If merely discussing religion is taboo at dinner parties, imagine ribbing people about their religion on a nationally televised awards ceremony. D-lister Kathy Griffin deliberately disregarded such etiquette when she accepted her Creative Arts Emmy in 2007 with the following fighting words, "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now."
Griffin's comments ended up being cut from the telecast to avoid controversy. But not all awkward Emmy moments are hidden from history. With the Emmy's to air this Sunday on Fox TV at 8 p.m. ET, we took a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the most memorable moments from past acceptance speeches.
Kirstie Alley's "Big" Moment
Not wanting to hand her husband the hackneyed "thanks for your love and support" shout-out on receiving her Emmy for Best Comedy Actress in 1991, Kirstie Alley shocked the audience when she said, "I'd like to thank my husband Parker, the man who has given me the big one for the last eight years." The "Cheers" star's coy comment didn't stop there. When Burt Reynolds came on stage afterward to accept his Emmy for "Evening Shade" he thanked his wife du jour Loni Anderson for giving him "two big ones."
Katherine Heigl's Speech on Life Support
No one was more surprised than Katherine Heigl when her name was called as winner of Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007 -- except maybe her mother. "Thanks for getting my name right," Heigl said humbly, before stammering, " Umm, uh… my own mother told me I didn't have a shot in hell in winning tonight. So I really don't have anything prepared." The "Life As We Know It" actress ended up redeeming herself by paying a heartfelt tribute to her fellow Grey's nominees, Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson, and even conceded her mother was one of her biggest supporters. But her stumbling left fans stymied. Most people spend more time writing their shopping list than the blonde beauty did her speech.
Sally Fields to Fox: "You Don't Like Me!"
That same year, Sally Fields used her moment on stage to accept her award as Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series in "Brothers and Sisters" as a bully pulpit to plead for peace. "If mothers ruled the world, there would be no god-damned wars in the first place," she said. Fox apparently did not think the words "god-damned" belong on their broadcast and bleeped them out, going silent for a few seconds before airing the "Flying Nun" star's thank-you. Fox bashers didn't buy the network's G-rated gaffe, depicting several commentators on Fox using the exact same phrase in other contexts.
Which actor or actress do you think will make this Sunday's Emmy Awards telecast most memorable?
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- Kirstie Alley
- Katherine Heigl