Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda — the stars of the 1980 comedy 9 to 5 — were back together on Sunday, reuniting at the 2017 Emmy Awards

By Dave Quinn
September 17, 2017 09:31 PM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Advertisement

Thirty-seven years later, it finally happened!

Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda — the stars of the iconic 1980 comedy 9 to 5 — were back together on Sunday, reuniting at the 2017 Emmy Awards, where Tomlin and Fonda are both nominated for lead actress in a comedy series for their role on the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.

The three actresses presented the award for best supporting actor in a limited series or movie (which went to Alexander Skarsgard for Big Little Lies) — though used their entrance speech to make a dig at president Donald Trump.

“Back in 1980 in 9 to 5, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” Fonda said.

“And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” Tomlin added.

Credit: Phil McCarten/Invision/AP

Parton, meanwhile, simply said she was excited to be there with her former costars, noting that she’s just there to “have fun.”

“Personally, I have been waiting for a 9 to 5 reunion ever since we did the first one,” she said, joking about a plot point in the last season of Tomlin and Fonda’s show. “I’m just hoping that I’m going to get one of those Grace and Frankie vibrators in my swag bag tonight.”

It was a long-awaited reunion for the trio. They were supposed to all be together at the Screen Actors Guild Awards earlier this year — where Tomlin was awarded with the lifetime achievement award — but illness kept Fonda from attending, leaving Parton to present Tomlin with the honor alone.

There, Parton addressed those dreamers hoping for a 9 to 5 sequel. “People have wanted another 9 to 5, but I think we’d have to call it 95,” she joked.

For full Emmys coverage, click here

Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda
| Credit: Steve Schapiro/Corbis via Getty

“I remember Dolly came out on set and played the 9 to 5 song for us on her fingernails. I just thought this movie is going to make it because that song will make it,” Tomlin told PEOPLE.

The hit comedy followed three working women living out their fantasies of getting even with their sexist boss.

Tomlin often keeps in touch with her 9 to 5 costars, and says the friendship they formed while making the film is one of her fondest memories.

Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin
| Credit: 20th Century Fox

“These two girls are still buddies,” Tomlin said. “Dolly is whatever you see is what you get. She is a darling person, fun and lively. Jane is so innocent and sweet and kind. I just laugh when I am around her.”

According to Tomlin, it was Fonda who brought the three of them together in 9 to 5. She added that Fonda changed the tone of film after she saw Tomlin perform at the Ahmanson theater in Los Angeles one night.

“It was going to be a serious movie, but when she saw me she said, ‘It’s got to be a comedy and I have to have Lily in it,’ ” Tomlin recounted. “On the way home, Lily heard Dolly’s song on the radio and the rest is history.”

Dozens of A-listers have descended on Hollywood for the 2017 Emmy Awards.

Some of the biggest TV shows are battling it out for the night’s top awards, including The Crown, Better Call Saul, The Handmaid’s Tale, House of Cards, Stranger Things, This Is Us and Westworld for outstanding drama series and Atlanta, black-ish, Master of None, Modern Family, Silicon Valley, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Veep for outstanding comedy series.

Watch the full episode of PEOPLE & Entertainment Weekly Red Carpet Live, streaming now on PeopleTV. Go to People.com/peopletv, or download the app on your favorite streaming device.

Other big awards to watch include outstanding limited series (which pits Big Little Lies, The Night Of, Feud: Bette and Joan, Genius and Fargo against one another) and the major acting categories like outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie and lead actor in a drama series.

The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, are airing live on CBS from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET.