emmys 2011

The Emmy Parties: Vulture’s Epic and Juicy Timeline

Photo: John Shearer/2011 Getty Images
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  (L-R) Actors Elisabeth Moss, Jon Hamm, and producer Matthew Weiner attend the AMC After Party for the 63rd Annual EMMY Awards held at Mr. C Beverly Hills on September 18, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for AMC)
Elisabeth Moss, Jon Hamm, and Matt Weiner of Mad Men. Photo: John Shearer/2011 Getty Images

We live-blogged the ceremony; recapped the night’s best and worst moments; keenly observed famous faces; and obsessed over the fashion. Now onto what we learned when we dispatched a team of reporters to chronicle the weekend’s biggest parties.

Friday 9/16: Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film Party, and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) Performer’s Reception

8:55 p.m. At the low-key ATAS party, future Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy (Best Actress in a Comedy for Mike and Molly) tells us she’s bringing her sister Margie to the ceremony. “We’re gonna get dolled up and see some fantastic people and I’m gonna try not to stare at Kathy Bates until she says, ‘Stop looking at me.’”

9:12 p.m. We catch Dylan McDermott just as he’s walking into EW’s annual soiree at the BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. What can he tell us about his already buzzed-about role in Ryan Murphy’s upcoming FX series American Horror Story? (There’s a particularly graphic scene in the pilot when he pleasures himself while standing up.) “The part is so exposing, in every way,” he says. “When I did the masturbation scene … after that, I was free. I mean, what else is there? It’s very liberating, because I’ve already done everything I could.”

9:24 p.m. Craig Robinson, whose character Darryl on The Office is a candidate to take over as manager of the Scranton branch, is chitchatting at the bar with Vulture favorite David Cross (Arrested Development). We jump to the random conclusion that they’re discussing the alleged Arrested Development movie. “Yes, that is what we’re talking about,” Cross plays along. “The entire film centers around Craig’s cameo, so we’re building the script out from that.” Cross also tells us Robinson is “so high right now” and then asks Robinson if he’s carrying. “In the car,” Robinson says. We think this is shtick.

9:37 p.m. In the restaurant’s faux-outdoor courtyard, the D.J. spins Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust . We notice more than a few heads mouthing the words when Freddie sings “and another gone.”

9:39 p.m. Hey, it’s DreamWorks Animation boss Jeffrey Katzenberg relaxing at a semicircle booth with former Paramount chief Sherry Lansing. Moguls: They’re just like us.

10:49 p.m. We ask Matt Weiner a number of things , including whether or not he’s now used to the whole Emmy season routine. He is not. “It’s worse every time,” he tells us. “Physically, there’s the anxiety and tension of what will happen. I would like it to work out, but I don’t know. And then if you do win, you have to talk. And it’s terrifying. I’ve never been great at that. I always think I do a good job, and then I find out after the fact that I didn’t.”

10:02 p.m. At the EW party, Rex Lee is nursing a beverage with a pal, so we decide to ask him about the ending of Entourage , in which his TV boss gets an offer to run a conglomerate. “That scene was a secret for me,” he says. “I didn’t even know they shot it. The script I had showed the two planes going off.”

10:05 p.m. Modern Family creator Christopher Lloyd isn’t fond of getting onstage at big events (which is why Steve Levitan did the talking when the show won at the Emmys last year — and then again this year). But one-on-one, he’s generous with his time and spends a couple of minutes talking to us about the greatness of Cheers (which his dad, the legendary David Lloyd, wrote for). We ask him to tease an upcoming episode of Modern Family , and he does: “Julie Bowen’s character has an accidental date with a guy she thinks is gay but is straight,” he says. “She winds up pretty naked in front of him.”

10:17 p.m. Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from The Office ) is talking to a pal next to one of the restaurant’s fake trees. He will neither confirm nor deny our completely made-up scenario in which Kevin turns out to be the father of Angela’s baby on The Office (though he did laugh at the notion). As for the expected question about James Spader: We wondered if the cast dared to haze the New Guy. “There was definitely a ritual and we had it all planned it. It involved a flagpole,” Baumgartner told us. “But [Spader] just looked us in the eye, and that was enough to back us down. In person, he’s so nice and warm. But on set he is a terrifying figure.”

