Mad Men looked set to dominate the night, going in with 19 top nominations, and it continued its winning streak for the best drama title for the fourth year in a row.
But the stars of the period drama didn't fair so well - Jon Hamm was a four-time loser for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Kyle Chandler claimed that prize for his role in Friday Night Lights, while Julianna Margulies beat the likes of Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and Kathy Bates (Harry's Law) to take home the female equivalent for her turn in The Good Wife.
Meanwhile, Modern Family started the Emmys as they planned to go on - TV husband and wife Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen kicked off the celebrations by walking away with the acting honours for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy Series.
The hit programme went on to earn accolades for writing and directing before being crowned best comedy at the end of the event.
It was a good night for the Brits too - Kate Winslet was named Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Mildred Pierce, while Downton Abbey's Dame Maggie Smith claimed the supporting actress in a miniseries or movie title.
Justin Timberlake (Saturday Night Live) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Glee) were already winners before the red carpet at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre was even rolled out - they were honoured at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards last weekend (10Sep11) in the Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy Series category.
Awards host Jane Lynch opened the show with a song-and-dance sequence featuring Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy and the cast of Mad Men, while Andy Samberg's comedy rap trio The Lonely Island, featuring crooner Michael Bolton and R&B singer Akon, and rapper/actor LL Cool J, were among the musical acts providing the entertainment in between awards at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre.
The main list of winners at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards is as follows:
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series: Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series: Melissa McCarthy - Mike & Molly
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series: Kyle Chandler - Friday Night Lights
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series: Julianna Marguiles - The Good Wife
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie: Barry Pepper - The Kennedys
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie: Kate Winslet - Mildred Pierce
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series: Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series: Julie Bowen - Modern Family
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series: Peter Dinklage - Game Of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series: Margo Martindale - Justified
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie: Guy Pearce - Mildred Pierce
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie: Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series: Justin Timberlake - Saturday Night Live (Host)
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series: Gwyneth Paltrow - Glee
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series: Paul McCrane - Harry's Law
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series: Loretta Devine - Grey's Anatomy
Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family
Outstanding Drama Series: Mad Men
Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie: Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Outstanding Animated Programme: Futurama
Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special: The Kennedy Center Honors
Outstanding Reality Programme: Deadliest Catch
Outstanding Reality-Competition Programme: The Amazing Race
Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series: Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman - Modern Family (Episode: Caught In The Act)
Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series: Jason Katims - Friday Night Lights (Episode: Always)
Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special: Julian Fellowes - Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series: Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Wyatt Cenac, Hallie Haglund, J.R. Havlan, Elliot Kalan, Josh Lieb, Sam Means, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart - The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special: David Boone, Matt Roberts, and Mo Rocca - 64th Annual Tony Awards
Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series: Michael Alan Spiller - Modern Family
Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series: Martin Scorsese - Boardwalk Empire
Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special: Brian Percival - Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series: Donny Roy King - Saturday Night Live (Host: Justin Timberlake)
Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special: Lonny Price - Sondheim! The Birthday Concert.
The Big Lebowski came and went in the Spring of 1998. The movie was a flop—in its theatrical run, it made a measly $17.5 million. Even with a slew of positive reviews, the Coen's madcap comedic noir never managed to click with audiences.
That is, until it magically did.
13 years later, The Big Lebowski is the defintiion of a cult classic; discovered on DVD by audiences young and old who found themselves won over by the movie's bizarre cast of characters, perverse quotability and zen sensibilities. The real world ramifications of Lebowski's popularity are plentiful—would anyone ever be hankering for a White Russian if it wasn't The Dude's signature drink?—and the love for the film only continues to grow. You know the low-budget comedy carved out its place in pop culture when they started holding an annual festival in its honor, complete with Lebowski-themed costumes and bowling.
LebowskiFest has been in full swing for ten years—and the fandom isn't slowing down. To commemorate the release of the upcoming Blu-ray, the festival's organizers amassed fans across New York City for a two-night Lebowski celebration that culminated with a night at the Hammerstein Ballroom for a special Q&A with the original cast and screening of the film.
I was on hand last night for the mayhem, where a sea of rowdy fans, decked out in sweaters, jelly shoes, Yellow-lens aviator glasses and bright purple jump suits, filled one of NYC biggest concert halls to see The Dude and company in person. Don't think this was a quiet, introspective sit down with the original cast—anything but. When Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro and legendary musician T Bone Burnett (music archivist on the film) took the stage, the crowd was relentless. Rapid-fire quotes, high praise and giddiness bombarded the scene, whether that meant the actors got a word in or not.
There were a few choice moments from the talk back: Bridges, always a crowd-pleaser, kicked off the evening by gazing wide-eyed at the rambunctious audience and declaring, "It's like a Rick Perry press conference." The cast members' faces said it all. Lebowski was never the movie they imagined taking off the way it did, which made reminiscing difficult. Thankfully, the discussion steered quickly towards the film's cult status. Regarding the fandom surrounding Lebowski, Turturro mentioned that he, "gets lots of sex mail" for his sexually-charged character "The Jesus." He broke it to the other cast bluntly: "Sometimes you guys are involved."
While the Q&A meandered with vague recollections of what it was like to work on the set (the short of it: no one can remember), John Goodman was able to wax poetically on his character Walter Sobchack. When asked what Walter would be like today, Goodman cracked, "He's still Jewish. Jew-ish." The actor also had the best response to cautious sequel talk: "It's never going to happen, why waste time thinking about it?"
But the real star of the night was Steve Buscemi a.k.a. Donny, who walked on stage to a unison "Shut the f*ck up, Donny!" from the audience. One of the few times where swearing at an esteemed actor is an acceptable form of praise. While the rest the cast shared a few short (but fond) memories of working on the movie, Buscemi had the most to add. Here are his five best quotes that helped tie the perfect knot on the evening:
On originally being asked to play Donny: "I didn't want to play the part. I don't know anyone who would." Thunderous applause.
On the lively crowd, who spent the 40-minute Q&A yelling at him from their seats: "I haven't smoked pot in 20 years...but I feel stoned right now"
On playing Donny: "I had the easy part…I said one thing, [John Goodman] tells me to shut up, and that's it."
On working with the Coen Bros. again:"I can't believe they killed Donny. After being put in a wood chipper…" A wonderful Fargo reference!
And finally, when Buscemi wrapped on the film, he received one of Donny's bowling balls, which he asked everyone in the cast to sign. Apparently, actor Sam Elliot awkwardly responded to the request with: "I don't…usually…do this…" OK then.
Buscemi realized mentioning the priceless memento may have been a mistake. He told the audience, "Great, now you're going to break into my home." The crowd went wild, because frankly, they will probably try and break into his home and steal it. Lebowski fans are hardcore.
The Big Lebowski is now out on Blu-ray. Thanks to the folks at LebowskiFest for putting the event together!
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches and @Hollywood_com