Before we head into the real awards season, I figured I ought to work on my live-blogging skills. Consider this an experiment. Here goes!
8:02pm - Am I the only one who caught Susan Sarandon rolling her eyes when Oprah was introduced?
8:14pm - I had forgotten that the five nominees for "Best Reality TV Show Host" would be co-hosting the show. I wish the Emmys had forgotten, too. Was their intro designed to prove that they don't, in fact, belong at the big show?
8:22pm - You know it's bad when the winners are coming up with the best jokes of the night. Thank you, Jeremy Piven. The television writers aren't still on strike, are they?
8:39pm - Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell just made this show worth watching. Give them both awards - for Most Awkward Man In History, and Best Poker Face On Prime Time.
8:58pm - Nice to see the Colbert Report's writers get their due. (Also nice to see Conan O'Brien's Heigl bit!) Is it me, or is the writer crowd getting an unusual level of attention in this year's show? Post-strike fall-out, I guess.
9:00pm - I wonder what Steve Martin thinks of Howie Mandel and Ryan Seacrest. It must be tough to craft a show that has room for the likes of both. Steve Martin, in my mind, stands for everything that's right about TV - Jeff Probst, on the other hand...
9:04pm - Two questions spring to mind: First, are Heidi Klum's constant outfit changes designed to mask her inability to read a teleprompter? And second, has Josh Groban secretly been voicing Cartman all these years?
9:08pm - First "community organizer" line of the night goes to... Laura Linney!
9:27pm - Television is so lucky that they have someone like Tina Fey on their side: talented, articulate, and a bona fide hottie to boot. But is it just me, or are the Emmys turning somewhat Oscar-like in terms of honouring shows that hardly anyone watches?
9:40pm - That was probably the least boring message from an Academy president that I've ever witnessed. That's not saying much, though.
9:49pm - Stephen Colbert just induced my first real guffaw of the night, with his "dried up old prune" bit. "You can never have too much... What could possibly go wrong?"
In other news... 9 minutes since the last commercial break? Weak.
9:54pm - Sandra Oh had a favourite line for the night: "My parents are here with me tonight, and they could not be prouder... Unless I actually was a doctor."
10:01pm - Don Rickles should henceforth host all award shows and present all awards. The man made my night - and I'm pretty sure most of the audience felt the same way!
Also - did anyone else notice that NO ONE clapped for the Amazing Race when they won Best Reality TV Series? I guess it's a room full of writers and actors - neither of whom reality tv bothers to employ..
10:03pm - Whoever was in charge of the teasers before each commercial break is under the mistaken impression that we care about the winner of the reality TV awards. Memo To Whomever It May Concern: We don't.
10:33pm - Yup, it's a regular writer love-fest at the Emmys tonight. Alec Baldwin called Tina Fey "the Elaine May of her generation" - I'm going to have to google that.
In the meantime, all the writer love is re-kindling my occasional fantasies of somehow writing something, someday, that qualifies for nomination at a fancy televised red-carpet event, wearing a designer gown, and giving a Hollywood hottie a kiss on the cheek before gracefully accepting my award...
10:36pm - Elaine May
10:46pm - Ahhh... Now I understand! They included an award for Best Reality TV Host so they could trot out Jimmy Kimmel to mock the nominees. Almost makes it worth it. Almost.
10:59pm - That's all, folks!