10:31 p.m. More Modern Family peeps: It’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who’s dying for food. A waiter comes over and offers up some round concoction. “Is this meat?” Ferguson asks. Sadly, no: It’s a dessert. “I just turned down a brownie. I was looking for steak,” the actor says, wondering if this very small culinary crisis would make it into our party report. So what’s the theme for Cam and Mitchell this season? “It’s change with our family,” Ferguson says. “They’re thinking about adopting another child … and they have to figure out how to find another baby. You’ll see the whole struggle.” The actor says that any new kid won’t pop up until the second half of the season, at the earliest.

10:49 p.m. We ask Matt Weiner a number of things , including whether or not he’s now used to the whole Emmy season routine. He is not. “It’s worse every time,” he tells us. “Physically, there’s the anxiety and tension of what will happen. I would like it to work out, but I don’t know. And then if you do win, you have to talk. And it’s terrifying. I’ve never been great at that. I always think I do a good job, and then I find out after the fact that I didn’t.”

8:10 p.m. Guests are filing into the Governors Ball, which is held next to the Emmys at the adjacent LA Convention Center. Theme for the night: Black and white “with a touch of gold,” according to the TV Academy’s party planners. It actually all looks a little zebra-ish, especially since some of the cocktail greeters are sporting Lion-King-style face paint (a last minute nod to the weekend’s box office, or Jimmy Fallon’s presenter schtick?)

Saturday, 9/17: BAFTA-L.A. Tea Party and Showtime Emmy Nominees Reception

2:40 p.m. Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, a day away from taking home the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy, tells us on his way into the BAFTA Tea Party, “There’s less anxiety [this year] because there are less unknowns.” Has he already decided which after-parties he’ll hit up? “We go to In ‘N Out Burger at 2 in the morning.”

3 p.m. “I make sure a gay man dresses me from head to toe,” Kathy Griffin tells us. “I do not let a heterosexual man near me on award show day unless he’s my date who I’ll be sleeping with.” Later, we see her mingling on the rooftop of the L’Ermitage and watch for signs that she’s “judging others unfairly,” as she told us on the red carpet she’s inclined to do “I sit there like I’m sitting at the right hand of the Father,” she said. “That’s a Catholic reference from a very fallen Catholic.”

3:45 p.m. We ask Jesse Tyler Ferguson how this year compares with last. “I’m trying to remember what I did last year,” he tell us. “I remember shaving my neck and wearing Spanx — I’m going to do those two things again. I think I had a fake tan last year but I don’t have time to do that [this year] and I don’t think you should rush into a fake tan without knowing the establishment you’re working with or you’re gonna look like Snooki.”

4 p.m. In case you were wondering what color underwear Justified’s Margo Martindale was wearing when she won for best supporting actress in a drama, we found out ahead of the ceremony: pink. “They’re my good luck charm,” she told us.

4:20 p.m. Kit Harington (Jon Snow on Game of Thrones) and his costar Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) hang out in a corner with a few female friends, smoking cigarettes and drinking beers. “I’m an award ceremony virgin,” Harington tells us. “Should be fun.”

7:30 p.m. At Showtime’s party at Skybar at Mondrian Hotel, we grab Episodes star (and nominee) Matt LeBlanc before he can escape to a bar: Congratulations on your nomination. “Thank you,” he says. “If you can’t get one playing yourself, you better quit, right?”

7:45 p.m. We think we’re making Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter nervous, because she tells us (sweetly) that she doesn’t really enjoy the press side of Emmy week. But she warms up when we tell her how scared we are that her character will soon learn the truth about Dexter. “I don’t think it could scare you the way it scares me. This is an explosive season.” October 2.

7:50 p.m. “Amy Poehler! I love Amy Poehler. I love Amy Poehler.” This is what Laura Linney tells us when we ask her who she is excited to see on Emmy night. We have more in common with The Big C star than we realized.

