Nothing is remotely as amusing as the winner at an awards show, clutching an
enormous statue at the mic and feverishly rambling, "I didn't think I'd win so I
didn't prepare anything!" That never gets old. I can believe the not thinking he
or she would actually win part, but the nothing prepared? C'mon! Even plumbers
rehearse acceptance speeches when they're showering. Then, of course, said actor
or actress rattles off a slew of names, tells a zippy anecdote involving an old
teacher or agent and appears the improv master. Yeah, right.
That is why the collection of speeches gathered herein is so perfect; from
those who have mastered either appearing off-the-cuff (see Julia Louis-Dreyfus) or truly doing it
The Louis-Dreyfus hat trick (an Emmy for her role on "Seinfeld," one for "The New
Adventures of Old Christine," and this most recent) put her in rarified air
indeed, and also afforded her -- ostensibly -- the opportunity to horse around
and go for a big laugh (plus get it). That first win is all precious, pouting
proclamations, odes to the spouse sitting next to your vacated seat; by the
third, and for three entirely different roles, why wouldn't you hatch a
plan with another nominee (especially when that nominee is Amy Poehler) that you accidentally swapped
acceptance speeches? See for yourself.
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Easily the only name on this list many folks probably won't even recognize,
Garcia nailed his acceptance speech as creator of the zany comedy that was
"Earl," starring Jason Lee and Jaime Pressly (also an Emmy winner), both with
punch lines and pace. Eschewing saying thank you to a litany of people, Garcia
instead singled out those he didn't wish to thank, including a former school
teacher who once said he wasn't funny, and God. The latter for taking his hair.
Or is it Latter?
Jaime Pressly (for "My Name Is Earl")
Despite the fact that Ms. Pressly was on nomination No. 2 for her riotous
turn as the titular character's rootin' tootin' ex on "My Name Is Earl," Pressly
cracks during her speech, which makes her underdog win that much more touching.
While she admits Garcia wrote her a great line and that it's the first line of
dialogue he's written for her that she's forgotten, she still wraps the whole
thing up with a gushing, guttural celebration of "the little engine." And no
acknowledgment of "Poison Ivy 3!"
Look, there's a ton of jokes I could make here about having never seen a
microphone at an awards show slung so low or that the statue looks almost as big
as the guy holding it. Fact is, that's all been done before, plus Dinklage
scares me. As the relentless force to be reckoned with on the visceral HBO hit,
"Game of Thrones," Dinklage delivers. And he delivers while accepting his speech
too, especially when he gives a nod to his dog-sitter named Kitty.
Just as Heigl was on the verge of that much-ballyhooed "America's Sweetheart"
status, she earned her Best Supporting Actress Emmy, and her opening line about
her own mother's certainty she wouldn't win is worth checking this out alone.
Especially when the camera is suddenly on said mother! This was fresh-off-"Knocked Up" Heigl, her reputation for being
outspoken in its infancy, before she'd leave the series that put her on the map
and then be vocal about wanting to return. Okay, maybe not infancy; after all,
doesn't it look like she curses when Eva Longoria reads her name?
Chenoweth's acceptance speech is better-remembered than the role (and series)
for which she won it. From a sight gag suggested by (who else?) Amy Poehler to
Chenoweth's list of series that she'd be up for working on since "Daisies" had
already been canceled by the time she won, this paved the way for Chenoweth to
begin springing up like a daisy on a variety of different shows, though the one
that she gets to call her own, and that gets renewed, still eludes.
Lynch's acceptance speech is the most eloquent of the lot, besting even Sally Field (stick around for that),
simultaneously thanking both her parents for being "unintentionally hilarious"
and her "lord and creator," the latter being a reference to the mastermind
behind "Glee" and her character in particular. While "Modern
Family" star Ed O'Neill voiced displeasure that Lynch beat out
his TV wife, there's no denying Lynch's comedic prowess. She just shouldn't
count on bringing home gold for "Hollywood
Maybe they just got tired of giving Shatner statues or finishing the sentence
"and the winner is James..." with "Gandolfini"; either way, Spader's wins, and
the acceptance speeches that accompanied them, were as dry as one would expect,
yet much funnier. They were tough to choose from for the purposes of this piece,
but his flip comment about shoes and dresses and his ode to the make-up artists
won by a hair.
In a lot of ways, this would be like David Spade winning an Emmy for "Rules of
Engagement." "Molly," a steady-at-best CBS sitcom, should have long since
been abandoned by mega-star McCarthy, but this down-to-earth gal, who also
doubles as maybe the funniest female on the planet, isn't having it. She's
sticking with the show, even though predecessor "Samantha
Who?" gave her more to work with, and the silver screen is being very good
to her – and she to it.
It can be argued that the only reason Parker won an Emmy for the role of
Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO hit is because it was the final season, which is
often the case with Emmys. It can also be argued that the only reason she won
was because Emmy envied the killer Golden Globe speeches Parker was giving for
years. Both hilarious and heartfelt, they became a staple of the second-tier
award show for a while there. Here Parker isn't quite hilarious, but her
shout-out to NYC makes it a must for this list. (Besides, seeing fellow nominee
Jennifer Aniston sitting next to then-husband Brad Pitt is worth the price of admission
Long before she would play Aunt Mae in a "Spiderman" movie, and long after
she would gush, Oscar in hand, "You like me, you really like me," Sally is
simply still a galvanizing presence. The "cut-off" controversy was the epitome
of silly in this writer's opinion. She had just finished an epic statement about
mothers and sons - especially those coming home from war -- to thunderous
applause; who wouldn't cue the music? But, then, how to back out of it? Here it
doesn't matter anyway: unedited and unapologetic, the Emmy-winner ends her
speech with a line that tops even the one that started the mayhem.
The Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech given by the late Fred Rogers in 1997 takes us into Daytime Emmy
territory and, as such, excluding Susan Lucci from this list could be perceived as a
glaring omission. Don't read too much into it. Just giving props to Mister
Rogers, a guy who clearly was not playing a role when he slipped on his kicks
for a walk through the neighborhood, and his imploring of the audience to take
10 seconds to think of a person who might have helped him or her in life – and
then actually counting down the time on his watch – is a thing of beauty. What
other "entertainer" would give up 10 seconds of his allotted acceptance speech
News flash, people-- ever wonder where all that touching surprised sincerity comes from in such a self-congratulatory forum? They're actors! I think a truly amazing speech will explain why they want to memorialize doper Corey Monteith rather than Larry Hagman or Andy Griffith; he doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as them.
It's likely people at the Emmys have been practicing acceptance speeches since their mothers took them to their first audition for a commercial. These award shows they keep coming up with to honor themselves are so self-aggrandizing, it amazes me people can bear to watch. Why are we feeding their inflated egos?