Emmys 2022 liveblog: Bay Area-born superstar Zendaya wins best actress

Host Kenan Thompson performs onstage during the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Host Kenan Thompson performs onstage during the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Tonight's Emmys celebrates television's brightest stars and breakout hits, with shows like "Succession," "Ted Lasso" and "White Lotus" leading nominations. Follow along for updates throughout the broadcast.

An off-color 'defund the police' joke

The cutaway gag started off fine, all things considered, if a bit weirdly placed: A burglar in all black, wearing a balaclava, snags an Emmy from backstage and a producer calls 911.?

“Law and Order: SVU” stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni are on the case, catching the burglar in seconds. But before they could announce the outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, announcer (and former "Saturday Night Live" writer) Sam Jay makes a joke in bad taste: “Here are two cops no one wants to see defunded, Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay!”

Bill Hader still takes COVID seriously

"Saturday Night Live" alum Bill Hader, who was nominated for four awards tonight for "Barry" — plus his guest spot on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" — appeared at the Emmys wearing what appeared to be a black N95 mask. Although it can't be confirmed that he was the only masked nominee, he certainly appeared to be the most notable, with Twitter exploding over his precautionary measures.

Bay Area-born superstar Zendaya wins Emmy

Kelly Clarkson appears as Zendaya accepts Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for "Euphoria" onstage during the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Kelly Clarkson appears as Zendaya accepts Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for "Euphoria" onstage during the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Zendaya, who was born and raised in the Bay Area, has won another Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her stirring portrayal of Rue, a teen experiencing drug addiction on the show “Euphoria.”

This is the Oakland born-and-raised star's second win. In 2020, she won the same award for the same role and became the youngest actress ever to snag the distinction.

“Thank you for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show, I love you all so much,” Zendaya said in her speech.

She continued, “Thank you to my friends and family, some of which are here tonight, thank you to Sam for sharing room with me, thank you for believing in me even in moments where I didn’t believe in myself.”

She closed off her speech with a tribute to the people who have confided in her. “My greatest wish for ‘Euphoria’ was that it could help heal people and I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me … Anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know that I’m so grateful for your stories, I carry them with me and I carry them with her.”

Amanda Seyfried wins for her portrayal of Elizabeth Holmes

Well-deserved: Amanda Seyfried won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for her stunning turn as disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes on Hulu’s “The Dropout.”

Her speech, as is an emerging trend tonight, was rushed. But she managed to shout out her mother (and tell her to go to bed).

“It was really hard but it was the best time of my life,” she said of her experience embodying Holmes. (If nothing else, she deserved the Emmy for her perfectly stilted dance routine to Lil Wayne.)

John Oliver gets cut off

After a charming introduction by the cast of "Only Murders in the Building," John Oliver stepped onstage to accept the award for best variety talk series.?

In his acceptance speech, he spoke of the thrill of meeting Steve Martin and Martin Short for the first time, and expressed appreciation towards?his staff, as well as his wife. After the boilerplate thank yous, Oliver started speaking about the creative freedom that HBO allowed him on his show. He was cut off 45 seconds in. Read more.

‘Abbott Elementary’ star stuns, snags standing ovation

Sheryl Lee Ralph, who snagged an Emmy tonight for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her turn as the no-nonsense teacher Barbara Howard, snagged a standing ovation for her powerful, emotional speech.

For a moment, it appeared that Ralph was too stunned to speak. Then she burst out into song: “Endangered Species” by jazz singer Dianne Reeves.
“I am an endangered species,” she sings, “but I sing no victim, I am a woman, and I am an artist, and I know where my voice belongs.”

The crowd, raptured, stood up before Ralph finished the rest of her speech, in which she shouted out “Abbott Elementary” showrunner Quinta Brunson and her family.

“To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like,” she said.

“This is what striving looks like, and don’t you ever, ever give up on you, because if you get a Quinta Brunson at your corner, if you get a husband like mine at your corner … and if you’ve got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me, thank you!”

Kenan drags Netflix (repeatedly)

Emmys host Kenan Thompson didn't waste much time before dragging Netflix, headquartered in the Bay Area.

During the prerequisite roasting bit of the Emmys, Thompson made some jabs at “Yellowjackets,” Peacock and “Succession.” But the main subject of his ire was the Los Gatos-based streaming tech giant.

“Now, I love ‘Squid Game,’” Thompson said. “And if you don’t know what ‘Squid Game’ is, it’s a contest you enter where you’re in massive debt and desperate for money. Joining the cast next season, Netflix.”

Naturally, the room burst out in muted laughter — tough to make fun of the hand that feeds, even as it undergoes financial struggles. Read more.

The Emmys intro was a mess

The 74th Emmy Awards kicked off tonight with an introductory segment that took more cues from social media than it did television.

Host Kenan Thompson began his monologue in the middle of the crowd wearing a black top hat and bow-tie, dressed as the self-proclaimed “mayor of television.”?

The crowd of celebrities seated at circular tables, well-aware that they were in the background, looked awkward to be caught in the crossfire of jokes about the salary of their agents and defensive digs at TikTok — a strange choice, given what would follow. Read more.