Another Emmy night is in the history books, and like the previous 69 editions of this venerable ceremony, the 70th Annual Primetime Emmys were filled with memorable moments (that proposal!), inspiring speeches (Betty White!) and questionable creative choices (that opening musical number). Here are Yahoo Entertainment's picks for the ceremony's highlights and lowlights.
High: Henry Winkler delivers a 43-year-old acceptance speech
The Happy Days star may be TV royalty, but he couldn’t boast of being an Emmy winner … until now. Accepting his statue for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his acclaimed role on the HBO series Barry, Winkler received a standing ovation and delivered a speech he claimed he had originally composed way back in 1976, on the occasion of his very first Emmy nomination.
"If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you — and tonight, I got to clear the table," he said, to huge cheers and applause. He closed by telling his now-grown children, "Daddy won!" which — let's be honest — is a nice thing for a kid to hear at any age.
Low: They didn't solve it
Here's an unsolved mystery: Who approved that listless opening musical number, ostensibly designed to celebrate the most diverse Emmys ever? We don't blame the likes of Kristen Bell, Sterling K. Brown, or Ricky Martin, who valiantly sang and danced like the pros they are.
Instead, we're gazing askance at the writing team, headed up by hosts (and Saturday Night Live head writers) Michael Che and Colin Jost, who didn't exactly bring their best material to either the opening song, their opening monologue or, really, any of their patter. Is it too late to do the whole opening over again with another "Weekend Update" team? Our vote, as always, goes to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
High: Betty White is ageless (and peerless)
The beloved actress and comedian was already a decade into her legendary TV career when the industry decided to start handing out awards to itself in 1949. In the ensuing decades, the now 96-year-old White garnered 24 nominations and eight statues for her quick wit — a wit that was very much in evidence in her speech.
"Somebody said something the other day about 'First Lady of Television,'" she joked to the enraptured crowd. "And I took it as a big compliment. And then I heard her talking to her daughter a little later, she said, 'First lady, yes, she's that old, she was the first one, way, way back.'" Hey, Emmys: here's your 2019 host, right here.
Low: SNL stars lay an egg
Jost and Che weren't the only "not ready for primetime" players who didn't seem ready for Emmy time. Past and present SNL cast members, like Kate McKinnon, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, and Maya Rudolph, were all over the telecast, but for once, we weren't happy to see them. The one exception was Leslie Jones, whose apparent secret was to stay in the audience rather than do anything onstage.
High: Reparation Emmys are a great idea
Che's monologue jokes may not have been his sharpest, but he did do the Emmys a solid by making amends with some overlooked African-American talent from TV history.
Using the power invested in him as host, he handed out reparation statues — which he jokingly suggested he had reclaimed from Bill Cosby, no less — to actors like Kadeem "Dwayne Wayne" Hardison, Jimmy "J.J." Walker, and the marvelous Marla Gibbs. All good choices, but while he was handing out Emmys, he shoulda passed one along to Alfonso Ribeiro for inventing the Carlton.
High: The presenters were a diverse bunch
As usual, the Emmy presenter list was made up of the biggest names in television. But the producers also took a chance and gave stage time to some talented performers whose acclaim maybe doesn't match their name recognition. That's how Australian comic Hannah Gadsby went from hosting her acclaimed Netflix special Nanette to presenting the award for Outstanding Director of a Drama Series.
And while the general public may not be on first-name terms with the animated stars of the cult Adult Swim cartoon Rick and Morty, the cartoon duo were still an inspired choice to read the name of the winner for Outstanding Reality or Competition Series.
Low: Diverse nominees didn't beget diverse winners
Here's a tell-tale sign that the Television Academy still has a long way to go before it can boast of solving its diversity problem: While the Emmy nominees were a diverse group, the Emmy winners weren't. For every Thandie Newton victory, there was a Sandra Oh or Donald Glover loss.
High: The proposal heard 'round the world
As the go-to director for the Academy Awards, Glenn Weiss knows a thing or two about generating drama. So it stands to reason that he'd turn his own acceptance speech into an Oscar-worthy moment: proposing to his girlfriend, to her genuine shock and the crowd's abject delight.
If you can get both Benedict Cumberbatch and Javier Bardem on their feet applauding, you've won the night.
Low: In Memoriam has a short memory
Fans were outraged at the exclusion of rapper Mac Miller, who died 10 days ago of a suspected overdose. Not only was the talented lyricist well respected in the entertainment industry, but he also starred on his own MTV2 reality show, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family, for two seasons, from 2013 to 2014. Other singers and songwriters were included, most notably Aretha Franklin, and many were baffled over the addition of John McCain, in light of Miller's snub.
High: Thandie Newton finds religion
The Westworld star is a veritable goddess to the show's passionate fanbase, and she repaid their faith with a hilariously irreverent speech accepting the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
"I don't believe in God, but I'm going to thank her tonight," Newton said, before uttering a word that would make a nun blush … and a network censor reach for the bleep button. We'll follow you anywhere, Maeve.
Low: The Handmaid's Tale ends badly
Season 1 of The Handmaid's Tale made TV history as the first streaming series to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, in addition to statues for its stars Elisabeth Moss and Ann Dowd. Much like the show's second season, though, its second Emmy night proved to be a downer, as the Hulu series was shut out of all the major awards. (It did pick up three Creative Arts Emmys last week.) That losing streak was particularly notable in light of real-world headlines that only reconfirm its relevance, including the battle over the current Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, whose hearings have been attended by women dressed in Handmaid garb.
High: Matthew Rhys's win and special shout-out
Third time's the charm for the star of The Americans, who finally took home the lead actor award, for playing Philip Jennings in the acclaimed spy thriller.
But it was his thank you to his on- and off-screen love, Keri Russell, that gave everyone all the feels. "To the woman who truly got me this award, who just stands in front of me every day and puts up with me, she said, 'If you propose to me, I will punch you clean in the mouth,'" he shared, referring to Weiss's buzzy proposal. "More to come," he told her. "Thank you."
High: Mrs. Maisel is the first name in comedy
Amazon Prime's gut-busting period comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, is only the second hourlong show to win the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy (Ally McBeal accomplished that feat first in 1999), and the first streaming series to claim that prize. And the show's cast and creators were entirely gracious in their numerous victories, with its star, Rachel Brosnahan, using her acceptance speech to urge people to vote in the looming midterm elections, and scene-stealing supporting player Alex Borstein demonstrating the benefits of going braless, in memorable fashion.