2016 Emmy Awards


I have to say, the Emmys have made some real strides in the last few years. There have been a lot fewer ridiculous winners and as last night’s ceremony pointed out, they are well ahead of the Oscars in recognizing diversity with their nominations. Last night’s Emmy telecast was enjoyable, but not all that exciting. A lot of the winners were pretty much a shoe-in, which took some of the tension out of the night. Jimmy Kimmel did a fine job overall as host; a few jokes didn’t land and he seemed particularly salty when it came to the real life people from the O.J. Simpson case, but I appreciated that the show was not padded with a lot of ridiculous skits or forced attempts at viral moments. Kimmel kept the show moving, had some pretty solid jokes, and brought the show in a few minutes early. So while there might not have been as much to write about this year in my running diary, it also didn’t feel like I spent three hours watching an awards show.

A word on my running diary – these times are probably WAY off. Because of computer issues I was watching on delay, so I had to guesstimate. I eventually caught up to real time, but these are educated guesses for the most part as to when they link up to the telecast. So if someone is out there breaking down the Emmy ceremony like the Zapruder film, there may be some discrepancies (also, you may have a problem).  So with that giant caveat in place, I watched the Emmys so you didn’t have to.

8:00 – I’ll admit that my heart skipped a beat when they started the show with an ABC News Special Report. I immediately thought that there was another explosion in NYC. So maybe not the best way to kick things off.

8:01 – Recreating the white bronco chase is far more topical than I would have expected in 2016. Nice to see Malcolm Jamal Warner reprising his AJ Cowling role.


8:02 – Everyone does like Tom Bergeron.

8:03 – “Thanks a lot, Theo.”

8:04 – Man I haven’t seen Modern Family in a really long time. The kid that plays Luke is really grown up now.


8:05 – I got really excited when I saw the A-Team van drive by. That’s a missed opportunity right there.

8:06 – James Corden is everywhere this year. That’s not a bad thing. Watch your back, Fallon.

8:08 – This “Wake Me Up Before You GoGo” parody is fantastic.


8:09 – Everyone should have voted for Beyonce. I like “Carpool Karaoke” as much as the next person, but that shouldn’t have beaten Lemonade.

8:10 – All hail president Selena Meyers.


8:11 – “LBJ? That was my nickname in my high school Spanish club.” And THAT’s why Julia Louis-Dreyfus is going to win another Emmy tonight.

8:12 – Jeb Bush as an Uber driver? This is a weird election cycle.


8:13 – And those two minutes made Jeb! more likeable than his entire presidential campaign.

8:14 – Hitching a ride to the Emmys with Khalessi is the way to do it.


8:15 – Setting Ryan Seacrest on fire via dragon? Kind of my dream.

8:16 – Just giving Jeffrey Tambor the Emmy may save time.


8:17 – “If your show doesn’t have a dragon or a white Bronco in it, go home now.” Probably true.

8:18 – Marcia Clark Burn. But Sarah Paulson has your back.


8:19 – “This must be very strange for you. Are you rooting for OJ to win this time?”

8:23 – Mark Burnett gets singled out for being responsible for Donald Trump.

8:27 – Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis-Ross here to present outstanding supporting actor in a comedy. So many great actors in this category.

Anthony Anderson, left, and Tracee Ellis Ross present an award at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

8:28 – Louie Anderson for Baskets. That wouldn’t have been my guess.

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

8:35 – Kimmel suggests that it may be time for Taraji P. Henson to drop the middle initial. Is she getting confused with other Taraji Hensons?


8:37 – Julie Bowen and Matt LeBlanc present outstanding writing in a comedy series.

(Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

8:38 – YAY! Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang win for Master of None, which I adored.


8:39 – Poor Aziz never got to say anything.

8:30 – Joel McHale and Kristen Bell present outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series.


8:31 – First win for Kate McKinnon for SNL. The last woman from SNL to win this? Gilda Radner.

8:32 – I enjoy that she clarifies that she is actually crying.


8:36 – Randall Park and Constance Wu discuss the Creative Arts Emmys, aka the not ready for primetime awards.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actors Randall Park (L) and Constance Wu speak onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

8:40 – Peter Scalari presents outstanding directing for a comedy series.

