Emmy Awards 2011: Entourage stars accept award for Dame Maggie Smith

Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 19 2011 10:48 AM

The Most Unintentionally Funny Moment from Last Night's Emmys

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Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: (L-R) Actors Kevin Connolly, Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara, and Kevin Dillon speak onstage during the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

We won't be recapping the Emmys in full (here's a good rundown from Vulture if you're into that kind of thing). In short, the proceedings were fairly cringeworthy as Awards Shows are wont to be. Modern Family cleaned up in the comedy department. As for drama, Friday Night Lights finally got some accolades now that it's been cancelled. My favorite two winners were Margo Martindale, who won for her portrayal of a moonshine-making drug queen in Justified, and of course, Melissa McCarthy, who won for best comedy actress in Mike and Molly, but was really awarded for being the breakout star of Bridesmaids (you can find a full list of nominees and winners here).

The best moment for me, though, was one of unintentional humor. Hostess Jane Lynch set it up with one of the few truly funny jokes she made all night. "A lot of people are curious why I'm a lesbian," Lynch deadpanned. "Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of Entourage." The four main Entourage knuckleheads plus Jeremy Piven strutted out in one line of swagger across the stage to announce the winners for best supporting actress in a mini-series or movie. The nominees were a very classy bunch, from Mare Winningham to Oscar winner Melissa Leo. But the eventual champion was the grandest one of all: Dame Maggie Smith, who won for her role as the dowager countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey. Smith was not at the Emmys, so the bunch of boys had to accept the award on her behalf. It's a small bit of visual humor, but the image of the smirking bunch of lightweights accepting the award for Maggie Smith made me giggle. I imagine she will be joining them for celebratory bottle popping in da club sometime this week.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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