Following the devastating attacks on the United States, the 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony was postponed by three weeks. After America retaliated against Afghanistan, CBS rescheduled the proceedings again. But really, by then, what was the point? Watching the rich and famous pat themselves on the back for doing the jobs that made them rich and famous has never exactly been an experience that set anyone's soul aglow, and that was before the world was turned upside down. So now that our nation has entered into an indeterminate period of mourning and gone to war, why bother handing out the golden girls at all?

It turns out, the answer is reassurance. In these, the most uncertain times that many of us have ever known, it is comforting just to see the personalities whom we invite into our living rooms each evening. Furthermore, to come away with the impression that many of them are not at all the money-grubbing egomaniacs that cynics would have us believe that they are is, especially now, a gift of incalculable value. For those of you who missed the historic — and, miraculously, often hilarious — broadcast, here's what happened when, at last, the show went on.