Emmys 2013: The Best and Worst Moments

There was a spontaneous standing ovation, a smashing dance routine, a very funny Oprah cameo and — quite possibly — the Greatest Acceptance Speech of All-Time Ever. Yes folks, the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards are in the books, and TVLine has your rundown of the 15 Best and Worst Moments (with one bonus nugget from the red carpet).

RELATED | Emmy Winners React! Jeff Daniels Explains His Newsroom Renewal Tweet, Anna Gunn Shrugs Off Haters, a Dancing Star Leaps for Joy and More

So click through the gallery below to see what made our list — Michael Douglas, Diahann Carroll and that random dude behind host Neil Patrick Harris are all there.

RELATED | Emmy Winners 2013: Breaking Bad and Modern Family Score Top Honors, Claire Danes Repeats, HBO and Candelabra Dominate

When you’re done, hit the comments and tell us which moments made you laugh, how you felt about the new, expanded “in memoriam” tributes and which of the song/dance numbers you’d have cut.

And for a full rundown of post-Emmy scoop, interviews and commentary, come back to TVLine all week long!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Chris says:

    The whole thing was a mess. Was reading the Liveblog on EW and it was unanimous. We thought we had entered an episode of Lost or perhaps had all died and gone to some sort of purgatory. Awful, just awful. Expected so much more from NPH. Dance numbers sucked, jokes fell flat…ugh. Lets go back to the tonys!

  2. Faith says:

    Can Tina and Amy just host everything? Award shows are so much better because of them. From that best actress beauty pageant schtick to this one and last year’s hilarious Golden Globes–they just win. Too bad the awards themselves refuses to acknowledge their comedy genius. Well Fey won an award but Poehler is still batting zip. Highway robbery.

  3. scorpo says:

    The fact that the Emmys could NOT take the time to honor one of televisions most legendary and iconic actors, Larry Hagman, yet give us entirely too much of the overrated NPH is a fail.

  4. eloise says:

    mike please tell me you get the first interview with merritt!!!!!

  5. Kate says:

    The awards were really awkward. Randomly dispersing all the tributes was a real bummer. Also while the presenter chit chat at award shows is usually pretty bad, it was even worse tonight. Having Diane Carroll talking about diversity in the Emmys and lobbying for Kerry to win right before they presented a completely unrelated category was bizarre to say the least. Add in the random performances from Carrie and Elton and the whole show just felt uneven.

  6. Where’s Kevin Spacey in the opening hosts fight?! That made me laugh so hard! I preffer more dance numbers than in memoriam tributes; or they should make dance numbers to memoriam tributes, at least that would be more entertaining than what we got tonight.

    • Cassandra says:

      That was great. I’m curious how that was taken by people who had never seen HoC, they had to have been scratching their heads.

      • Alice says:

        It made me want to watch House of Cards.

      • MikaC says:

        I had no clue he was referencing HoC. I actually thought he was channeling The Usual Suspects! And still, the bit worked for me.

        Brilliant!! (And I will be checking out HoC soon.)

      • NJMark says:

        Those of us who use our TVs to watch TV shows were certainly confused about whatever joke they were going for. Even knowing the reference, it still doesn’t make any sense.

  7. Mr. White says:

    Jeff Daniels? Really? Best Actor compared to Bryan Cranston and Damien Lewis? What drugs were the Academy on? If it’s something that will get me through The Newsroom without wanting to kill myself, I’ll try it!

    • Josh says:

      I think it’s a very GLOSSY and inside show, so they want to reward it somehow. I mean, it’s unexplainable. Bryan Cranston in every episode of Breaking Bad, Damien Lewis and his bone chilling/heartbreaking performance in Q&A, and Jon Hamm all deserved it more.

      Still, I love Cranston. “I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for my awards”…The fact that this guy can play one of the best dramatic roles in decades and also be absolutely hilarious says a lot. Same with Jon Hamm. With both of their shows ending, I’d watch a comedy with them as the starring duo in a heartbeat.

