emmy awards recap 2024

Everything you missed at the 2023 Emmy Awards—and how the Internet reacted

In case you, like me, forgot the Emmys were on — here's what everyone is talking about online.


Allie Hayes

Pop Culture

Posted on Jan 16, 2024   Updated on Jan 17, 2024, 6:52 am CST

The 75th Annual Emmy Awards were last night (I know, I was like, “…they were? Really?!”), and the show was the source of all kinds of viral moments the internet is still buzzing about! With this in mind, I’ve taken it upon myself to collect the 15 most talked-about moments to catch you up to speed so you won’t miss out on all the Emmys goodness.

The red carpet was red hot with celebs decked out in their best looks

The night was filled with unique and interesting outfits from all of TV’s brightest stars, with the most memorable looks coming courtesy of Suki Waterhouse, who wore a bright red cutout gown to showcase her pregnancy, and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Princess Poppy, who showed up dressed as a glamorous green goblin monster…yes, I’m serious:

I wouldn’t joke about that!

Host Anthony Anderson tasked his mother, Doris Bowman, with alerting the award winners it was time to get off the darn stage…

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Anthony Anderson opted to have his hilarious mother play the award winners off the stage when their speeches got too long instead of your standard orchestra. Honestly, it’s ingenious—after all, who’s going to say no to Mom?!

And this hilarious decision led to many award winners purposely staying overtime just for the delight of seeing mom at work

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Namely John Oliver, who took home the Emmy for Outstanding Scripted Variety Series and stated as soon as he got on stage: “I’m not leaving without getting played off by Anthony Anderson’s mom, so I am going to start reading off the names of the Liverpool football team.” And, whew buddy, he DID.

The night was filled with nostalgia- fueled cast reunions from your favorite shows

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Instead of the traditional “Hey, let’s pair together a few random actors because why not?” style award shows tend to go with for presenting, the Emmys opted to take a more nostalgia-friendly route, pairing up our favorite former casts to present together, including: Cheers, Ally McBeal, Martin, The Sopranos, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and the original Grey’s Anatomy cast.

Quinta Brunson became the first Black woman to win an Emmy in over 30 years

Comedy legend Carol Burnett made a rare public appearance and took to the stage to present the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, which went to Quinta Brunson for her work on Abbot Elementary, making Brunson the first Black woman to win the award in over 30 years—the last Black woman to take home the gold was Isabel Sanford, who won for her role on The Jeffersons in 1981.

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Brunson was visibly shaken when she took to the stage, keeping her tearful speech short and sweet. She stated her heightened emotions were likely due to “the Carol Burnett of it all” and went on to simply say, “I love making ‘Abbott Elementary’ so much and I am so happy to be able to live my dream and act out comedy.”

Pedro Pascal and Kieran Culkin’s “feud” is still alive and well

I’m always here for a new celeb feud—especially one as silly as this. The whole thing started back at the Golden Globes on January 7th when Culkin jokingly told Pascal to “suck it” after beating him for the Best Actor in a Drama Series award.

Pascal then got his revenge at the Emmys while presenting the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series when he paused, drawing attention to the cast on his arm and saying, “For just a second, [I’m] going to make this about me: A lot of people have been asking about my arm—it’s actually my shoulder—and I think tonight is a perfect time to tell everyone that Kieran Culkin beat the shit out of me.” The shot then cut to Culkin, wearing an unblinking expression in the audience.

Christina Applegate made an appearance and received a hero’s welcome by her peers

Applegate took the stage alongside the night’s host, Anthony Anderson, to present the award for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. As she was escorted onto the stage, the entire crowd rose to their feet to meet the actor with a standing ovation.

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Applegate, who has been living with multiple sclerosis since being diagnosed in 2021, immediately began to tear up before joking, “Thank you so much. Oh my god, you’re totally shaming me [and my] disability by standing up!”

Niecy Nash gave an incredible speech, thanking the most important person: herself

After winning the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in Dahmer—Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Nash took to the stage and thanked the usual suspects, but then took a moment to thank the person who really got her there—and rightfully so— saying: “And you know who I want to thank? I want to thank me. For believing in me and doing what they said I could not. And I want to say to myself in front of all you beautiful people, ‘Go on girl with your bad self. You did that!'”

She then ended her speech with the powerful statement: “I accept this award on behalf of every Black and brown woman who has gone unheard yet over policed. Like Glenda Cleveland, like Sandra Bland, like Breonna Taylor. As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power, and baby I’m going do it until the day I die.”

Ayo Edebiri continued her winning spree this award season

Edebiri has been on an absolute roll when it comes to scooping up award season wins, with her taking home gold at the Golden Globes, Critic’s Choice Awards, and now the Emmys! She continued her habit of giving iconic speeches, thanking her parents and saying, “Thank you so much for loving me and letting me feel beautiful and Black and proud of all that. It’s probably not, like, a dream to immigrate to this country and have your child be like ‘I want to do improv!’ but you’re real ones.”

She also hilariously handed her purse to, of all people, Carson Daly on her way up to give her speech, later joking later to ET, “If my stuff is gone when I get back to my seat, I know that Carson Daly took it.”

And speaking of iconic speeches, Jennifer Coolidge thanked the “Evil Gays” in her speech

Because of course she did!

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned to their Weekend Update roots

Fey and Pohler have a long history with the Emmys, having co-hosted several together in years past, but they returned this time around as presenters for the Best Variety Special (Live) category—and their skit all but tore the roof off the place.

They began the presentation saying “We’re at the age where we’ll only present awards sitting down,” which is wildly relatable, and introduced each nominee with an A+ joke reminding all of us that, hey, you don’t have to be a huge jerk for no reason to make a room full of people giggle.

Elton John is now officially an EGOT winner

Taking home the aforementioned award for Best Variety Special (Live) for his Farewell From Dodger Stadium special means that John is added to the illustrious list of EGOTs—the acronym for creatives who’ve won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards.

While John was unable to accept the award in person due to a recent knee surgery,  producer Ben Winston accepted the award on his behalf, saying, “We knew this show was going to be historic because it was going to be Elton’s last ever show in North America on tour. We knew it would be historic because it was Disney’s first ever live global stream. We didn’t know this was going to be historic because this was going to win a man—who has created the soundtrack to all of our lives. He’s done so much great for society, who is all of our heroes—we didn’t know that it was going to win him an EGOT.”

Paul Walter Hauser’s acceptance speech was one part rap, one part wrestling promo

Paul Walter Hauser won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role in Black Bird, and took the stage—with a mouthful of mango, mind you—and then proceeded to give his acceptance speech in the form of a sort of rap/slam poetry piece.

Among the names he mentioned were Matt Cardona and Kota Ibushi, two top pro wrestlers. He then ended the speech by saying “Get the tables,” a reference to tag team The Dudley Boyz infamous catchphrase.

RuPaul took time onstage to address backlash to drag queens

RuPaul’s Drag Race took home their fifth Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program. The award was accepted by the titular host, who used the time on stage to discuss the conservative backlash against drag queen story times in libraries, saying, “If a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her because knowledge is power and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you. So listen to a drag queen! We love you! Thank you!”

And finally: The Bear, Succession, and Beef were the biggest winners of the night

Oh yeah, it’s an award show! Right! The biggest winners of the night were a tie between The Bear and Succession, which took home six Emmys a piece, followed closely by Netflix’s Beef, which took home five Emmys.

And that should about do it! There are (pretty much) all of the most talked-about moments from the 75th Emmy Awards.

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2024, 2:27 pm CST