Piven starts off by talking about the fine line between playing tough and playing an a--hole. "If you play monster without making him human, I don't think it's interesting," he says. "We all have our demons, we all have our shadow.... I don't think it's me winning this, it's this character, this aggressive type-A wrecking ball."

If Ari were to win an Emmy, Piven says, "He'd make a bad joke, like I did."

Not that anyone, anyone who reads Page Six questions it, Piven, in recalling how many times he has brought his mom as a "date" to an awards show, insists, "I'm straight."

I ask Piven if it's strange at all to win for material that aired not this past season, but over a year ago. "I would [accept an award] for something I did in junior high school," he laughs, "and quite honestly I would do a victory lap and hold a press conference."

Asked about this year's eco-friendly "green" theme, Piven says, "I don't want to get political now because I've had a drink.... It'd get ugly and they'd put me on a list and I'd never act again."

Reflecting on his consecutive Emmy wins, Piven admits, "I never thought I'd be the people's favorite in anything. I've never been a type, I've been playing the abrasive best friend for decades. So to be rewarded in some way... in back-to-back years... is kind of unbelievable to me."