The 74th Annual Emmy Awards touted huge wins and jaw-dropping first-time awards for stars of some of the top television programs of the year.
First-time awards for Lizzo, Quinta Brunson, Jerrod Carmichael, and industry legend Sheryl Lee Ralph stunned the crowd and inspired standing ovations, while repeat awards for stars like Zendaya added to the (still quite short) tally of Black women Emmy winners.
Shows like Euphoria, and Abbott Elementary led the charge in the comedy and drama categories, and Lizzo’s reality competition Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls managed to upheave multi-year reality winner RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ralph and Lizzo each delivered speeches that left the crowd in tears and with chills.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 12: 74th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS — Pictured: Sheryl Lee Ralph accepts the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series award for “Abbott Elementary” on stage during the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022. — (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC via Getty Images)
Take a look at some of the evening’s biggest moments below!
Kenan’s Theme Song Dance Montage
The host of the evening took full advantage of having a DJ like Zedd running music, incorporating electronic and hip-hop remixes of iconic television theme songs for full-on dance numbers. He even hit a quick step while dressed as a Targaryen for the “Game of Thrones” number.
Oprah takes the stage
Oprah Winfrey herself opened the show, reminding the members of the audience how rare of an opportunity they have tonight to win such a high honor on Hollywood’s biggest stage.
Sheryl Lee Ralph wins for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Sheryl Lee Ralph won the first Emmy of her illustrious career, becoming only the second Black woman in Emmy history to win an Emmy in this category. She was preceded only by Jackée Harry, who won for her role on 227 back in 1987 – a role which, ironically, Ralph was considered for before her.
Lizzo gets emotional during her Emmy acceptance speech
“When I was a little girl, I wanted to see someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me, on television,” Lizzo said while tearfully accepting the trophy for Outstanding Competition Series Prime Video’s for Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls. “If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself, ‘you gon’ see that person, but b*tch it’s gon have to be you.'”
Sam Jay guides the show
Serving as announcer and emcee in between segments, comedian Sam Jay kept the evening flowing with hilarious off-the-cuff humor as stars took the stage to present big trophies.
Impromptu ‘Kenan & Kel’ Reunion
The icons of many a Millennial’s childhood reunited to raucous applause from the audience, surprising everyone and hitting karate moves before introducing the next presenters.
Jerrod Carmichael Wins For ‘Rothaniel’
Donning a fur coat and no shirt, the comedian was at a loss for words as he accepted Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special for his raw and honest standup special.
Quinta Brunson earns her first Emmy
Our Black Women in Hollywood honoree won Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her breakout hit show Abbott Elementary, getting emotional as she thanked all her mentors and collaborators.
Zendaya becomes a TWO-TIME Emmy Winner
Zendaya accepted her second trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for her role as Rue Euphoria, after becoming the youngest winner in said category in 2020.