      • MacKenzie McHale says:

        I think Jeff Daniels is just as deserving. I’m very glad he won.

      • Zoe says:

        Forgive me, but hasn’t Cranston already won… like, three times?

        • Cassandra says:

          I don’t think that’s relevant, it clearly states Best in the title of the award. The reason I always say Bryan Cranston should win for his performances as Walter White, is that to me, the actor disappears completely inside the character. When I watch him in other roles I don’t think of him as the meth dealer from BB, not everyone can pull that off. If repetition was a reason for disqualification, Modern Family should have shared or forfeited their award as well as Claire Dane, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jim Parsons.

      • Rai101 says:

        Wow. I hate (most) comedies but THAT! I’d watch. What a great idea! ^_^

    • wordsmith says:

      He clearly wasn’t expecting it either, hence the wad of gum, and the acceptance speech that started with: “Well… crap…”

    • Simon Jester says:

      Jeff Daniels is giving a great performance in what is, sadly, only mediocre Sorkin. But just because you dislike the show doesn’t mean he isn’t worthy. With the possible exception of Hugh Bonneville, it was a category that *any* of the nominees could easily have won.

    • dragenfly75 says:

      How about the fact that Jon Hamm has NEVER won? In fact Mad Men has never won a single Emmy for acting? That’s insane.

    • tnsmoke says:

      Jeff deserved the win as much as every other actor in the category. Do you realize how HARD it is to deliver 30-40 pages of dialogue in one scene?? And considering how much the MEDIA hates the Newsroom it’s clear his peers (who make up the Emmy votes) recognised his talent.

  8. Irritated that the second Bob Newhart stepped out the stage that they did not give him a standing ovation! It was like an Emmy production crew signaled them to stand up.

  9. Mark H says:

    Did Merrit Wever have explosive diarrhea? Is that what prompted the acceptance speech she gave?

  10. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Merritt really didn’t see that win coming, did she? And neither did anyone else. Good for her, though. I would have voted for her. Even though I had been rooting for Mandy Patinkin in the supporting actor category, I’m pretty freaking over the moon about Bobby Cannavale winning. I remember saying on TVLine when Boardwalk Empire ended last year that Bobby Cannavale would win supporting actor. Gyp was just such an awesome character.

  11. Tricia says:

    So. Boring. CBS always screws it up. Poor Shemar.

  12. The Beach says:

    Wow, that was the most boring Emmy show in recent memory. NPH is so good hosting the Tonys. I don’t know what happened but this just fell flat on it’s a$$. Also, I thought Carrie Underwood sounded terrible.

  13. Babybop says:

    Bahaha! The random guy! I didn’t even notice that!

  14. Julie says:

    Tina fey and Amy Poehler at the beginning and the Julia Louis-Dreyfuss/Tony Hale acceptance speech were the only funny parts. I expected better of NPH and thought the beginning would’ve bee funnier, especially when Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, jimmy Kimmel, and Jane Oynch joined him onstage. And seriously…mani cam on E? Who cares? And I like Guiliana on G&B but hate her red carpet persona…with as long as she’s been on E! you’d think she wouldn’t act like a star struck teenager every time she interviewed a celebrity.

    • Julie says:

      Oh and I definitely wasn’t a fan of the in memorium speeches because I felt like it made it seem like the few that were spoke. About were that much more famous, more special, etc than all of the others who passed away this year. Yes it was sad to lose some of these fantastic stars but was Cory Monteith more of a legend than Larry Hageman? While some of the readers on this site may not even know who LH was and not agree with me, I just think that they all deserved EQUAL tributes. And ones that had clips of their best work to go along with it. Although Edie Falcos tribute to James Gandolfini did bring a slight tear to my eye. And I never watched the Sopranos.

      • LizM says:

        Although it is sad when anyone dies and everyone deserves to be equally respected, not everybody deserves to be honored.

