New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus press conference was the hottest show on TV this spring until his summer hiatus, and the International Emmys agreed: The governor (and his slides) (and his fitted shirts) was the recipient of its annual Founders Award, which cited his “effective use of television during the pandemic.” Cuomo virtually accepted the award on Monday morning, stating in his short speech that “it’s an honor and pleasant surprise during these hard times” to accept an Emmy Award for, well, just doing his job. “I wish I could say that my daily COVID presentations are well-choreographed, scripted, rehearsed, or reflected any of the talents you advance. They didn’t,” he explained. “They offered only one thing: authentic truth and stability. But sometimes that’s enough.” He also praised his fellow New Yorkers, “who stood together and told the truth” as the pandemic ravaged the state.
However, reminiscent of all of those times he sparred with his brother on cable news to impress their ma, Cuomo ended his remarks with a warning to Ben Stiller, who had joked about Cuomo and his “national sex symbol” persona during a pre-speech vignette. “And to Ben Stiller, whose teasing took liberal license, testing the boundaries of decorum and good taste, I only say New York tough means one more thing,” he said. “It means, Ben, I know where you live.” (Cuomo proceeded to state at his afternoon press briefing that the Emmys “never mentioned my sense of humor, nor did they mention any charisma or good looks or charm,” which is feeding right into his luv-guv image.) But back to Stiller: Cuomo can give you some quality real estate at the bottom of the Hudson River, and fishes, if you don’t watch yourself.