6. The Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels, Lead Actor in a Drama Series: The surprise winner got even the losers in his category laughing with his self-deprecating reference to the last acting award he won — a golden Barcalounger for Best Actor Over 50 from the AARP. “With all due respect to the AARP, this is better.”
7. Boardwalk Empire‘s Bobby Cannavale, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: An upset even to himself, Cannavale had no speech prepared but remembered to thank his son, the director who coached him through “the weirdest first day of work I’ve ever had in my life — 12 hours of beating somebody to death with four kinds of rubber wrenches,” the cast, his reps, and the “love of his life,” Rose Byrne.
8. Political Animals’ Ellen Burstyn, Best Supporting Actress for a Miniseries or TV movie: Most of all, she wanted to thank producer Greg Berlanti, “who had the wisdom to write a woman over 65 who still had a lot of juice.” She made a point, without starting a fight.
9. The Colbert Report‘s Stephen Colbert, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series: He thanked The Daily Show for setting the standard and his writers for giving him those brilliantly stupid things to say. But he gets this spot for surprising us with the shout-out to his wife “for being so cruel and sexy.”
10. Veep‘s Tony Hale, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: He was adorably sweet and earnest, which works for a first-time nominee and winner.
NEXT: Predictable isn’t always bad