        People are honored for their extraordinary work, for a whole life dedicated to their craft, for their work recognized every where in the world … That said Larry Hagman should have been honored and wasn’t. I am sure younger and older generarions know who JR Ewing was, a true legend.

        While Cory …. I don’t mean any disrespect to him or his fans, but even if he was a talented young actor, he was not a legend. And I hope it does not encourage teens to believe that dying of an accidental overdose is rewarded.

        The whole show was sooo boring.

        Best moment was Michael Douglas’ acceptance speach!

        • Alice says:

          No one “deserves to be honored” at the Emmys for passing away. The place to honor them is at their funerals. Or memorial services. Or on tribute episodes of their own show. The Emmy awards is not a time to try and say “My dead friend is more deserving than your dead friend” which was what they were doing by giving those eulogies on stage. Just because the Academy doesn’t televise the awards it gives to the off screen talent doesn’t mean their loss wasn’t equally felt by their part of the community. A single Memorial montage is all that is necessary, or appropriate. It is a time in the show that they acknowledge who they lost, not eulogize everyone who passed away.

  15. Leanna says:

    What about Nathan Fillion in the Middle of the show number?

  16. Eliza says:

    Tiny Fey & Amy Poehler are the best. I heart them sfm. And I am tired of my girl Amy losing!

    • Faith says:

      You and me both! Amy will probably go by way of Bob Newhart which is a shame. Bob Newhart deserved it all those years as much as he did this year on Big Bang.

  17. Tammy says:

    The tributes were a mistake. Made the Emmys more about death than anything else. The whole show was a downer and I’m an award show junkie. We took it for as long as we could and the watched Breaking Bad. Then I had a nice buffer to skip Carrie Underwood and a few other things. I love me some NPH but this was all wrong. I did like presenting the choreographers award after that brilliant performance. Yes, I was searching for all the SYTYCD dancers. I love Merritt winning. Anna Gunn’s dress was probably my favorite of the night too.

  18. Adam says:

    The ceremony was awful. It wasn’t NPH’s fault; the theme of the ceremony seemed to be death which sorta put a damper on things. They should have stuck with one large In Memoriam instead. Then the categories were presented in really random, nonsensical order. As for the wins, they tried so hard to be unpredictable that some of the predictable & deserved wins weren’t earned (see: Bryan Cranston’s loss, Aaron Paul or Jonathan Banks’s loss), yet still played it so that the predictable & undeserved wins were received (see: Modern Family’s big win). Then there were unpredictable and not sure what to make of it wins (see: Merritt Wever).

  19. Cassandra says:

    I thought all of the tributes were great even without the clips, I just didn’t like how they were sprinkled through the night. Even the creator of Modern Family acknowledged they were the saddest award show.

  20. Sarah says:

    WORST: Shemar Moore “chatting” with presenters etc. Cutting this pointless segment would have given winners more than 30 seconds to say their thank yous. Kevin Spacey’s little moments throughout the show were great! The whole show was really awkward and off pace. The memorial tributes were terribly clunky, and then watching the In Memoriam segment, you would see other actors who equally deserved more recognition. Very poor show.

    • dan says:

      And whats with the audience clapping during the “In Memorium” segment? It is just bizarre to hear different levels of applause for the various people being honored. Popularity contest even in death!

      • Aprilcot says:

        UGH. I HATE it when they do that! It’s just so tacky! Last year at the Oscars (I think) they asked everyone to hold their applause until the end. So much classier that way. You’d think you shouldn’t have to explain that to adults…

  21. Jill says:

    Merritt Wever, the best! Zoey was amazing this past season!

  22. Geo says:

    This year’s Emmys sort of felt like being at the world’s weirdest funeral. Most of the jokes were dead on arrival, and every five minutes someone else was talking about somebody else who’d died. They even ran a very long clip of Walter Cronkite announcing JFK’s death. By the time we got to Elton John, my only surprise was that they didn’t have him sing “Candle in the Wind” (about Marilyn Monroe/Princess Diana’s death) while the Emmy dancers did an interpretative dance about the bubonic plague.

