Actor Tony Hale stays in character during Emmy acceptance speech. (Photo: Getty Images)
Top awards of the night
With its series climax airing in a week, the AMC show Breaking Bad won best drama series. On the more humorous side, Modern Family pulled off its fourth consecutive win for best comedy series, and also added an Emmy for best directing.
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Upsets, upsets and more upsets
Sunday night was full of surprise winners. In an upset over the likes of Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Homeland's Damian Lewis and Mad Men's Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels won his first Emmy as Newsroom's larger-than-life cable newsman Will McAvoy. Earlier in the night, Nurse Jackie's Merritt Wever surprised everyone with her upset win for supporting comedy actress. Steven Colbert also beat out Jon Stewart for the first time in 11 years, taking home two Emmys for best variety and outstanding writing for The Colbert Report.
Michael Douglas thanks 'my wife, Catherine'
Michael Douglas may not have walked the red carpet with his estranged wife, but he gave her a shout out where it counts: at the Emmy podium. In his acceptance speech, the best actor in a movie or miniseries winner for Behind the Candelabra said, "I want to thank my wife, Catherine, for her support." Also on the gratitude list: "My kids Dylan and Carys and my oldest son, Cameron. I'm hoping I'll be able and they'll allow me to see him soon." Cameron Douglas is incarcerated for drug charges. On a lighter note, Douglas thanked fellow nominee Matt Damon. "You're magnificent," he said, "and the only reason I'm standing here is because of you, so you really deserve half of this, so do you want the bottom or the top? The top? I figured that."
Shortest Emmy speech ever?
It's being hailed as the best-ever Emmy speech. Or at least the shortest ever. Nurse Jackie's Merritt Wever surprised everyone with her upset win for supporting comedy actress - and then with her brevity-is-the-soul-of-TV-wit words at the podium: "Thanks so much. Thank you so much! I gotta go. Bye!"
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In addition to the traditional "In Memoriam" segment with a montage of departed greats, Sunday's ceremony featured separate tributes to five individuals, including James Gandolfini and Cory Monteith. Edie Falco, who played Gandolfini's wife on The Sopranos, said, "You can ask anybody who knew him, if you needed anything at all ever, Jim was there to take care of it before you even had a chance to ask." Glee's Jane Lynch led a tribute to Monteith, who died of a drug and alcohol overdose in July. "Cory was a beautiful soul," Lynch said. "He was not perfect, which many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale stay in character
Julia Louis-Dreyfus had Emmy-winner Tony Hale join her onstage as his VEEP character as she accepted her second straight Emmy for leading actress in a comedy. Hale plays her assistant on the show. "This is so much good fortune it's almost too much to bear," said Louis-Dreyfus, who started thanking folks. Hale whispered "Family, family" to her from behind, causing her to excitedly state, "I'd like to thank my family!"
Will Ferrell presents with his kids
Claiming he couldn't find child care, Will Ferrell provided some much-needed comedy at the end of the awards, bringing his three kids on stage as he presented the awards for best comedy series and best drama series.
Red carpet fashion
The biggest trends of the night? High necks and short bobs. Stylish stars kept things covered up with high-necked dresses -- with some slashes of sexy peeking through. Short and sweet 'dos were the order of the day, with Claire Danes, January Jones and Lena Dunham all sporting bobs.
By Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY