From 'That' Monologue to the Speech that Got Cut Off: All the 2017 Emmys Moments We Can't Stop Talking About

Sidesplitting laughter and emotional words filled the Microsoft Theater on television's biggest night of the year

01 of 17

STARS KICK THINGS OFF WITH A MUSICAL NUMBER

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CBS

A who's who of TV's biggest stars joined host Stephen Colbert in his opening musical number, singing about why "everything is better on TV" — even treason.

02 of 17

COLBERT HILARIOUSLY GOES AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP IN HIS OPENING MONOLOGUE

Stephen Colbert
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

The Late Show host turned to President Donald Trump's contentious history with the awards show for his opening monologue, even reading the politician's old tweets complaining about Seth Meyer's hosting skills and showing a clip from a debate during which Trump said The Apprentice "should have won" an award.

03 of 17

SEAN SPICER MAKES A SURPRISE APPEARANCE

Sean Spicer
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

The former White House Press Secretary took to the stage behind his infamous podium during Colbert's side-splitting opening. "This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world," he said. "That really soothes my ego," the host quipped in response. "I can understand why you would want one of these guys around."

04 of 17

KATE MCKINNON OPENS UP

Kate McKinnon
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

The sketch star got emotional as she headed to the stage to accept best supporting actress in comedy award. "Being a part of this season of Saturday Night Live was the most meaningful thing I will ever do, so I should probably stop now," she said, also adding, "On a very personal note I want to say 'thank you' to Hillary Clinton, for your grace and grit."

05 of 17

LAURA DERN CELEBRATES WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD

Laura Dern
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

"I've been acting since I was 11 years old and I think I've worked with maybe 12 women, so I just want to thank the television academy for honoring our show," the Big Little Lies star said as she accepted the award for best supporting actress in a limited series or a television movie. Dern also gave a shout-out to her costars' families, thanking, "Nicole and Reese's moms, for not only giving us extraordinary women, but extremely well-read women, because that's how I'm getting parts."

06 of 17

D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECOME UNEXPECTED STARS OF THE EVENING

Dave Chappelle,Melissa McCarthy
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

#DCPublicSchools became the ceremony's most unexpected trend thanks to Dave Chappelle and John Oliver. It all started when Chappelle joked that he had skipped rehearsal while presenting with Melissa McCarthy. "Now I'm going to read this teleprompter. Please forgive me. Shout out to D.C. Public Schools. Here we go," he said. Then, the Last Week Tonight host set things off as he accepted the Emmy for outstanding writing for a variety series. "Like Dave Chappelle, I would like to unexpectedly thank D.C. Public Schools because I think it would be great if it started trending tonight on Twitter for no reason whatsoever, so, if you're tweeting about the Emmys at home please use the hashtag D.C. Public Schools," he said — and viewers definitely listened.

07 of 17

ALEC BALDWIN HELPS TRUMP FINALLY GET HIS EMMY

Alec Baldwin
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

Baldwin earned the statuette for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series after portraying the president in 15 episodes of Saturday Night Live's 42 season. "I suppose I should say, at long last, 'Mr. President, here is your Emmy,' " Baldwin began his speech. "I want to thank my wife – my wife and I had three children in three years, and we didn't have a child last year during the SNL season. I wonder if there is a correlation there — you put that orange wig on, it's birth control, trust me."

08 of 17

RUPAUL INTRODUCES US TO THE REAL 'EMMY'

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CBS

The Rupaul's Drag Race host joined Colbert for a bit about the woman behind the statuette. "Emmy" spilled some tea about her fellow awards show icons, revealing, " 'Oscar' is cute. We actually dated for a little while. I had to break it off, I just couldn’t date a man who’s naked all the time holding a sword."

09 of 17

THE 9 T0 5 STARS REUNITE

Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda
Phil McCarten/Invision/AP

Iconic comedy stars Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda strutted on stage to present the award for best supporting actor in a limited series or movie. "Personally, I have been waiting for a 9 to 5 reunion ever since we did the first one," Parton joked. "I'm just hoping that I'm going to get one of those Grace and Frankie vibrators in my swag bag tonight," she added, a nod to her former colleagues' current Netflix show.

10 of 17

NICOLE KIDMAN & ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD SHARE A SMOOCH

Nicole Kidman Alexander Skarsgard
CBS

Kidman gave her Big Little Lies costar a congratulatory peck as he made his way to the stage after winning outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie.

11 of 17

LENA WAITHE SHARES A POWERFUL MESSAGE

Lena Waithe
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

The writer/ actress made history by becoming the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing (she was also the first to ever be nominated). Waithe penned the Master of None episode "Thanksgiving" alongside Aziz Ansari. She thanked her "LGBTQIA family," saying, "I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren't in it."

12 of 17

ANN DOWD GETS EMOTIONAL

Ann Dowd
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

Dowd's role on The Handmaid's Tale earned her the outstanding supporting actress in a drama series Emmy. She delivered her acceptance speech through tears, saying, "I think this is a dream, you know? I’ve been acting for a long time and that this should happen now, I don't have the words — so I thank you."

13 of 17

JOHN OLIVER FANBOYS OVER OPRAH

John Oliver
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

One of the night's big winners couldn't help but pay homage to the TV legend. "I'd like to thank Oprah because she's sitting right there and it seems inappropriate not to," he joked after winning outstanding writing for a variety series. Later, while taking the stage again to accept outstanding variety talk series (and finding the media mogul missing from the front row), he said, "I’d like to thank Oprah's seat filler. I've only met Oprah once. It was like meeting the queen, only much better."

14 of 17

NICOLE KIDMAN THANKS HER FAMILY & DISCUSSES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Nicole Kidman
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

"I also am a mother and a wife. I have two little girls — Sunny and Faith — and my darling Keith, whom I asked to help me pursue this artistic path, and they have to sacrifice so much for it. So, this is yours," the Big Little Lies star said as she accepted outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie. "I want my two little girls to have this [Emmy statue] on their shelf and to look at it and go, 'Every time my mama didn't put me to bed it's because of this. I got something!' " Kidman also recognized the importance of the show's difficult themes. "We shine a light on domestic abuse," she said. "It is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame and secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award."

15 of 17

NICOLE KIDMAN & REESE WITHERSPOON CELEBRATE ROLES FOR WOMEN

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show
Kevin Winter/Getty

The Big Little Lies stars and producers split their time at the mic as they celebrated their best limited series win. "It's been an incredible year for women in television. Thank you for giving us these stories," Witherspoon said. "This is a friendship that then created opportunities, it created opportunities out of our frustration because we weren’t getting offered great roles, so now, more great roles for women, please. Thank you," added Kidman.

16 of 17

STERLING K. BROWN EMBRACES HIS SURREAL MOMENT

Sterling K. Brown
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

The lead actor in a drama series winner gave one of the most rousing speeches of the night, which continued even after his mic was cut off. "When I think about [my statuette], Walter White held this joint. Dick Whitman held this joint. And 19 years ago, Detective Frank Pembleton held this joint. It is my supreme honor to follow in your footsteps," the This Is Us star said. Brown went on to thank his castmates, calling them, "the best white TV family that a brother has ever had."

17 of 17

ELISABETH MOSS THANKS HER 'BADASS' MOM

Elisabeth Moss
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

The Handmaid's Tale star and outstanding drama actress winner gave her mom a special shout-out at the mic. "And my mother. You are brave and strong and smart and you have taught me that you can be kind and a f---ing badass," she said.

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