  23. Jazz says:

    x”the univited guest trophy” was actually comedian/writer Paul Greenberg who has written for the tonys,peoples choice etc. very funny fellow! I assume he was one of the writers this year.

  24. Ale says:

    I was so upset that Kerry Washington didn’t win :(( she deserved it so much!

    • Mary says:

      Well, for me that actually was one of the best things! IMO, she´s a medium actress, not more. Almost all of the nominees are better actresses than her (and I´m not alking abouth the show, but her skills as an actress).

    • Sarah says:

      So was I. Boom eland was universally criticized for its so-so season, while Kerry carries Scandalmon her back EVERY WEEK. I actually hoped it was anyone but Claire Danes this season.

      • Sarah says:

        Sorry auto correct! HOMELAND Season 2 was met with mixed reviews but Scandal had the most buzz-worthy season, and Kerry’s Olivia Pope is the gladiator making it all come together. Love her and wanted her to win sooooo much. I also loved Elizabeth Moss and Michelle Dockery, even though they were long-shots.

  25. Zoe says:

    What even was that show? I hope this trainwreck revokes CBS’s Emmy-hosting rights for a while, it was horrendous. It’s a bit similar to what CBS has done to the Grammys- not enough focus on the awards, too much focus on performance pieces.

  26. Eddie says:

    One of the worst things was Mindy Kaling… She is hilarious & I love her, but her presenting monologue was awful. I think she didn’t write it herself which is good, but I was hoping/expecting better.

    • dan says:

      Really, what was that between her and Arrow (which is what Mindy called him instead of using his name)? Was that scripted or did they really have a problem with the teleprompter (which is what Stephen Amel said during their horrible dialogue).

  27. Janet says:

    When the Emmy’s snubbed Tatiana Maslany, I knew it was time to stop watching this increasingly-irrelevant award show and I am glad I did. It sounds like it was a complete disaster. It also sounds like there were some deserving winners – but even they were awarded a season or three too late. I’ll stick with the Golden Globes. Their winners may pay for the honor, but at least those bought awards feel current.

    • Aprilcot says:

      The only good thing about her snub was that it got me watching Orphan Black. I had never seen it and the level of furor that accompanied her denial at the Emmys got me curious enough to check it out. I also hate the way Parks & Rec gets snubbed regularly (when it is greatly superior to the middling Modern Family).

  28. MK says:

    This was the first time I learned of Gary David Goldberg’s passing. For me it was sad as I knew Gary and worked with him when I was in the industry. I thought the memorials were touching. However, the whole show was a snooze fest. Elton John puts me to sleep and Carrie Underwood singing Yesterday…dear Lord. Was Paul McCartney not available?

  29. ilona @ilonarcari says:

    and now on is talkin about Allison Janney… she looked amazing and did well presenting! cant wait to watch MOM we need her on TV :)

  30. CJ says:

    I have no idea what I watched last night. Boring. Terrible. Confusing. Disappointing. What was the deal with Carrie Underwood singing ‘Yesterday’ with the picture of the Beatles frozen on the screen?

    • Discussed says:

      I agree with this comment completely. I use to enjoy the Emmy’s but this was the end for me! To single out a guy most people only heard of when he overdosed except for the 14 yr old crowd was terrible— so many wonderful true actors ignored— stupid inside jokes— Carrie sang like she was a no-talent Voice contestant—- and unless you watch HBO most of the shows you would never have seen. The whole show was terrible. NPH was so great before—-even he seemed befuddled. Most sitcoms aren’t funny anymore, they are crude, but some really well-done dramas on the “free channels” are definitely overlooked. I shall henceforth refrain from watching, amateur night for grown-up four year olds.