Sunday 8/29: Emmy Night, featuring five after-parties: The Governors Ball, Entertainment Tonight, HBO, FOX, and Comedy Central

8:10 p.m. Guests are filing into the Governors Ball, which is held next to the Emmys at the adjacent LA Convention Center. Theme for the night: Black and white “with a touch of gold,” according to the TV Academy’s party planners. It actually all looks a little zebra-ish, especially since some of the cocktail greeters are sporting Lion-King-style face paint (a last minute nod to the weekend’s box office, or Jimmy Fallon’s presenter schtick?)

8:13 p.m. We spot Amy Poehler and Will Arnett almost sprinting to their table at the Ball (not a bad idea, since it’s easy for famous faces to get slowed by an army of well-wishers, back-patters and “Can I get a picture”-ers.) We sprint over to their table, too, and after commiserating over Emmy’s lack of love toward Parks and Recreation, we ask her how the incredibly winning comedy-nominee schtick came together. “I’ve always loved this one bit I remember seeing Tim Conway and Harvey Korman and Chevy Chase do back in the 1970s,” she tells us, referring to a routine in which the three men all walked up on stage at the Emmys when their name was called. “So Martha Plimpton and I had dinner last week and hashed out how we could update it. And then we talked to [the other nominees].” While Poehler probably would’ve been fine winning the award, she said Melissa McCarthy’s “total surprise” helped make the schtick work even more. (This morning we did some research and found out Poehler’s been dreaming of putting bit together since at least 2009.)

8:20 p.m. Julianna Margulies is mobbed by cameras as she takes her seat at The Good Wife table.

8:23 p.m. First time Emmycast exec producer Mark Burnett is busily chowing down on the evening’s appetizer, a salad of heirloom tomatoes and gold potatoes, when we interrupt his dining to congratulate him on finishing the show. Our chat is interrupted when Michael Bolton wanders by, and Burnett gives him a big hug. We want to ask Bolton, “How can we be lovers if we can’t be friends,” but instead quiz him about how he became involved with the Lonely Island. “When the first approached me with a concept, I was concerned,” he says. “I told them, ‘The language is great for your audience but it will freak out mine’.” Bolton says Samberg and his crew “never gave up. And now the song is all over the Internet.” Would he be up for a sequel? “I think so,” he says.

8:45 p.m. Comedy Central’s bash at The Colony is among the most low key on the Primetime Emmy party circuit. There’s a small white carpet, a modest and well-behaved paparazzi gaggle, and so far, publicists outnumber talent 3:1 at the door. Word is Jon Stewart (fresh from his 10th consecutive Emmy win), is coming, as are South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and Stephen Colbert — always the bridesmaid and never the bride when it comes to the golden angel statuettes. No sign of them yet, but the night is still young.

9:06 p.m. Outside the Fox after party at Fig and Olive, the kids of Modern Family are beaming about the show’s second win for outstanding comedy series. Ariel Winter (Alex) teases that in the new season, her 13-year-old character may be becoming something of a “maneater.”

9:12 p.m. More cute Modern Family kids: Nolan Gould (Luke) is showing off his dancing shoes as he preps for a dance-off with co-star Rico Rodriguez (Manny). He does some Techno moves for us before telling us that things get explosive in this week’s season premiere, as Luke tries to help his Uncle Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) be more manly during a Jackson Hole vacation. “Luke’s going to teach him how to blow stuff up so it’s my first little taste of action. We got to have an explosion in the background as we ran and jumped and flew in the air. It was fun.”

9:20 p.m. HBO’s party at the Pacific Design Center is already packed. Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown tells us she watched the ceremony from home and “screamed out loud” when Kyle Chandler won. “You would think he was my buddy,” she says. “As if he was my close personal friend.”

9:22 p.m. Anders Holm from Workaholics watches as his co-stars Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Kyle Newacheck screech up to the valet parking in Anderson’s red, white and blue Jeep. “I love America,” he says, ambling up to the party wearing a bow tie and untucked white shirt.

9:30 p.m. At the HBO party, Martin Scorsese huddles with WME head Ari Emanuel, who who is showing Scorsese a very expensive-looking watch.

9:40 p.m. So You Think You Can Dance/American Idol Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe steps outside of the Fox fête to check his phone messages. He tells us that he’s disappointed the shows lost out to The Amazing Race for best reality series but “We’re all winners in the end, right? That’s what we’re supposed to say, right?”

