Emmys 2016: 15 Memorable Moments From the Show

by IMDb-Contributing-Writers | last updated - 22 Sep 2016

Host Jimmy Kimmel opened the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards with a line inspired by Donald Trump: “Are we ready to make the Emmys great again?” And he did just that. Here are the most memorable moments from the night. — Paulette Cohn

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Jimmy Kimmel at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Race to the Emmys

Jimmy Kimmel's opening film saw him racing to the Emmys in the backseat of a white Bronco, hitching a ride from the cast of "Modern Family" and flagging down a car driven by Jeb Bush, who quipped, “You know you can make $12 per hour driving for Uber.” Kimmel went on to take part in Carpool Karaoke with James Corden before finally flying in with "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke on a fire-breathing dragon that charred Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.

Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, and Marcia Clark at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Kimmel v. Marcia Clark

Kimmel declared that Sarah Paulson won the 'plus one' contest for bringing Marcia Clark, who she played in "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." The host drew boos from Paulson after joking, “Everyone in LA knows, if you want to win, sit next to Marcia Clark.” Shifting his attention to Clark, Kimmel quipped, “This must be very strange for you, right? Are you rooting for OJ to win this time?”

Mark Burnett at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Kimmel Trumps Burnett

The evening was packed with political references but one of the highlights was Kimmel introducing "The Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett as the man to blame for Donald Trump running for president. Kimmel said, “We don’t need to watch reality shows anymore because we’re living in one. If Donald Trump gets elected and he builds that wall, the first person we’re throwing over it is Mark Burnett.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Louis-Dreyfus Breaks Record

"Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus drew laughter and tears with her acceptance speech for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, breaking the record for wins in that category with a total of six. "I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the current political climate," she said. “I think "Veep" has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels more like a sobering documentary, so I certainly do promise to rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it."

But the tears came as Louis-Dreyfus dedicated her Emmy to her father, who she revealed passed away on Friday. "I'm so glad that he liked "Veep" because his opinion was the one that really mattered," she said.

Leslie Jones at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Leslie Jones Jokes About Privacy Hack

It isn't easy making the accountants from Ernst & Young interesting, but Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, who was the target of a social media hack, did just that when she joined them onstage, shouting, "Since you good at keeping things safe, I got a job for you: my Twitter account! Put that in the vault, please! You’re using your skills to protect best voiceover in a French sitcom. Meanwhile, I’m butt naked on CNN. I just wanted to feel beautiful, y’all!"

Jeffrey Tambor at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

"Give Transgender a Chance"

Jeffrey Tambor owned several memorable moments throughout the night, the first of which came in the opening minute of the ceremony when host Kimmel ran off stage to give the "Transparent" star an Emmy in order "to save 22 minutes."

Tambor, who had worked with Garry Shandling on "The Larry Sanders Show" later introduced a tribute to his late friend, who died on March 24.

Then, when Tambor officially received his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy for "Transparent," he made a heartfelt request: "Producers, network owners, agents and creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions; give them their stories. I would not be unhappy if I were the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television."

Jill Soloway at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

"Topple the Patriarchy"

When "Transparent" also won the comedy directing award, creator Jill Soloway delivered a rallying cry after saying, “It creates privilege when you take women, people of color, trans people, queer people and you put them at the center of the story. You make them the subjects instead of the objects. You change the world, we found out. Topple the patriarchy!”

Aziz Ansari at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

“You Guys Are In Trouble”

In one of unintentionally shortest speeches in Emmy history, Aziz Ansari was played off after just a few words. Accepting the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, his "Master Of None" collaborator Alan Yang said: "There's 17 million Asian-Americans in this country, and there's 17 million Italian-Americans. They have The Godfather, Goodfellas, Rocky, The Sopranos. We got Long Duk Dong, so we got a long way to go. But I know we can get there."

But as the former "Parks and Recreation" star stepped up to say thanks, he was played off and Ansari ran off stage with a lighthearted, “Oh man, you guys are in trouble.”

Gaten Matarazzo at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Stranger Snacks

When Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Oscars in 2014, she ordered pizzas to feed the hungry audience. Kimmel took it one step further and had his mother make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the crowd, delivered by the kids from Netflix hit "Stranger Things".

Sarah Paulson at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Paulson's Apology

It wasn't a surprise when Sarah Paulson won her first Emmy for playing Marcia Clark, but she took the moment to apologize to the former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, saying, “The more I learned about the real Marcia Clark, not the two-dimensional cardboard cutout I saw on the news but the complicated, whip-smart, giant-hearted mother of two who woke up every day, put both feet on the floor and dedicated herself to righting an unconscionable wrong, the loss of two innocents — Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown — the more I had to recognize that I, along with the rest of the world, had been superficial and careless in my judgment. I'm glad to be able to stand here today in front of everyone and tell you I'm sorry.”

Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

"How Do You Like Them Apples?"

Kimmel may have been able to keep Matt Damon off his late-night talk show, but he couldn't keep him off his stage. The Jason Bourne star showed up after Kimmel lost the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series to rub it in, saying, "I'm sorry this is so humiliating. You lost and now you have to stand out here in front of everybody. You probably want to go home, curl up and cry… “Oh hey Jimmy, tell your mom I like them apples.”

Andy Samberg and Kit Harington at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Kit Harington Proposes to Andy Samberg

"Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington popped the question to "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" comedian Andy Samberg as the pair co-presented at the Emmys.

Harington, known for his role as Jon Snow, dropped on one knee and said, "There's something else I want to celebrate tonight with you, Andy," before pulling out a ring box. Samberg responded, "What, Kit, what are you doing? Here at the Emmys? I do!"

But Harington fans should rest easy. It was just a stunt to make it into next year’s Emmys highlights reel.

Terrence Howard and Sterling K. Brown at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

“You Rock My Chain”

Actor Sterling K. Brown, who won for his role in "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" was a strong contender for the line of the night, thanking his wife Ryan Michelle Bathe by saying: "I got the hottest chick in the game rocking my chain."

Not long after, Brown co-star Courtney B. Vance took the lead by thanking his wife, Angela Bassett, with, "To the woman that rocks my chain.”

However, British comedian John Oliver couldn't quite match the sentiment when he won Outstanding Variety Talk Show Series, saying: "On a personal level I've got to thank my wife, the hottest chain — I don't know either."

Henry Winkler at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Garry Marshall Tribute

A touching moment came when Henry Winkler introduced the In Memoriam, but with a special tribute to comedy legend Garry Marshall, who died on July 19. "He gave me my career," said the "Happy Days" star. "Anybody that was lucky enough to meet him, he changed their life."

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Emilia Clarke, and Gwendoline Christie at an event for The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

Record "Game"

When "Game of Thrones" won for Outstanding Drama, it brought the total number of Emmys for the HBO fantasy show to 38. That broke a long-held record set by sitcom "Frasier."