  31. DramaMomma says:

    Did anyone else notice the audience shots of Scott Bakula? I think I saw him at least 3 times. I am not complaining because I could look at him all day, but wasn’t aware that he has something coming out this season.

    Also, the best E! moment was when Michael Douglas went out of his way to meet Jim Parsons. Jim was so dumbfounded that it was endearing. Poor guy felt so bad he could hardly say anything in return to Michael.

    • Simon Jester says:

      Errrr… Scott Bakula was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor for BEHIND THE CANDELABRA. That’s why the camera cut to him for reaction shots during that show’s various nods.

  32. Shirl Morris says:

    I tried to watch but it was so dull and annoying in the beginning minutes, and I do not even know about most of the shows involved. I decided I would watch Big Bang
    Theory reruns on a different channel last night and catch the Emmy winners in this morning’s news. I did not agree with most of the winners. I know I am one rural person with no influence in television, and I know my opinion does not count anywhere, but this program is a waste of air time. I also agree with most of the comments posted here.

  33. lumpy87654 says:

    The tributes by Rob Reiner and Edie Falco made me cry. It was a very wise decision though it wouldn’t have killed them to have one for Hagman or Klugman. The violin during the long In Memoriam was beautiful too.

  34. David says:

    Carrie Underwood did not do well with the Beatles song, I couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t have Kelly Clarkson, the original AI winner that catapulted that show and genre of TV. I thougth the presenting with Sophia Vargas (and i can’t remember her copresenter) talking about how laughter is terrible medicine and laughter kills and here are all the nominated murders was way funnier than whoever that was talking about how beautiful the men are.

  35. Suzie says:

    Dislikes-Poor Shemar Moore, what was he doing back there? Carrie Underwood, love her,didn’t love this performance. That whole “JFK died, and then segway to the Beatles” was weird. The individual tributes to Monteith, Gandalfini, etc really slowed things down. Likes-I know most people may not agree, but the choreographers nod and their big production number was refreshing, and I will tune in to the Tina and Amy show anytime.

  36. Dani says:

    So that Glee kid gets a special tribute for dying of his addiction but no love for Larry Hagma!? That man was a freakin’ icon. I’m in my 20s and even I don’t understand it. Did the Emmys need the four to six million viewers that watch Glee or what was this about? At least Hagman was nominated for not one but two Emmy Awards in his life.

  37. The Kaibosh says:

    The Emmys overall went well. There were some surprises (good and bad) and the musical numbers and comedy bits were generally good. I have to agree however with the statement that this was the saddest Emmys ever presented: and it didn’t need to be. Every year the industry loses a number of very talented people and we all take a moment to reflect on their achievements and mourn them for that brief moment. Its not excessive and its always done tastefully and meaningfully. The “In Memoriam” portion really is all that is needed. But this year was different. Not because more great people left us than in previous years but because the producers of the show fell victim to what can only be described as peer pressure. Peer pressure drawn from the fact that the producers felt the need to include longer tributes for more people to mask the fact that they were pressured to single out a person that when looked at objectively: was not deserving of the extended accolade. A person that although who’s character was a youth growing into manhood; the actor himself was a full grown man with very few meaningful achievements to his name. Who’s only real achievement was to play a character who was not original. A character based on Chris Klein’s portrayal of Oz from American Pie. The man died tragically. But he was a man: not a child and although he left people behind that love him, its as much an injustice to over inflate his achievements than it is to overlook those who are just as deserving if not more so.

  38. Kim R says:

    I enjoyed it for the most part. I think picking out a few to honor their passing seperately was not that great an idea. Someone will ultimately be left out. I also did not care for the Elton or Carrie segments. If they had run a montage behind them, then maybe, but it was just awkward. Especially Carrie’s Yesterday. I didn’t get it. ??

  39. Lisa says:

    NPH is annoying – can’t stand him! The whole show was just bad!

