At the Emmy Awards, TV viewers see all of the less-than-graceful reaction shots and emotional acceptance speeches. But what happened away from the cameras at the award show in Los Angeles Sunday night? We sat inside Microsoft Theater and saw these 7 things that weren’t on the telecast:
1. There was some ad-libbing
Yes, there’s a teleprompter that host Stephen Colbert and the presenters read from… most of the time. Colbert added a few lines in his opening monologue, including one about President Trump (“Looking forward to the tweets”) and the HBO hacker ransom (“Too soon?”) that weren’t explicitly laid out in his script.
2. Then there was straight-up improvising
Dave Chappelle, who handed out an Emmy for direction with Melissa McCarthy, joked from the stage that he didn’t rehearse his Emmys presentation. Speaking extemporaneously, he commented to McCarthy that he was “truly amazed (by) how many black people are here. I counted 11 on the monitor.”
That number 11? it was really the number of seconds the teleprompter had counted down to at that point. McCarthy replied, “This is going exactly how we planned it to go.” Unsure of what to say next, Chappelle announced, “Shout-out to D.C. public schools,” before announcing the nominees.
3. During commercial breaks there are videos of other winners
When the show breaks for commercial, attendees can watch the monitors for acceptance speeches from winners of last week’s Creative Arts Emmys. They can also leave their seats, and head to the bathroom or bar. Many nominees wind up spending a good deal of time in line for the bar, eating and drinking near the bar and walking around the concourse.
4. When cameras aren’t rolling, many stars are mingling
While many nominees gather in the lobby, others gather in the stands to shake hands, say congratulations and take photos. Some atypical star pairings on Sunday? Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown went up to chat with Nicole Kidman and take a photo. Better Call Saul‘s Jonathan Banks tells Susan Sarandon she’s “great.”