SHOW BITS: Uncomfortable moments surround tributes

Associated Press
Carrie Underwood performs "Yesterday" by the Beatles at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre on Sunday Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
.

View gallery

Show Bits brings you the 65th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

__

NOT TODAY FOR UNDERWOOD'S 'YESTERDAY'

Emmy watchers were swift in their negative reviews of Carrie Underwood covering the Beatles' "Yesterday" during the Emmy Awards

Underwood broke into song after Don Cheadle introduced a montage of 1960s news clips of President John F. Kennedy's assassination and Beatlemania. He said it was a time when TV news truly came of age.

Off-key and unnecessary were what many people who took to Twitter had to say of Underwood's performance. Within minutes of singing the song's final notes she was a worldwide Twitter trending topic.

Tweeted Conan O'Brian show writer Sean O'Connor: "Some people never forget where they were when JFK got shot, but I will never forget where I was when Carrie Underwood murdered The Beatles."

— Anthony McCartney - Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mccartneyAP

__

STARS REACT TO MONTEITH TRIBUTE

The inclusion of young "Glee" actor Cory Monteith among individual salutes at the Emmy Awards was a tough topic on the red carpet.

Monteith, who was 31 when he died in July of a drug overdose, was chosen by show producers over such veteran actors and Emmy nominees as Larry Hagman of "Dallas," Charles Durning of "Evening Shade" and Jack Klugman of "The Odd Couple."

"Cory had a very special place in our cultural history this year," said Mayim Bialik of "The Big Bang Theory." ''It's such a hard thing to handle either way. Different people are honored for different reasons."

Veteran actress Margo Martindale of the new show "The Millers" called Hagman, Durning and Klugman "icons for me."

"Everyone should be included," she said. "Is it that there could only be so many people and so little time?"

The individual segments were in addition to the traditional "in memoriam" piece that groups together industry members who died in the past year.

Monteith was by far the youngest of the individuals singled out and had never been nominated for an Emmy.

Others honored individually were "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton of "All in the Family," comedian and actor Jonathan Winters and "Family Ties" producer Gary David Goldberg.

— Beth Harris - Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/beth harrisap

SIR ELTON REMEMBERS LIBERACE

Upon being introduced by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, the stars of HBO's Emmy-winning Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra," Sir Elton John spoke both of the performer's influence and his great dress sense.

Then he added, "What I was not aware of years later was his lifestyle."

And then came the punch line: "Yeah right."

Noting the longevity of Liberace's career, John added, "What a difference those 25 years have made to people like me... and me."

— Jessica Herndon - Twitter https://twitter.com/SomeKind

__

HARRIS FINALLY SINGS!

Neil Patrick Harris didn't disappoint. It just took him a while to get to the song-and-dance number everyone was waiting for.

It came right about the middle of the Emmys show — and it was most aptly titled, "The Number in the Middle of the Show."

In it, the Emmys host addressed the expectations — unmet — that he was going to open the show with a musical number.

"Opening numbers are so old hat," he sang. "Even Hugh Jackman does stuff like that."

Some "really sexy dancing," in the host's words, ensued.

And the many fans of Harris's terrific Tony-hosting gigs breathed a sigh of relief.

— Jocelyn Noveck Twitter https://twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP

__

QUICKQUOTE: JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS

"It means a ton because I've actually lost many, many more times than I've won. I've lost 10 times in fact. It's delicious to win." — Julia Louis-Dreyfus backstage after winning the Emmy for outstanding actress in a comedy series.

— Caryn Rousseau - Twitter https://www.twitter.com/carynrousseau

__

TINA FEY'S EMMY IPHONE MOMENT

Tina Fey wanted to remember the moment she picked up her 30 Rock writing Emmy, so she whipped out her iPhone and snapped a picture backstage with her co-winner, Tracy Wigfield.

After briefly lamenting they were missing Elton John's musical performance, the two got around to clearing the paperwork so they could take their trophies home. Each had to sign to collect the official awards given out backstage.

Before signing her name, Fey drew a heart around the names of her fellow nominees, "30 Rock" writers Robert Carlock and Jack Burditt.

— Sandy Cohen - Twitter https://twitter.com/apsandy

___

GIRL TALK AT THE EMMYS

It appears blondes do have more fun at the Emmys, at least during the commercial breaks.

Elizabeth Moss, Carrie Underwood, Amy Poehler and Connie Britton gathered in the front row for a giggle-filled gabfest during one of the breaks.

On the other side of the audience, "Modern Family" parental units Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen shared a smooch and some conversation during the intermission.

— Derrik J. Lang - Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

__

FROM DIAHANN CARROLL TO KERRY WASHINGTON

Diahann Carroll happily passed the torch to Kerry Washington as black actresses starring in their own TV series and nominated for Emmys.

The 78-year-old actress just wishes it hadn't taken 45 years to happen.

"I feel we're a little behind, we need to catch up," Carroll said on the Emmy red carpet.

Carroll was the first black actress to star in her own show who didn't play a domestic worker. Her role as a nurse in "Julia" earned her an Emmy nomination in 1969.

Washington stars in "Scandal," and was nominated in the lead actress category in a drama.

