Emmys 2021 highlights and snubs: Seth Rogen's awkward COVID-19 comment, 'Ted Lasso' and 'The Crown' dominate, as Hollywood celebrates TV's best

·8-min read

The biggest stars from your favourite TV shows gathered for the 2021 Emmys, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, with many of the awards going to Ted Lasso and The Crown over the three-hour ceremony.

The evening started started off with a rendition of the Biz Markie's hit "Just a Friend," but with the lyrics were changed as an ode to television: "TV you, got what I need."

Cedric was joined by LL Cool J, Lil' Dicky and, more unexpectedly, Rita Wilson, rapping in this musical introduction.

He also made some comments about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's televised Oprah interview, saying that Harry "renounced his throne quicker than Eddie Murphy did in Coming To America."

Cedric went on to say that the Royals "need little Archie."

"Who else is gong to teach them how to TikTok?"

'There is way too many of us in this little room'

The musical start to the Emmys was followed by Canadian actor Seth Rogen who presented the first award for best supporting actress in a comedy series.

He started by commenting on being indoors for the ceremony, joking that he thought they were going to be outdoors for COVID-19 safety.

"There is way too many of us in this little room," Rogen quipped. "It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than that we make sure we don't kill Eugene Levy tonight."

The awkward joke caused host Cedric the Entertainer to clarify the requirement to attend the Emmys, where every attendee had to be vaccinated. Instead of harping on Rogen's erroneous callout, Cedric made light of the COVID-19 dilemma, saying that he was immunized with the Pfizer vaccine, what he dubbed the "Neiman Marcus of vaccines," opposed to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which he likened to "TJ Maxx," comparatively.

'Ted Lasso,' 'The Crown' win big

Overall, the Emmy's followed quite a predictable formula.

Ted Lasso was named best comedy series and also won Emmys for supporting actress in a comedy series (Hannah Waddingham) supporting actor in a comedy series (Brett Goldstein), and best actor in a comedy series (Jason Sudeikis).

"This show is about family, this show is about mentors and teachers, this show is about teammates, and I wouldn't be here without those three things in my life," emotional Sudeikis said.

Waddingham, who was also nominated alongside her Ted Lasso co-star Juno Temple, said that she would break an arm off her Emmy trophy and give it to Temple, adding, "...There's no Rebecca without Keeley and if you ever leave my life I'm going to stalk you." She credited the show's co-creator Sudeikis for "changing her life." 

When fellow Ted Lasso star Goldstein won his award, he was quick to confirm that the cast is really as talented, as the award results demonstrate.

"This cast make me sick they’re so good," he said.

However, Ted Lasso didn't take home all the comedy awards, losing a few to Hacks. The show won the award for best writing for a comedy series and also beat out Ted Lasso for the directing in a comedy series category, and Jean Smart won for lead actress in a comedy series for her role as Deborah Vance, greeted with a standing ovation during her acceptance speech.

'The Crown' adds to Emmy haul

The Crown took home the notable award of best drama series. The show also won awards for best writing for a drama series, directing for a drama series and best supporting actress in a drama series, Gillian Anderson for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown.

Additionally, Olivia Colman and Josh O'Connor received awards for lead actress and actor in a drama series, playing Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, respectively. Both actors remembered the passing of their close relatively, Colman's father and O'Connor's grandmother, in their acceptance speeches.

For the limited or anthology series or movie category, Kate Winslet's Mare of Easttown was a favourite, with Winslet taking home the lead actress award.

Winslet started her acceptance speech by thanking her fellow nominees because "this decade has to be about women having each other’s backs."

"It was this cultural moment and it brought people together and gave them something to talk about other than a global pandemic," she said about the show, adding that the creation of a character that is a middle-aged, flawed mother "made us all feel validated."

Evan Peters also won best actor in a limited or anthology series or movie for his role as Detective Colin Zabel in Mare of Easttown.

However, the series surprisingly ended up losing to Netflix's The Queen's Gambit for the big award of best limited or anthology series or movie.

Biggest Emmys snubs

But it wouldn't be an award show without significant snubs.

Many people on social media were not particularly happy after Kathryn Hahn lost in the supporting actress in a limited or anthology series or movie category for her role as Agatha Harkness in Marvel's WandaVision.

Additionally, the late Michael Kay Williams lost in the best supporting actor in a drama series category to Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in The Crown, who wasn't on hand to receive his award.

"Michael was a brilliantly talented actor and a genius human being who has left us far too soon," Kerry Washington said about Williams. 

"Michael, I know you’re here, you wouldn’t miss this, your excellence, your artistry will endure."

But if we want to talk about snubs, in one segment of the award show Cedric spoke to some great actors from iconic TV shows who never actually won an Emmy in an "Emmys support group."

This funny bit included Alyson Hannigan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother, Jason Alexander from Seinfeld, Fred Savage from his childhood role in The Wonder Years, Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap and Zoey Deschanel from New Girl.

"My generation into into awards, we’re all deserving of love and respect," Deschanel says, just before Dr. Phil shows up to give them some guidance about winning an Emmy.

His advice? Get booked on Ted Lasso or The Crown.

Canadians on display

Canadians were certainly on display for the 2021 Emmys, including the cast of Schitt's Creek presenting the award for best writing and directing on a comedy series, with the cast doing a funny bit where there wasn't any text on the teleprompter after Eugene Levy told the writers to "lift" his dialogue.

Additionally, after Saturday Night Live took home the award for best variety sketch series, iconic Canadian television producer Lorne Michaels remembered Norm Macdonald for his work the show's "Weekend Update" segment in the 1990s.

'It's taken a lot of courage'

The fabulous, legendary and iconic Debbie Allen was recognized with the Governors Award at the Emmys, a woman celebrated for her extensive body of work as a director, producer actor and choreographer, including her work on the TV series Fame in the 1980s, to entering the world of Grey's Anatomy in 2011.

"I am trembling with gratitude and grace," Allen said with tears in her eyes. "It's taken a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time."

"A lot of courage and creativity and fight and faith to believe that I could keep going, and I have."

Allen went on say that she wants this moment to "resonate with women across the world...from Texas to Afghanistan," and to young people who are inheriting the world that we "leave them."

"It is time for you to claim you power, claim your voice, say your song, tell your stories... Your turn."

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