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

8:41 – Jill Soloway wins for Transparent, a series that I still have not watched yet.

Jill Soloway accepts the award for outstanding directing for a comedy series for “Transparent” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

8:42 – Wait – who brought their kid to the Emmys?

8:43 – “I’m trying to figure out if ‘topple the patriarchy’ is good for me. I don’t think so.” – Jimmy Kimmel, after Jill Soloway’s speech.

8:44 – Keegan Michael-Key here to present outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, which should just be called the Julia-Louis Dreyfus invitational at this point.


8:45 – Yup – 5th win in a row. Well deserved.

8:46 – “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 have Mexico pay for it.” – Julia Louis-Dreyfus

8:47 – On no – her father died Friday 😦


8:48 – Jeffrey Tambor to pay tribute to Garry Shandling.

8:52 – Jimmy Kimmel pranks the audience by announcing Bill Cosby as a presenter.

8:53 – James Corden to present outstanding lead actor in a comedy series.

8:54 – We could have saved time – Jeffrey Tambor is indeed the winner.

Jeffrey Tambor accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for “Transparent” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

8:59 – America Ferrara and Mandy Moore present outstanding reality show. Either America is very short or Mandy is really tall.


9:00 – The Emmy goes to The Voice (and that traitor Mark Burnett).

9:01 – There are a LOT of people that work on The Voice.


9:02 – Jimmy’s mom has made PB&J for the audience. The Kids from Stranger Things are handing them out.


9:05 – And it’s the accountants and Leslie Jones. I expect hilarity and hijinks to ensue.


9:06 – Leslie Jones wants them to protect her Twitter account.


9:0 – Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwin to present outstanding writing in a limited series, movie or dramatic special.


9:07 – Kerry Washington is very pregnant.


9:08 – Not a huge surprise – a win for The People vs. OJ Simpson.

9:10 – Now the nominees for outstanding actress in a limited series

9:11 – Second win in a row for Regina King.

Regina King accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for “American Crime” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

9:12 – That David Schwimmer “Juice” joke made me laugh way harder than it should have.


9:14 – Jimmy’s mom wrote notes to go with the sandwiches


9:15 – Amy Schumer ate hers, which was for the best since it was for Amy Poehler.


9:16 – Tom Hiddleston and Priyanka Chopra present outstanding directing for limited series/movie. They gracefully entered.


9:17 – And the winner is Hiddleston’s limited series, The Night Manager.

9:23 – Terrence Howard is presenting outstanding supporting actor in a limited series/movie. They apparently gave Tariji P. Henson the night of from being his minder.


9:24 – Well deserved win for Sterling K. Brown in The People vs. OJ Simpson. He was so damn good as Chris Darden. If you haven’t watched this series, do it!


9:26 – Claire Danes and Bryan Cranston present outstanding lead actress in a limited series/movie. This has got to be Sarah Paulson’s to lose.


9:27 – The voters for it right – Sarah Paulson gets the win. She was Marcia Clark.


9:34 – Amy Poehler and Tina Fey present outstanding lead actor in a limited series/movie. Amy explains why she didn’t attend the Creative Arts Emmys:


9:35 – This was a lock – Courtney B. Vance for The People vs OJ Simpson.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Courtney B. Vance accepts Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for 'The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story' onstage during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

9:36 – Is “hottest chick rocking my chain” about to enter the popular lexicon? Jay Z, you’ve done it again.

9:36 – Jimmy Kimmel just implied Johnnie Cochran is in hell.


9:37 – Kyle Chandler and Michelle Dockery present outstanding  TV movie. #TexasForever

9:38 – Sherlock takes home the award. I have to say, the Emmy voters mostly got it right this year.

9:42 – Keri Russel and Live Schreiber present outstanding limited series.


9:43 – How cute is Matthew Rhys – his face lit up as soon as Keri walked on stage.

9:44 – No surprise here – a win for The People vs. OJ Simpson.

9:47 – Aziz Ansari presents the award for best writing for a variety special. He finally gets to thank his parents. His dad is adorable.


9:48 – A win for Patton Oswalt. Would have liked to see Schumer here, but this is OK too.