"We're all very grateful to the Emmys because they've been on our side," Carroll said, referring to the award show's recognition of African-Americans. "At the same time, we'd like it to be a little more with what's going on in the world."

— Beth Harris - Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/bethharrisap

__

QUICKQUOTE: TONY HALE

"Was I fine? Because I totally blacked out." — comedy supporting actor winner Tony Hale of "Veep," inquiring backstage about his Emmy acceptance speech.

— Sandy Cohen - Twitter https://twitter.com/apsandy

__

SHORTEST EMMY SPEECH EVER?

The agent remained unthanked. So did the family, and actually everyone else, when Merritt Wever won best supporting actress in a comedy series.

In fact, Wever, of Showtime's "Nurse Jackie," spoke so briefly that we can report the entire thing here: "Thank you so very much," she said. "Um, I gotta go, bye."

Wever said backstage she made a quick exit when she realized she was about to cry. She added she wished she had given a shout out to her show's star, Edie Falco.

Still, her brief words were a hit with the Emmy audience — and the show's host, Neil Patrick Harris.

"Merritt Wever, best speech ever," Harris noted.

Was it the shortest speech of the night, if not Emmy history? The race is on.

— Jocelyn Noveck — Twitter https://twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP

__

KEEP THOSE SPEECHES TIGHT

With NFL football threatening to delay the telecast of the Emmy Awards, the show's executive producer comes on stage to show the Nokia Theatre audience a bloody clip from "Game of Thrones."

That, Ken Erlich warns Emmy nominees, is what will happen to the winners if they don't keep their acceptance speeches short.

Fortunately for the long-winded, the game ends just as the show is scheduled to begin.

That leads Erlich to make one additional announcement: The New York Jets won.

— Derrik J. Lang - Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

__

QUICKQUOTE: SOFIA VERGARA

"And Kmart collection underwear but you can't see that unless you rip the dress." — Sofia Vergara, describing what she's wearing under her Vera Wang gown.

— Leanne Italie - Twitter https://twitter.com/litalie LeeReporter

__

QUICKQUOTE: JULIE BOWEN

"I can breathe but there's a serious lack of carbohydrates to make that happen." — " Julie Bowen of "Modern Family" on her form-fitting Zac Posen gown.

— Leanne Italie - Twitter https://twitter.com/litalie LeeReporter

__

AVOIDING EMMY HUNGER PAINS

The lobby is packed inside the Nokia Theatre, where attendees such as multiple Emmy winner and "The Amazing Race" executive producer Bertram van Munster are mingling and waiting in line for beer, cocktails and snacks before the big three-hour ceremony.

The cost for a cold one: $9.25.

The celebs who ran the red carpet gauntlet are being funneled through a special side entrance draped from view from everyone else. But that isn't stopping a few lookie-loos from sneaking peeks through parts in the curtain.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please make your way into the theater. The seat fillers are getting restless," a female announcer coos a few minutes ahead of show time.

— Derrik J. Lang - Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

__

FAN FRIENDLY CELEBS

A selection of stars who waved when fans called their names from the Emmy red carpet bleachers: Tina Fey, LL Cool J, Connie Britton, Matt LeBlanc, Jeff Daniels, Dean Norris, Laura Dern.

— Caryn Rousseau - Twitter https://twitter.com/carynrousseau

__

OVERHEARD IN THE EMMY FAN BLEACHERS

"What's his name? 'Dumb and Dumber!'" was the shout that went up in the fan bleachers when Jeff Daniels strolled the Emmy red carpet.

Forget that Daniels is nominated for a best actor in a drama Emmy for "Newsroom." Who can forget that classic film role?

Same for Matt LeBlanc, nominated for an Emmy for the comedy "Episodes."

"Oh my God, 'Friends' is my favorite show," someone shouted as he walked by.

"R.J.! R.J.! You're the best!" was the greeting R.J. Mitte of "Breaking Bad" received.

He waved back.

— Caryn Rousseau - Twitter https://twitter.com/carynrousseau

__

EMMY SUPER FAN FAMILY

There's no missing Salpi Bezdjian and her mother among the fans in the Emmy red carpet bleachers.

The pair were decked out in matching T-shirts embroidered with sequins that read "I (heart) Emmys."

The 28-year-old Bezdjian, from Pasadena, was taking in her sixth Emmy red carpet.

She arrived with a purse filled with piles of celebrity snapshots and a marker in hopes that some stars might stop by to sign autographs.

So who is her favorite?

"Ryan Seacrest, Michael J. Fox," she says, starting to count on her fingers, unable to pick just one.

— Caryn Rousseau - Twitter https://twitter.com/carynrousseau

__

STARTING THE SHOW WITH A BANG

Crash! Shatter!

The sounds had fans in the Emmy bleachers outside the Nokia Theatre momentarily gasping.

Turns out a tall white glass vase filled with purple flowers had tipped over on an entertainment show's red carpet set.

But no worries. Crew members rushed in to sweep up and bring new flowers.

— Caryn Rousseau - Twitter https://twitter.com/carynrousseau

__

EDITOR'S NOTE — Show Bits brings you the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

View Comments