Mad Men courtesy AMC
In case you hadn't heard, AMC's Mad Men is not only a hit with the Emmy voters (the most nominated drama this year, with 16) but it's a bona fide critics' darling, walking away with three Television Critics Association Awards over the weekend at the 24th annual ceremony in Beverly Hills. Mad Men won for new program, outstanding achievement in drama and program of the year, prompting Emmy-nominated co-star John Slattery to quip (during one of the show's several acceptance speeches), "How glad I am that the message of smoking, drinking and whoring Mad Men puts across has registered with the TCAs."

Jon Hamm, also an Emmy nominee, thanked reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love (all three seasons) and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader "for pushing the envelope so far that way that there was a place kind of on this side for us to sneak in."

HBO's epic John Adams miniseries won two awards, for Paul Giamatti's "individual achievement in drama"- a phrase he scoffed at, saying "Everybody hauled my large, lazy a- through this thing"- and for outstanding miniseries or special. Executive producer Tom Hanks accepted that one, joking that among the things he hoped to accomplish in this film was "to show a president and his wife, the first lady, doing the deed in bed. This is HBO after all."

Two more TCAs went to 30 Rock: for Tina Fey's "individual achievement in comedy" and to the show itself as outstanding comedy. Fey thanked critics for making the low-rated show "the most successful cable show on broadcast TV. It's a great time to be in broadcast television. Exciting. It's like being in vaudeville in the '60s." She also thanked Tom Hanks- for Bosom Buddies. "What appointment television that was for me." In accepting the comedy award, Fey thanked her cast, which she said "could not be here tonight because NBC is broke." In her shout-outs, she revealed that Jack McBrayer, who plays Kenneth the Page, is "actually a child with a rare disease that makes him look like a 30-year-old hillbilly."

The TCA named Ken Burns' and Lynn Novick's The War outstanding news/information show, PBS' WordGirl outstanding children's program, and gave HBO's The Wire, infamously snubbed by the Emmys, the special Heritage Award for its cultural impact in its five seasons on the air. Saturday Night Live's (and 30 Rock's) Lorne Michaels accepted a career achievement award.

Speaking of legendary careers, The Smothers Brothers kicked off the night with a music-comedy performance and a nostalgic clip reel, recalling that it was 40 years ago next year that their infamous The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was yanked from CBS's schedule for its provocative political satire at the height of anti-Vietnam War fervor. In a song parody of "Those Were the Days," they likened CBS of the time to the KGB. And in a routine that presented them in their classic comic personas as befuddled Tommy and exasperated Dick, it ended with Dick asking, "Why did you come out here and lie?" To which Tommy simply answered, "National policy."

They brought the house down, making a convincing case for a repeat appearance to accept a career achievement award of their own some day.