9:49 – Patton paid tribute to his late wife.


9:50 – Andy Samberg and Kit Harrington present outstanding variety talk series, but first do some comedy (and maybe got engaged). Andy Samberg is crazy – who wouldn’t kiss Kyle Chandler?!?!


9:51 – Great win for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. That man is doing God’s work.


9:52 – John Oliver, the first guy to asked to be played off.

9:53 – Matt Damon comes out to ask Jimmy Kimmel if he won (and then talk some trash).


9:54 – I love all shades of Matt Damon, but I may love funny Matt Damon most of all.

10:00 – Laverne Cox presents outstanding  directing in a variety special.


10:01 – Grease Live! wins, which was pretty impressive. Chris Rock pretends to be mad that he lost.

10:02 – “I wouldn’t want to be those guys when Kanye finds out that they beat Beyonce.” – Kimmel

10:03 – Damon Wayans, “a Damon with actual talent,” presents outstanding  variety sketch series.

10:04 – Key & Peele wins; I forgot the show was still eligible.


10:05 – Rami Malek and Abigail Spencer talk about more awards given out previously  at the Creative Arts Emmys.


10:07 – Hank Azaria and Margo Martindale present outstanding writing in a drama series.


10:08 – Game of Thrones takes home their first, but probably not last, Emmy of the night.

10:16 – Michael Weatherly and Minnie Driver present outstanding supporting actress in a drama series. We all know how I feel about her.


10:17 – Maggie Smith wins, which is hilarious given Kimmel’s monologue.


10:18 – Now for outstanding direction in a drama series.

10:19 – Another win for Game of Thrones.

10:25 – Taraji P. Henson presents outstanding supporting actor in a drama series. She had a costume change!


10:26 – Ben Mendelsohn wins for Bloodlines, which is kind of a surprise. He’s not in attendance either.

10:27 – Hey – it’s the Fonz (aka Henry Winkler) to pay tribute to Garry Marshall.

10:29 – Now the In Memorium segment. Can we pick a song other than “Hallelujah”? It is so played out at this point. No offense to Tori Kelly, who did a beautiful job (watch it here).

10:32 – So many great people died since the last Emmy Awards.  Alan Rickman still hurts.

10:33 – Prince is the last person in the montage, which seems weird since he really done anything with television (though he did appear on New Girl).

10:38 – Allison Janney is here to present outstanding lead actor in a drama series.


10:40 – Oh snap! Rami Malek wins for Mr. Robot. He’s the best.

10:41 – “Please tell me that you’re seeing this too!” That is hilarious if you watch the show (and you should).


10:42 – Kiefer Sutherland presents outstanding lead actress in a drama series.

Kiefer Sutherland presents an award at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

10:43 – Tatiana Maslany wins for Orphan Black, a show that I have recommended to many people but haven’t actually ever watched. And Kiefer butchered the pronunciation of her name.


10:49 – Larry David will present Emmy for outstanding comedy series.


10:50 – “I go out on dates, I know how to feign interest.” – Larry David

10:51 – Man, Modern Family  feels so out of place with all these other nominees.

10:52 – Veep wins. As they should.

10:52 – Julia Louis-Dreyfus pulled a Jennifer Lawrence.


10:52 – “I have a 9:30 am library shift at my son’s school tomorrow if anyone wants to switch, e-mail me” – Veep showrunner David Mandel

10:54 – Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz present the final Emmy of the night – outstanding drama series.


10:55 – Game of Thrones takes it home. It will probably take 30 minutes to get all the cast on stage.


10:59 – And we’re done. Another Emmys in the books.

What did you think? Did you watch the telecast? Who do you think should have won? How did Jimmy Kimmel do? Let us know in the comments.

Letterman to Retire



Yesterday was a hectic day at work – I was jumping from conference call to conference call, trying to finalize the arrangements for a team meeting for one of the projects I manage and adapting to the fact that our Internet is now running at 45% capacity. There was a lot of multi-tasking and the usual mayhem; I can’t even remember what else I was going when I saw an e-mail from CNN pop up in my inbox. I was honestly relieved to see it was a news update and not another email that was going to generate more work for me to do. I gave it a cursory glance – and then stopped what I was doing to read it again. I’d misread a tweet earlier in the day – it turns out that it was in fact the White House, not the Waffle House, that has been outflanking the GOP on Obamacare – so I wasn’t fully confident in my reading competition.