9:46 p.m. Still no Jon Stewart at the Comedy Central party, but Sam Means, writer for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and author of A Practical Guide To Racism is clutching his golden angel, soaking up congratulations from various friends and admirers. His cohort Hillary Kun, talent producer for the show, lies down on the edge of the reflection pool, posing for photos with her golden statuette.

9:50 p.m. Workaholics’ Anders Holm and Adam DeVine sit in a corner booth discussing the upcoming appearance by Odd Future frontman Tyler the Creator on the second season premiere of their show this Tuesday. “Tyler’s an Easter Egg, you have to look hard for him,” says Holm. DeVine recounts jumping on stage at the VMAs and hugging Tyler the Creator, screaming the word ‘Workaholics’ for all to hear. “We do our own marketing,” he says. Their manager got a call from the head of Viacom the next day regarding the incident.

10:03 p.m. Finally, some old school star power — Stephen Colbert arrives at the party and poses in front of the flashbulbs with his kids. “One more, right there,” pleads a paparazzo, and Colbert shakes his head, moving towards the entrance and ignoring the members of the press. A man who could be homeless, or just gaudily dressed, calls Colbert’s name, and asks him to sign a placard he is holding. Colbert leaps over the velvet rope and politely complies, before jumping back into the party.

10:18 p.m. Emmy nominee Cloris Leachman gets her picture taken on the Fox press line and, before heading into the party, moseys over to sign a slew of autographs for screaming fans across the street.

10:22 p.m. At Entertainment Tonight’s party at Vibiana, the cavernous main hall is lit with red hues and guests mingle between 45-foot baroque columns, drifting indecisively between numerous food stations. On the right side of the room, chefs are serving roast pork with stuffing and a creamy risotto; on the left, salmon and salad. BonesDavid Boreanaz stays glued to his wife’s back as they weave through the crowd, while Jane Krakowski (Jenna of 30 Rock) stakes out a spot towards the front of the hall for an upcoming Stevie Nicks performance.

10:29 p.m. We can’t help but notice that Mayim Bialik is hanging out close to the M&M candy lounge, but when we point this out, she’s quick to clarify, “Hanging out somewhere where I can perch, because my heels are killing. They were good up until now and now, that’s it. I look drunk — and I’m not — when I try and walk in them!” The brainy actress is still buoyed by co-star Jim Parsons’ win for lead comedy actor, even though The Big Bang Theory lost the main comedy prize. “Apparently it was the Modern Family Emmys!” she jokes.

10:30 p.m. Back on the Fox carpet, Margo Martindale tells us that her favorite moment of the night (besides winning) was when “the six leading ladies of comedy getting on stage. I thought that was genius and I think that’s how it should be because everybody is a winner.” She gushed that Jane Lynch was “fantastic” but was ready to get inside the party for a cocktail. Her drink of choice? “Wine!”

10:38 p.m. At the ET party, Stevie Nicks is off to a strong start. The crowd really comes alive when she launches into “Dreams.” Jane Krakowski sings along, cozily ensconced in her fiancé’s arms.

10:55 p.m. Inside the Fox party, Emmy nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Darren Criss (Blaine on Glee) chat and laugh. Maybe Jesse (who guest-judged on So You Think You Can Dance this summer) is setting up a Gleeky moonlighting gig?

11:15 p.m. “I see you!” says Criss, who is now chatting with Glee Executive Producer Ian Brennan, and notices us patiently waiting to say hello. Criss says this whole experience of being at the Emmys is surreal and absurd — but obviously he’s loving it. He’s off to HBO’s after-party.

11:47 p.m. Maurice LaMarche, writer and voice of Kif Kroker on Comedy Central’s Futurama, walks into the network’s party clutching his golden angel. “I also won an Emmy for playing Orson Welle’s head in a jar once,” he says, “and I used to play The Brain in ‘Pinky and the Brain’. You need to get out of journalism and into TV writing, man.” He wanders into the party and high-fives with The Simpsons’ Matt Groening and The Office’s Craig Robinson.

Midnight Still no sign of Jon Stewart at Comedy Central. We call it a night.


The Emmy Parties: Vulture’s Epic and Juicy Timeline