Modern Family won its fifth consecutive Emmy Award for best comedy Monday night, and while Breaking Bad may be gone from our TV screens, it’s still racking up honors.
In addition to the show taking best drama, Bryan Cranston picked up his fourth lead-actor Emmy for playing teacher-turned-drug kingpin Walter White on Monday night, Aaron Paul garnered his third supporting-actor award, co-star Anna Gunn became a two-time winner, and the show was also honored with a writing award.
“Thank you so much for this farewell to our show,” said creator Vince Gilligan. “You have been very kind to us indeed.”
Gunn pointed out her TV husband Cranston and called him “the baddest and the best human being,” and the first guy Paul thanked was Gilligan.
“My God, Breaking Bad has changed my life and I’m standing up here because of one man,” Paul said. “Thank you for believing in me and letting me play this guy. I miss him.”
Cranston joked that even he thought about voting for True Detective star — and recent Oscar winner — Matthew McConaughey.
“I don’t know why I’ve been blessed,” Cranston said. “I love to act and I will do it to my last breath.
“I’d like to dedicate this word to all the Sneaky Petes (his childhood nickname) of the world who thought that settling for mediocrity was a good idea because it was safe. Don’t do it — take a chance, find a passion, fall in love.”
Modern Family won three awards total — in addition to the top comedy award (which ties for most wins with Frasier), Gail Mancuso won for directing and Ty Burrell got his second win in the supporting-actor category.
“I don’t know how else to say it, but Modern Family has been a big beautiful dream over the past five years, and we thank you for not waking us up,” said creator Steve Levitan.
Burrell had words ready when he took the stage, but instead read a speech done by his TV kids. Some gems: “I should probably thank my wife because she’s super pretty” and about his kids, whom he sometimes brings to the set. “They’re cute, but they’re just not ‘I can support my whole family’ cute.”
Julianna Margulies won her second lead-actress Emmy for The Good Wife and third overall, beginning her acceptance speech with a proclamation: “What a a wonderful time for women on television.”
She also mentioned her recently written-off co-star, Josh Charles. “I miss you every day,” she said. “What were you thinking?”
Being witchy was good for Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates at the Emmys.
Both American Horror Story: Coven stars won their respective categories, Lange for lead actress in a miniseries and Bates for supporting actress.
“I’m profoundly surprised at this, but very grateful,” Lange said of her third Emmy win.
Bates said she didn’t think she was going to win because she saw some of the award handlers in the green room. “They caught my eye and they both tilted their heads in that social-worker ‘I’m sorry’ way.”
Fresh off a lucrative new deal, The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons won his fourth award for lead actor in a comedy.
“There’s no accounting for taste, and due to good fortune I stand up here tonight,” Parsons said. He also paid tribute to his late father, who encouraged him to be an actor. “In a career that hinges on confidence so much of the time, I thank him.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her third consecutive award for lead actress in a comedy. After kissing Cranston on the way to the stage, she thanked her show’s cable home, HBO: “Honestly, I’ve worked in a lot of places in this town, and it’s my favorite place I’ve ever worked.”
Cary Joji Fukunaga won for drama-series directing for True Detective, and HBO’s The Normal Heart won for best movie made for TV, with director Ryan Murphy dedicating the award to AIDS activist Larry Kramer.
“After 30 years, it took the powers of Erin Brockovich and the Incredible Hulk to get this made,” Murphy said, referring to stars Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo.
“This is for all the hundreds of thousands of artists who’ve passed from AIDS since 1981. Their passion burns through us, and this is for them.”
Sarah Silverman won for variety-show writing, the Tony Awards’ Glenn Weiss got the Emmy for directing a variety series, and The Colbert Report was named best variety/comedy series for the second straight year.
“It has been a ton of fun to do this show for the last nine years,” said Colbert, who is ending his show and moving into David Letterman’s late-night spot on CBS in 2015. “I love my wife and I love my children, and thank you for all your patience with me.”
Fargo nabbed the honor for best miniseries, and Sherlock won three Emmys: lead actor in a miniseries for Benedict Cumberbatch, supporting actor for Martin Freeman and a writing award that went to Steven Moffat.
Mom star Allison Janney, who also won a guest-actress Emmy for Masters of Sex last week, accepted the honor for supporting actress in a comedy. “I play a mom on Mom and a grandmother, and as of last season a great-grandmother. I’m just crossing my fingers that this season I’ll be incontinent.”
The Amazing Race won its 10th Emmy for best reality series, Colin Bucksey took the award for directing in a movie or miniseries for Fargo, Louis C.K. garnered the Emmy for comedy writing for his show Louis, and Gail Mancuso of Modern Family got her second consecutive win for best directing for a comedy.
After an “In Memoriam” segment, Billy Crystal paid special tribute to his late friend Robin Williams, who committed suicide two weeks ago, and pointed out his protective, supportive and loving nature. “It’s so difficult to talk about him in the past because he is so much a part of our lives.”