  40. Sarabi says:

    Tina and Amy should host EVERYTHING, damn it!
    As far as acceptance speeches go, nothing can top Claire Danes’s line (“Mandy Patinkin, holla!”) from last year. :D Although Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale did a pretty good job. Merritt Wever, too. :)

  41. Terry says:

    Most touching moment of the night for me was Bob Newhart wiping away tears after getting that spontaneous standing O. I absolutley adore him, loved the Bob Newhart Show, and I admit I was standing and clapping in my living room too.

  42. Mary M says:

    Although tragic, why honor a man who overdosed on drugs ? He may have been a great guy, but had not been in the business long enough to have contributed much to the profession. Other actors that passed were more deserving of a “special” memorial”
    The message was do drugs and get recognition at a public forum. Yes addiction was mentioned. BRIEFLY. That still does not justify the type of mention given.Hold applause to after the memorial .

    • Joseph says:

      Or…… maybe the message was do drugs and die. Perhaps we could look at this a cautionary tale and hopefully it will make some people with the same addictions take a long hard look at their life and do something to get well.

      • Steve F. says:

        I got that message from Jane Lynch as well (especially poignant as she’s a recovering addict herself). It was a tribute, yes, but also a veiled cautionary tale.

  43. Sidney.B says:

    What about the EHD (excessive host disorder ) ? the Ryan Seacrest center for EHD ?
    That part was so funny , Cobbie and Alysson were hilarious.

  44. irishrose4583 says:

    Could have done with less musical numbers. I like watchign emmy’s for the funny presenters but with the exception of Tina, Amy and JImmy Fallon there werent any hilarious bits. ALthough I did laugh at the EHD skit. That was funny! Also the memorium was a bust. they picked 5 people but what about all the rest of them? No love for Jack Klughman and Larry Hagman? Its almost like picking your 5 faves when the families of those others are just as deserving of having their loved ones remembered. They deserved it as much. Next time they should air those during breaks by just showing a clip of the actor as it fades out instead of those stupid bits by Shemar which added nothing. Was a pretty disappointing emmys. NPH tried but it jsut fell flat for me. Hes usually much more entertaining.

  45. The credits said that NPH was the executive producer, so he didn’t have to audition very hard for the job.

  46. Steve F. says:

    A couple of things I liked: the TLC writing staff being portrayed as contestants from “Toddlers and Tiaras” (and one from “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”), and the blink-and-you-missed-it gag from Bob Newhart as one of the accountants on stage.

  47. Stafford says:

    The whole E red carpet show was just terrible. Girlfriend Giuliana Rancic needs to eat a samwhich and drop the idiotic manicam…who gives a crap about someone’s manicure?

    • Stafford says:

      I forgot to mention that Ryan Seacreast needs to take a break and actually watch TV. When Bryan Cranston mention his attorney “Better Call Saul”…an iconic reference Ryan didn’t have a clue and thought Cranston was talking about his real attorney–sheesh…if you are going to host a show about TV then you should watch the most talked about show of the decade.

  48. K says:

    I love it when Award shows are not dirty and I can watch them with my kids!!! I loved the EMMY’s !!!! I didnt have to change the channel because I was unsure where it would go. I don’t like Tina and Amy hosting because it gets to dirty and stupid. I Like NPH! I get how some people may get bored but he does things in an entertaining way. I thought the guy from castle did great. I LOVED the choreography award and how they aproached that. More dancing from unknown people would be good does not need to be from host- get singers from the voice and dancers from sytycd and dwts.

  49. EmmaLynn Murphy says:

    Thank you so much for pointing out NPH’s revolting and demeaning jokes about some of the women. I am so glad SOMEBODY notice. And surprised that “K” above considered it a clean show–yuk, you really want your kids hearing those sex worker and boob jokes?

  50. Tahonia says:

    Best presenting gag was will ferrill in the shorts and shirt with the 3 kids. A riot.