On The Avenue

New Yorkers at the Emmys

by Kelly Laffey Photographed by David Crotty /PMC
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Even before the 70th annual primetime Emmys kicked off on Monday, they were heralded as being historic for their inclusivity—although host Michael Che jokingly tried to get #EmmysSoWhite trending after American legend Betty White took the stage. Yet not long after the show ended, many critics called the it out for being predictable. That maybe so, but there were some definite shining moments. Below, five things New Yorkers did at the Emmys:

They Brought Their Entire Crews

Or, so it seemed based on the chorus of cheers and applause when the nominees for best Variety Talk Series were announced, as both John Oliver and Stephen Colbert packed the house with what had to be every person who worked on their respective shows. After Oliver won, both contingents cleared their seats and my seatmate whispered to me, “The Colbert people are pissed because they have to work on a daily show, while the Oliver people just work once a week.”

They Went to Governors Ball

No, not that Gov Ball, the multi-day music festival held on Governors Island Randall’s Island at the start of summer. Governors Ball was the name of the official Emmys after-party. It was also the place where winners could get their Emmy statues engraved, and where they were among the fist to sip a $250 bottle of ultra-limited wine from Napa’s Sterling Vineyards. It should also be noted that it was accessible via a parking garage.

They Won, for the First Time

Manhattan-born Henry Winkler won his first primetime Emmy on Monday night, taking the stage to a standing ovation. The award came 42 years after he received his first Emmy nomination, for playing Fonzi in Happy Days. An emotional Winkler accepted his prize with, “If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you…Tonight I got to clear the table.”

They Were Funny

The vignettes with Fred Armesian and Maya Rudolph have received a lot of backlash for being both un-funny, and a gratuitous addition by NBC and Emmy producer Lorne Michaels to bring even more SNL stars to the stage. Not true. Armisen’s dry, deadpan humor struck a chord with the audience, and the chemistry with Rudolph has always been palpable.

They Didn’t Drink?

After arriving at the L.A. Live theater, Jessica Biel posted a photo of herself with Justin Timberlake and the caption, “Our face when we learned there’s no booze at the #Emmys.” But, alcohol was served at the Emmys. In fact, what was particularly fascinating about the show is how most audience members seemed to treat it as they would a movie—you could leave during commercial breaks for popcorn and beverages and were even allowed to bring them back into the theater. That is, if you made it through the concession line in time. Commercial breaks were only given 3-4 minutes before the doors closed and you were locked out.


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