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Emmys Awards 2020: Best and Worst Moments

From cute to cringeworthy, here's your breakdown

Lindsay MacDonald

The 2020 Emmy Awards were absolutely unlike anything we've ever seen before. And we mean that in both a good and bad way...

The awards were taken virtual this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, and while the Creative Arts Emmy Awards (where HBO's Watchmen and Disney+'s The Mandalorian cleaned up) didn't have too much problem with the new format, the Primetime Emmys took on a much more complicated and interactive task. For the first time ever, we got to see acceptance speeches live from the winners' couches and backyards and kitchens, which was.... well, interesting to say the least.

Host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the night with an opening monologue that poked fun at everyone's quaran-time, and from there it was a real bumpy (and sometimes thrilling) ride. Here's a look at the best and worst moments of the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. 

WORST: Having a fake audience

It took Kimmel way too long to acknowledge that the audience reacting to his monologue was not actually present in the room but instead cut together from old Emmys footage. For the first five minutes of the broadcast, there were definitely people who thought the show was flagrantly flouting social distancing guidelines. Not to mention, did the Emmys get actors' approval before making them laugh at somewhat risque jokes? Because... yikes.

BEST: Jason Bateman crashing the show

Eventually, Jimmy Kimmel did reveal that the audience wasn't actually there -- except Jason Bateman apparently. We're not sure we've ever laughed harder than when watching Bateman pretending to be a cardboard cutout. And then having him crash the Friends reunion later? Genius. 

WORST: Anthony Carrigan as a Russian mailman

We gasped at the sight of Barry's Anthony Carrigan appearing on the Emmys stage next to Jimmy Kimmel because he is a scene-stealing delight, but the long-running bit trying to poke fun at Russians stealing the presidential election was too much, too soon, and not funny enough to make it work. Sorry, Anthony -- you're still a treasure, buddy.

BEST: Schitt's Creek sweeping the comedy categories

Schitt's Creek hasn't always gotten its due considering how amazing the show is, but in its last year at the Emmys, it finally got the recognition it deserves -- and then some. In an epic windfall, Schitt's Creek swept all the comedy categories, including Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Supporting Actress, and Outstanding Comedy Series!

WORST: David Letterman reading old Emmys jokes

Look, we love us some David Letterman, but the segment of him getting ditched by an Uber driver in a field was just not the best bit the show could have come up with. Revisiting old jokes from when he hosted the Emmys in 1986 could have been a fun little poke at the past, but ultimately it didn't even inspire much of a chuckle.

Emmys Friends Reunion


BEST: Jennifer Aniston's Friends Reunion

We definitely weren't expecting the 2020 Emmys to give us a Friends reunion, but honestly, this year needed a good surprise in the wake of all the terrible ones. Jennifer Aniston joking that she, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow had obviously been roommates since way back in 1994 was just too cute for words. 

WORST: Leaving Kobe Bryant out of the In Memorium section

Yeah, this was an oversight for sure. Though he was not technically a TV star, Kobe Bryant was an executive producer on the sports docuseries Details, and he guest-starred on Modern Family and Moesha. Not to mention the show was broadcast from the Staples Center! If the Grammys can give him a shoutout, so can the Emmys.

BEST: Zendaya breaking an Emmys record

Zendaya took the win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, making her the youngest actress to ever win in this category. Being a 24-year-old Emmy winner is awesome, but what was even cooler was her reaction to the whole thing. We officially have a new favorite reaction GIF. 

WORST: Jimmy Kimmel giving out a fake after-party Zoom chat ID 

Rude, Jimmy. Just so rude. 

BEST: Realizing this year had the most wins by Black actors of all time

After a record-breaking number of Black actors were nominated for Emmys this year, the voters came through and decided to recognize those nominees with awards. A total of nine Black actors were honored with awards in acting categories this year including Regina King (Watchmen), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen), Uzo Aduba (Mrs. America), Zendaya (Euphoria), Eddie Murphy (SNL), Maya Rudolph (SNL and Big Mouth), Jasmine Cephas Jones (#FreeRayshawn), Lawrence Fishburn (#FreeRayshawn), and Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us). 

Zendaya, Emmy Win