Is Us”



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Elisabeth Moss wins Emmy for lead actress in a drama

(Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press)

Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid’s Tale” wins the Emmy Award for lead actress in a drama.

The other nominees were:

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”

Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Keri Russell, “The Americans”

Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”

Robin Wright, “House of Cards”


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Emmys fashion bests: How the ‘Stranger Things’ kids won the Emmys red carpet, plus mermaid tails and dripping silver

"Stranger Things" actors Finn Wolfhard, from left, Noah Schnapp, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin were among the night's sartorial standouts.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Silver seemed to be the precious metal of choice for those seeking Emmy gold at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night. Among the most head-turning takes on the metallic trend were Sarah Paulson’s fresh off the New York Fashion Week runway Carolina Herrera dress for spring and summer 2018 and Tracee Ellis Ross’ Chanel haute couture number that was a sea of silver crystals up top and white feathers down below.

Other notable silver stunners included Laverne Cox in Naeem Khan, Regina King in a fall 2017 Galia Lahav haute couture gown and Anna Chlumsky in a form-fitting liquid silver gown custom made for her by Sachin & Babi.

“I asked them for something in the precious-metal-that-could-be-mined-from-the-earth vein,” she said on the red carpet, and the label delivered to great effect.

Perennial best-dressed lister Priyanka Chopra wore a curve-hugging white Balmain gown with silver embroidered embellishments and a mermaid-tail hem, making her a trend two-fer because that dress silhouette seemed to be having a moment. Of course, Sofia Vergara —wearing Mark Zunino — hardly hits a red carpet in anything but a mermaid hem. But others in the swim this year included Felicity Huffman, Padma Lakshmi, Ruby Modine and Samantha Bee in a custom emerald Rubin Singer gown with a plunging neckline....

In the swim with the mermaid-tail hem: from left, Priyanka Chopra (in Balmain), Padma Lakshmi (in Christian Siriano) and Samantha Bee (in Rubin Singer).
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

The other was the serious style being rocked by the younger attendees. It was almost a given that “Stranger Things’” Millie Bobby Brown would hit a red-carpet home run in Calvin Klein — she was seen front row at the label’s recent New York Fashion Week show. She wore an ivory silk crepe and tulle dress with ivory bandanna tie that made her look every inch a princess.

But it was her co-stars who really rose to the occasion. Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin hit the red carpet as a fashion tour de force: Wolfhard in a black Prada tuxedo; Schnapp in a blue velvet double-breasted shawl collar tuxedo jacket with gold braid detail; Matarazzo in a three-piece suit, purple tie and pocket-square flair; and McLaughlin in a purple floral jacquard shawl collar tuxedo jacket. Of course, this made the kids of “Stranger Things” some of our favorite fashionable things from this year’s Emmy Awards red carpet.

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Sterling K. Brown wins Emmy for lead actor in a drama

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Sterling K. Brown of NBC’s “This Is Us” wins the Emmy Award for lead actor in a drama series.

The other nominees were:

Anthony Hopkins, “Westworld”

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”

Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”


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Kate McKinnon sidesteps politics in the Emmys press room

Kate McKinnon with her Emmy.
Kate McKinnon with her Emmy.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

On a night when the Primetime Emmys and the stars in attendance relentlessly skewered President Trump and his administration, Kate McKinnon, who nabbed the Emmy for supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” was notably subdued in the press room after her win.

She never spoke more than a sentence or two at a time and shied away from saying anything overtly political, other than repeating the fact that she was a fan of Hillary Clinton, whom she famously portrayed during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

What did she think of Sean Spicer appearing onstage that night?

“I enjoyed seeing him again,” she said, not tipping her hand.

Did she have a favorite skit or episode from this season?

“I can’t pick a favorite. Every week had this special electricity running through it,” she said. “It was a banner year to be part of the show. I was so proud to be a fly on the wall for this particular season.”

What are her feelings about Clinton?

“I’m certainly a great admirer of hers, and I hope that it’s mutual. I think that it is.”

How does she feel about playing the former first lady, and the first ever woman to be the frontrunner for president?

“It’s just been the greatest honor of my life, and the greatest role I’ve gotten to play. Again, I’m just a huge admirer of hers.”

What was it like having dinner with Clinton?

“It was very surreal and wonderful, and she was warm and gracious as always, and I ate too much.”

Why does humor matter so much in this day and age?

“I could write a book. Satire is so important whenever there is anything floating around in the national consciousness, and the salience of our show this year just proves that.”

Was it a nonstop battle to keep up with the constantly shifting political landscape when it came to writing the show each week?

“There were a few times when we had to rewrite some major stuff the night before. It was kind of like a sport sometimes, racing to the finish line. It was wild, I loved it.”

The president has tweeted his displeasure with McKinnon’s “SNL” co-star, Alec Baldwin. Has McKinnon heard anything from Trump?

“I have not heard from the president.”

If he were to write to her, what does she think he would say?

“I do not know.”

Pause, pause. And then she left the stage, leaving her interlocutors wishing for a joke.


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Seven-time Emmy winner Don Roy King on a big year for ‘SNL’: ‘This year it felt different’

Don Roy King of "Saturday Night Live" won the Emmy for directing a variety series.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Don Roy King took a single, salient question in the press room after winning the Emmy for directing in a variety series for his work on “Saturday Night Live,” his seventh win since 2010.

Why is comedy so important in the current fraught political climate? (This, by the way, is perhaps the single most-asked question of the entire night at the Emmys thus far.)

In response, King said, “I have been proud of the show … which I think is designed to make people laugh. But this year it felt different, more important, like we were holding people accountable, doing some healing.

“It felt like we were soothing some frayed nerves, and for that reason it felt even more important … more cutting-edge and valuable.”


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