But I had in fact read it correctly – David Letterman announced that he was retiring.

I was somewhat surprised that the news had as much of an effect as it did; anyone who has even occasionally read the blog knows that my late night allegiance lies with Jimmy Fallon. I watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report every night. I’ve become a more frequent Conan viewer, though I usually watch everything but the interviews. I dabble in Kimmel when he has on interesting guests.

I honestly can’t tell you the last time that I’ve watched The Late Show with David Letterman. With so many late night options, he just doesn’t make it into the rotation very often; DVRing and streaming helps me keep up with more shows, but there is only so much time in a day. Letterman is a causality of my overbooking.

But that wasn’t always the case. From high school until my early years of grad school, I was a regular connoisseur of Letterman – first when he was on NBC with Late Night and then when he moved to CBS to go head to head with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. At the time, Letterman was the more edgy late night host – Carson was great, but I was clearly not his target audience and we all know how much I can’t stand Jay Leno and his blandness. Letterman was also the only New York based show in the early years, so I felt more of a kinship to him and his affinity for a city that I also love. When I originally dreamed of going to see a live taping of a show, Letterman was who I wanted to see. I especially was a fan of his Top Ten lists, so much so that I basically stole the concept and appropriated it for my own use (in homage, of course).  Many of my friends in college would wake up to find a Heather created Top Ten (or Top Five if I ran out of ideas) posted on the dry erase board of their dorm room, usually recounting some of the adventures that we had the night before. I recently found a treasure trove of these lists and they still make me laugh, even after all this time. When Letterman had his emergency bypass surgery in 2000, I tuned in for his first show back and cried as the thanked all the people that helped him through that scary ordeal. In 2001, Letterman was one of the voices that helped ease the pain of 9/11. I may not have always watched Letterman, but I was somehow comforted to know that he was always there.

Letterman’s retirement announcement is not a complete surprise; he’s the elder statesman in the current late night landscape and his ratings do not come close to the highs of either of the two Jimmys. The success for late night shows are measured differently now – it’s not just ratings, but viral videos that help dictate success and that is a game that Letterman, like Leno, is ill-equipped to compete in. Letterman and Leno was more of an even playing field, but with younger and hipper options in late night Letterman began to seem more and more like the crotchety old guy at the desk. Letterman has been doing a show in some capacity for over 30 years – practically my entire life – so the idea that he would be retiring wasn’t really a question of if, but when. With a young son at home, it makes sense that he would want to leave on his terms to spend more time with his family.

Knowing that something is going to happen and it actually happening are two different things, however, so even if I was expecting this announcement sooner rather than later it still made me a little sad. I barely remember late night without Letterman and its going to be weird to flip through the channels at 11:35 and not see him. He’ll be around at least through 2014 – that gives me a year to try to go to a taping – but his seat wasn’t even cold yet before the speculation started as to who would replace him. There are some interesting ideas out there, but how practical some of them are will remain to be seen. Just please don’t let it be Leno.

Perhaps knowing that my time with Letterman is limited will prompt me to make more of an effort to check in on him; I’m never going to be able to swing watching him every night, but I’d like to watch a handful of shows a month. At the very least, this announcement makes me nostalgic for the era when Letterman was my late night guy; I have a lot of fond memories of those shows from the 90s. So here’s a tip of a cap to Letterman – I’m glad that he gets to plan out his farewell and the late night terrain will be very different without him. In a lot of ways, many of the people who are currently doing shows in late night are able to do what they do because of Letterman.After all, he originated the concept of  Late Night over at NBC, which has served a springboard for a lot of people.  Many of his peers realized that and issued nice statements yesterday.  I think Seth Myers said it best:




Congratulations Dave and best wishes on your upcoming retirement!


