7 details and moments from the virtual Emmys you might have missed

ABCJennifer Aniston and Jimmy Kimmel kicking off the 2020 Emmy Awards on ABC.
  • The first-ever virtual Emmy Awards took place Sunday night, and the live telecast included some surprising moments.
  • From a planned fire joke nearly gone wrong to two bleeped moments and Zendaya’s new record-breaking win, we’ve gathered the best moments you might have missed.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The 2020 Emmy Awards took place on Sunday evening, orchestrated by ABC as a virtual event with a few in-person presenters standing alongside host Jimmy Kimmel at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California.

This unprecedented ceremony offered up some surprising moments, including when Emmy nominee Ramy Youssef tweeted out a video revealing the darkly hilarious way the Television Academy preserved the element of surprise by sending people with Emmy statues to every nominee’s house — and then promptly leaving if they didn’t win.

From an almost-out-of-control trash can fire joke to a couple of censored moments and more, Insider is here to round up the best moments you might have missed during the telecast.

Let’s dive in.


Jennifer Aniston and Jimmy Kimmel had a whole joke set up about lighting the award envelope on fire and then extinguishing it, but the fire kept blazing until someone off-camera yelled: ‘Put it out!’

ABCJennifer Aniston and Jimmy Kimmel kicking off the 2020 Emmy Awards on ABC.

In what appeared to be a planned joke gone slightly wrong during the very first award presentation of the night, Kimmel took the winner’s envelope and doused it in Lysol before setting it on fire in a trash can to get all the germs off it.

Aniston was ready with a fire extinguisher, but she had to give the envelope two blasts before Kimmel could safely hold it.

Then she set the fire extinguisher down without realising the trash can itself was still aflame. It wasn’t until someone off-camera said: “Put it out!” that Aniston picked up the extinguisher again and at last quashed the flames.


Nominee Ramy Youssef showed a darkly hilarious behind-the-scenes look at how the night’s losers waved goodbye to awards they didn’t get.

Craig Blankenhorn/HuluRamy Youssef in season two of ‘Ramy.’

TV creator Ramy Youssef (who wrote, directed, and starred in the second season of Hulu’s “Ramy”) was nominated and lost in two categories that were part of the “Schitt’s Creek” record-breaking sweep.

Following the second loss, Youssef revealed in a Twitter video that a representative from the Television Academy had been standing outside of his house holding an Emmy statue, just in case he won. Every nominee had someone waiting nearby to give them the award, as a way of preserving the element surprise.

But sadly this meant that Youssef (and presumably the other non-winners) had to literally wave goodbye to their would-be Emmy awards.


Anthony Anderson was bleeped for saying the title of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s song ‘WAP.’

ABCJimmy Kimmel and Anthony Anderson during the 2020 Emmy Awards.

During his segment, Anderson spoke about how the 2020 Emmys should have been the biggest celebratory year yet for Black creators – but then COVID-19 made everything virtual. In part of the bit, Anderson referenced the summer hit single “WAP” (which stands for “wet a– p—-“).

“We would have had speeches quoting our great poets like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Cardi B,” Anderson said. “WAP Jimmy, WAP! I’m talking about that WAP WAP!”

After the first “WAP,” though, the live feed censored Anderson. It was a strange moment, especially considering that “WAP” itself is not a swear word, and earlier in the show Kimmel had explained that he was allowed to say “Schitt’s Creek” as long as the showed the series’ title on screen at the same time.


Later in the show, Laverne Cox was also briefly censored when she appeared to go off-script.

ABC‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Laverne Cox presenting at the 2020 Emmy Awards.

“Good evening everyone,” Cox said. “I am living proof of the American dream: That anyone in this country can lose the Emmy four years in the same category, and yet somehow end up on this stage presenting an award to someone who probably didn’t even – “

And then the audio cut out for the next several words. It looks like she might have been saying “someone who didn’t even vote for me,” possibly referencing how some of the Television Academy voters must not have picked Cox for in her past categories, given that she’s never won an Emmy.

“What happens to an American dream deferred? Does it shrivel up like a raisin in the sun?” Cox said when the audio kicked back in before speaking to herself. “Stick to the script Laverne, stick to the script. And now here are the nominees for writing in a drama series.”

The winner was “Succession” writer and showrunner Jesse Armstrong.


Zendaya became the youngest woman to ever win best actress at the Emmys.

ABCZendaya celebrating her win for best actress in a drama series at the 2020 Emmy Awards.

Zendaya, 24, won best lead actress in a drama series for her work on HBO’s “Euphoria,” making her the youngest-ever woman to do so. She was also only the second Black woman in Emmys history to win in that same category.

“I know this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating, but I just want to say that there is hope in the young people out there,” Zendaya said towards the end of her speech.

Last year, “Killing Eve” star Jodie Comer was 26 years old when she won best lead actress in a drama series.


‘Succession’ actress Sarah Snook was spotted holding a tinfoil Emmy after she lost in her category.

ABCSarah Snook with her homemade Emmy award.

Snook was nominated for best-supporting actress in a drama series, but Julia Garner took home that statue for her work in “Ozark.”

Just a few minutes later in the ceremony, though, “Succession” won best drama. When the camera feed showed Snook again, she was holding a homemade Emmy award crafted from what looks like tinfoil.

Later, on her Instagram stories, Snook tagged Garner and said she’d drop the homemade statue into the mail for her.


Sunday’s award ceremony was just part of the Emmys celebration. Earlier in the week, additional Emmy winners were announced, including big wins for ‘The Mandalorian.’

Disney PlusNew photos from ‘The Mandalorian’ season two.

The biggest winner from the Creative Arts Emmys, announced earlier in the week, was Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.” The show took home eight Emmy awards, even though it didn’t win anything during the live telecast.

“The Mandalorian” composer Ludwig Göransson was one of the winners, and he tweeted out a heartwarming photo of his young son in a Baby Yoda costume.

Göransson’s wife was the concertmaster for “The Mandalorian” orchestra, and she was pregnant with their first child while they recorded season one’s score.

To see the list of Emmy winners from the televised award show,read our list here.

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