The family that feuds together, stays together.
It was a family reunion at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, which was delayed from its regular slot in September due to the SAF-AFTRA and WAG strikes in Hollywood last year. Showcasing nominated television programming from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2023, The Bear family, BEEF family, and Succession family swept the awards ceremony. But that wasn’t the only family reunion in the works. In celebration of its 75th year, the Emmy awards showcased skits that brought together the casts of iconic shows like Martin, Cheers, Ally McBeal, and Grey’s Anatomy.
Hosted by Blackish star Anthony Anderson, with support from his mother, the night stayed away from the bad comedy of the Golden Globes and instead embraced cheesy dad humor and awkward dance numbers. There were few spots of relief in the night, save for a self-deprecating appearance by Christina Applegate, a hilarious speech by Jennifer Coolidge, and a segment hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey of SNL's “Weekend Update” fame. Meanwhile, authentic emotional moments from winners like Quinta Brunson, Niecy Nash, and Lee Sung Jin left the audience misty-eyed.
Amid the reunions, the remembrances, and the speeches, the Emmys also featured a historic moment. Abbott Elementary star Quinta Brunson, who won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and The Bear star Ayo Edebiri, who won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, mark the first time the Emmys have seen Black women win in both of these categories in the same year.
Without further ado, let’s check in on some of the best pop culture moments of the night.
The Presely Fam Squashed the BEEF
Netflix’s BEEF wasn’t the only protein on the menu at the 2023 Emmy Awards. Riley Keough, who starred in Daisy Jones and the Six and who is the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, made a surprise appearance on the red carpet with her grandmother, Priscilla Presley. Presley, who was the subject of Sofia Copolla’s biopic Priscilla, was in a legal battle over Elvis’s estate with her granddaughter – until recently. With legal disputes settled, the two have apparently squashed the family beef, appearing side-by-side in the perfect picture of a happy grandmother-granddaughter duo.
The Green Goblin Invades the Emmys
A fully costumed Green Goblin roamed the pre-show red carpet, leading social media to speculate out loud on who it could possibly be. Some of our favorite guesses included Heidi Klum who accidentally showed up ready for a Halloween party, Doja Cat, and Jared Leto, who showed up at the Karl Lagerfeld-themed Met Gala last year dressed in a giant Choupette cat costume. It turns out the goblin was Princess Poppy, one of the cast members of season 15 of Rupaul’s Drag Race.
Christina Applegate Gets a Standing Ovation
Christina Applegate of Netflix's Dead to Me won a standing ovation as she took the stage to present an award. The star, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and must walk with the aid of a cane, turned her moment in the spotlight into a comedy set, joking that the audience was "making fun" of her disability by giving her a standing ovation, and went on to hilariously comment, "body not by Ozempic." Not only did the crowd stay on their feet, but they roared in appreciation at her well-timed and self-deprecating jokes.
Niecy Nash Brings the House Down
Niecy Nash, who co-starred in the gruesome biopic Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and accepted the Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, brought the house down when she gave a moving speech. After thanking her loved ones she paused, and said, "And you know who I want to thank? I want to thank me – for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do. And I want to say to myself in front of all these beautiful people, ‘Go on girl with your bad self. You did that." She finished her speech by accepting the award, "on behalf of every Black and Brown woman who has gone unheard yet overpoliced. Like Glenda Cleveland. Like Sandra Bland. Like Breonna Taylor. As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power, and baby, I’ma do it ’til the day I die."
Grey's Still Got It
In the theme of reunions, the biggest one of the night belonged to Grey's Anatomy. The primetime medical drama, entering its 20th season in 2024, brought together its current star, Ellen Pompeo and former cast members like Katherine Heigl to reflect on the show's incredible, groundbreaking journey. Prior to the show, Heigl was seen on the red carpet in an emotional moment, confessing that she hasn't seen some of her castmates in over a decade.
The Pedro Pascal and Kieran Culkin Feud Continues
HBO's The Last of Us star, Pedro Pascal, jokingly revealed the source of his shoulder injury in a brilliant callback to one of the best moments from the Golden Globes. While onstage presenting an award, he pointed the proverbial finger at Succession star Kieran Culkin as the source of his injury in retaliation to Culkin's onstage comedic insult at the Globes.