Pop Culture Odds and Ends – A.B.B. (After Breaking Bad) edition

I’m still adjusting to life in a world where Breaking Bad is over. I find that I’m having trouble getting into my Fall TV shows – I’ve already dropped Once Upon a Time, Boardwalk Empire and Modern Family from sheer lack of interest and I’m pretty meh on the new pilots (more on that later this week). Episodes of Sons of Anarchy are beginning to pile up as well and I haven’t bothered to watch the premieres of Revenge or Homeland yet, so their days with a season pass may be numbered. The good news is that this general apathy means that I have a lot more time to surf the web in search of pop culture goodness to share. So really, my loss is your gain. Kick back and enjoy the fruits of my labor in this week’s edition of my pop culture round up


  • The cover for the upcoming Ron Burgundy memoir has been released.


  • Peter Dinklage made a stop by Sesame Street:


  • Usher and Dinklage’s GoT co-star Lena Headey also recently made appearances.
  • I am not super impressed with Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, Volume 2. It just sounds like a lot of songs that were (rightfully) scrapped from the first album.
  • Who doesn’t love a Halloween themed programing? TV Tango has rounded up 360 of them airing this month. That seems a little excessive.


  • The opening credits for American Horror Story: Coven has been released and they are unsurprisingly terrifying.


  • Game shows are becoming sticklers for pronunciation – contestants on Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune were both penalized recently.
  • A new film starring Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgard and…..Taylor Swift? Be afraid, Skarsgard. Be very afraid.
  • It’s been far too long since we’ve had a new Britney Spears video. The wait is over:


  • Construction has resumed on the monstrosity of a home that was featured in the documentary Queen of Versailles. Excellent film if you haven’t seen it.
  • I was a big fan of ALF back in the day. Watch him sing “Berzerk” by Eminem:


  • The Avett Brothers played some Metal on Fallon:




Breaking Bad in over *sob* but that doesn’t mean I still don’t have some links

  • Sadly, I did not win tickets to the Breaking Bad finale viewing party. These photos from the event make it look like I missed a hell of a time.
  • This one is for my friend Brigette:


  • Aaron Paul lends his vocal talents – and his catchphrase – to the single “Dance Bitch”


  • I would totally read this book:


  • My pals over at Grantland put together an In Memoriam video for BB’s fallen:


  • See how you do on the Breaking Bad superfan quiz (I got 43/50).
  • A Breaking Bad tribute set to Green Day’s “Good Riddance”


  • Glee’s Naya Rivera was a proud sister when her brother scored his first touchdown in the NFL:


  • You can read an edited excerpt from Dave Eggers’ upcoming new novel, The Circle.
  • Watching Conan play Grand Theft Auto V had me literally laughing out loud.


  • The Atlanta Braves did a “Blurred Lines” parody:

I enjoyed it, but I’m still not rooting for you in the playoffs. #TeamDodgers

  • For those of you who don’t normally watch baseball but want to get into the playoffs, GQ compares playoff teams to pop culture to help. Ha – the Red Sox are the Lannisters!
  • I may have to buy this Friday Night Lights fanzine just for the Tim Riggins paper doll.
  • Kelly Clarkson lost her fight for the Jane Austen ring that she won at an auction.
  • Watch The Hound from Game of Thrones sing the Rolling Stones. Wait – what??


  • The new Sleigh Bells album is streaming over at Rolling Stone.
  • Characters from Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and American Dad got Simpsonized:



Stop! Trailer Time!

  • HBO’s new comedy, Getting On:


  • A new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:


  • The latest from Chris Lilley, Ja’mie King: Private School Girl (I can’t wait!!):


  • Aziz Ansari has a special coming out soon on Netflix:


  • A Case of You with Justin Long, Sam Rockwell and Peter Dinklage:


  • This guy at a Willie Nelson concert apparent subscribes to “dance like no one is watching”


  • Guillermo del Toro made the couch gag for this year’s The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror.

As always, we wrap up with the mashups and supercuts

  • A mashup of MacGyver and Archer:


  • A mashup of Breaking Bad and Need for Speed:


  • Who can resist a Sesame Street mashup? Certainly not me.


  • “Get Lucky Wit It”


  • And finally – the cast of Breaking Bad sings the N’Sync classic, “Bye, Bye, Bye”