1. No “Mad Men” Star Has Ever Won For Acting On The Show
The AMC hit was named Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, from 2008-11, and also was given a gaggle of trophies for writing and hairstyling, but no one to appear on screen has ever been given an Emmy. Jon Hamm is 0-for-5 for playing leading man Don Draper (he’s also whiffed while nominated for guest actor on 30 Rock); John Slattery, Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss are 0-for-4; and Robert Morse is 0-for-3. January Jones, Ben Feldman, Jared Harris, Julia Ormand, Cara Buono, and Randee Heller fell the only time they were nominated for the period drama.
2. Emmy Campaigns Can Cost Half A Million Dollars
You didn’t think they give awards based on worthiness alone, did you?
There is an entry fee a studio must pay to the Academy, then there’s the little matter of sending DVD screeners to each voter. That can cost up to $150,000 alone.
Then there are the matter of advertisements — Hollywood trade publications can charge a pretty penny for insets and cover wraps — and billboards. Not to mention those big parties they throw, and all the time and effort they put into scoring pre-Emmy interviews.
TV Guide has estimated it costs anywhere between $150,000-to-$500,000 per series. Good luck, HBO.
Like anything else in America, the winner is usually the richest.
3. “Seinfeld” Only Won Best Comedy Once, As “Frasier” Beat It Five Times
The beloved “Show About Nothing” won the top prize for comedy at the 1993 Emmys…. and then was promptly pipped for the rest of its run by the Cheers spinoff starring Kelsey Grammer. Frasier won a record five Outstanding Comedy Series in a row, and a record 37 Emmys total. That includes four Best Actor statues for Grammer and co-star David Hyde Pierce — which helped prevent Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander from ever winning their own. Michael Richards won three Best Supporting Actor prizes for playing Kramer, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus began her long Emmy run with one win for Elaine.
4. The First Ever Emmy Was Given To A Puppet
In 1949, television was mostly a local affair, so the first Emmys were restricted to Los Angeles-area programming. There were three awards, including Outstanding Television Personality. That prize went to ventriloquist Shirley Dinsdale — and her puppet, Judy Splinters. They had a 15 minute show on local television.
5. No African-American Has Ever Won Best Actress In A Drama
Only one African-American woman has won best actress in a comedy: Isabel Sanford for The Jeffersons in 1981. None have won best in a drama; Kerry Washington could change that tonight.
While we’re at it, only African-American male has won Best Actor in a Comedy: Robert Guillaume for Benson in 1985; Bill Cosby won several Emmys in the drama category for I Spy, but none for The Cosby Show.
6. “SNL” Is The All-Time Leader With 171 Nominations
In total, the iconic sketch series has taken home 36 Primetime Emmys. But its ensemble nature has made it difficult for performers to share in the glory; only Gilda Radner (1978) and Chevy Chase (1976) have won as cast members in the prestige categories. Dana Carvey (five times), Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, John Belushi and several others lost in best actor bids.
Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig were nominated for supporting actress several times each; Bill Hader is nominated this year.
Tina Fey took home the award for her guest appearance as Sarah Palin, while Justin Timberlake has won two for Guest Actor and his pal Jimmy Fallon won the same award last year.
7. 1974 Was The Year Of The “Super Emmy”
The Academy tried to spice things up with this Champions League-like award that honored the Best Actor and Actress from each of the individual categories. The whole thing was a disaster and abandoned a year later. Mary Tyler and Alan Alda remain the only winners of this defunct award.
8. Letterman Beats Leno, In Emmys At Least
In the years that the former friends have gone head-to-head in the 11:30 time slot, David Letterman’s CBS show has won six Emmys; Leno’s Tonight Show has taken home just one award.
9. Cloris Leachman Is The All-Time Leader With 8 Primetime Emmy Wins
Leachman was first nominated in 1972 for her supporting work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, then won in ‘73 for A Brand New Life. She won in ‘74 for MTM, and then for several more primetime specials. Leachman emerged again for two wins while guesting on Malcom In The Middle.
10. Bill Maher Has Been Nominated 29 Times… And Never Won
Since 1995, Maher has been nominated 29 times for his various late night talk shows. Unfortunately, he’s had to go up against the explosion of late night comedy that has proliferated all over cable.
11. Betty White Is The Oldest-Ever Nominee
The comedy queen was nominated in 2012 at 90-years-old; she won in 2010 at 88, making her the oldest winner, too.
12. No Politics Allowed: Sally Field Got Cut Off in 2007
The actress used her acceptance speech for Brothers & Sisters to make an anti-war statement, saying, “Let’s face it: If the mothers ruled the world, there would be no goddamn war in the first place!”
Fox cut away from her speech, something she only learned backstage.
“That’s too bad, but I wanted to say something about the mothers who wait for their military children to come home from harm’s way, from war,” she said. “That’s the heart of Nora’s character this year… I shouldn’t have said the ‘god’ in front of the ‘damn. But you’re up there in front of the lights, it’s flashing. I would’ve liked to have said more words to get bleeped out. I didn’t have an agenda.”
13. Anchoring An NBC Office Place Cringe Comedy Doesn’t Pay Off
Amy Poehler: Zero wins for playing Leslie Knope in three nominations.
Steve Carrell: Zero wins for playing Michael Scott in six nominations.