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In 2011, Mad Males and Trendy Household have been the large winners of the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards, however it was the nominees of the Excellent Lead Actress in a Comedy Collection class who really stole the present.

On the good suggestion of Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler, all the ladies within the class — Laura Linney (The Large C), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Martha Plimpton (Elevating Hope), Tina Fey (30 Rock), and Poehler — assembled on stage in a shock stunt earlier than the winner was introduced. Clearly moved by the show, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, and Kate Winslet shortly rose to their ft, main a standing ovation.

McCarthy gained that yr, and in one of the simplest ways attainable — surrounded by 5 of TV’s greatest actresses, hugging and congratulating her like she was a queen. As we cross our fingers and hope to die that Sunday’s telecast on Fox shall be jam-packed with seminal moments like this, right here’s a glance again on the 2011 Emmys and the way a intelligent concept by Poehler made all the ladies really feel like winners.

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AMY POEHLER: There was a time when the awards weren’t taken as severely. A lot of individuals don’t know this at house, however the Emmys would present clips throughout business breaks to maintain the viewers . I can bear in mind two very particular bits. One, I overlook what yr it was, however all the boys who have been nominated got here up on stage collectively and waited to see who gained after which all of them left. After which one other yr Harvey Korman gained and Tim Conway rode up on his coattails (seen under). It was actually enjoyable, silly stuff.

This wasn’t the primary time Poehler tried to loosen up a comedy class. In 2009, she cajoled her fellow nominees within the supporting actress class to put on goofy glasses as their names have been learn. However she didn’t alert the producers of her plan so nobody within the auditorium understood what was occurring. “They didn’t show in the room us on the monitors,” Poehler remembers. “There was no laughing. It was like doing it in a vacuum.”

So in 2011, Poehler not solely gave the producers a heads up however made certain to tell presenters Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara in regards to the bit. However first, she needed to get all of the gals on board.

MARTHA PLIMPTON: It really got here up after we have been at dinner collectively, with the genius author and performer Sarah Thyre. As I recall, Amy was speaking about how she’d entertained herself at previous Emmy ceremonies and she or he and Sarah, and me to a a lot lesser extent, have been simply type of speaking about it. Then Amy or Sarah, I can’t bear in mind who however I’m fairly certain it was Amy, burst forth with that good chuckle of hers with this pageant concept. And it bloomed from there.

POEHLER: A couple of days earlier than the Emmys, I reached out to all the ladies. With these sorts of issues, you may’t give anyone that a lot time to consider it. Everyone was sport. I was like, “Okay, when your name is called, you should get up there, stand there, and stay there. And then we’ll all hold hands.”

TINA FEY: I suppose Amy realized, we must always simply be having extra enjoyable. Who cares, anyway?

LAURA LINNEY: I acquired a name from Amy forward of the Emmys, who informed me in regards to the concept, and requested if I was in. Evidently, I was thrilled.

EDIE FALCO: I cherished the concept when it was offered to me. Largely I was thrilled that the cool women have been asking me to go to the mall with them.

FEY: I knew I was achieved successful appearing Emmys for 30 Rock so I was relaxed. Additionally, I had my second daughter about 12 days earlier than so I was simply completely satisfied to be out, carrying a pad on each a part of my physique.

POEHLER: They announce the nominees in alphabetical order however stated, ‘I don’t wish to go first. Do you have to go first?” I bear in mind being like I wish to go first so dangerous as a result of I was excited in regards to the uncomfortableness of getting up on stage. I thought that was going to be enjoyable. And I simply cherished that Edie was like, “I’m a little nervous about going up there first. Do you want to go?” I needed to play it very cool, like, “Oh. Yeah, sure.” However I was so pumped.

FALCO: My concern of going first on stage was that I feared I would be capable to really feel the pity from the viewers pondering I’d thought I gained … which I’d felt certain I wouldn’t.

POEHLER: Everyone determined to do one thing earlier than they went up on stage, both kiss their accomplice or rub off their lipstick or alter their costume or faux it was a contest and storm up there like they have been on the lookout for a combat. That was not mentioned in any respect. I actually can’t reiterate how little planning went into this.

PLIMPTON: I was extremely excited to do that bit with all these unimaginable ladies who I deeply, deeply want, nonetheless, to work with.

After the ladies assembled on stage and joined arms, the gang roars and Vergara yells ‘Bravo!” Lowe says, “I just want to say, girls, everyone is a winner, and I know that you are going to go on to serve this body with distinction.’ He then announces McCarthy as the winner. McCarthy utters “Oh my God” as a tiara is positioned on her head and she or he’s given a bouquet of purple roses. Vergara arms her the Emmy.

RELATED: Sophie Turner, Amy Adams and 23 Extra Stars Who Are Nominated for Their First Emmy Awards This Yr

FEY: I suppose Rob improvised that good joke about “Ladies, you’re all winners.”

PLIMPTON: We had to verify the Emmy folks would offer the roses and the crown. And voila! We had essentially the most completely wonderful presenters in Rob and Sofia. Oh my God. That was the cherry on prime.

ROB LOWE: The most important problem for me was hiding the tiara so the viewers wouldn’t see it till I positioned it on the winner’s head.

POEHLER: We have been kissing her like she gained Miss America!

FALCO: I bear in mind being genuinely thrilled that Melissa gained… the look on her face of unadulterated shock and pleasure when her title was known as is what makes these award exhibits transferring to me.

PLIMPTON: It was nice. And I cherished it. I was actually proud to be standing subsequent to them. Additionally, actually foolish. I didn’t know what the hell to do with myself. I’ve by no means been in a pageant earlier than!

FEY: It was a fantastic feeling of unity and enjoyable. Taking myself out of it, that class is all the time a assassin’s row of nice actresses. Far more constantly spectacular than every other class of the evening. So it was sort of thrilling to be subsequent to all of them. And when Melissa gained, everybody was so genuinely completely satisfied about it.

LINNEY: It was a beautiful second. And a a lot more true image as to how all of us view these award exhibits. The Emmys permit us a night to have fun one another’s work. And far towards the favored stereotype, most actresses are extraordinarily supportive of one another, and grateful for one another. Each folks within the enterprise (and out) appeared to understand what Amy and Tina made attainable. It is going to all the time be a spotlight for me.

FALCO: I obtained suggestions for a while afterwards, folks having gotten a kick out of it, being so impressed we pulled it off and questioning how far prematurely it had been deliberate. About half an hour…

LOWE: I simply bear in mind pondering what a enjoyable bit it was and the way that’s the sort of factor that extra award exhibits ought to have. For essentially the most half, award exhibits are so self-serious, it’s like they’re curing most cancers. I was completely satisfied to be a part of one thing that was so enjoyable and irreverent.

PLIMPTON: Individuals cherished it I suppose as a result of it was celebratory but additionally wry and refined as a sort of protest of the entire idea of awards for work that may’t be in contrast on this method rationally. Awards for issues like this are irrational issues. So to shock folks by exhibiting you’re conscious of that and nonetheless able to benefit from the expertise was actually transferring to folks, I suppose? That’s why folks like Amy are so marvelous. They assist us do this.

POEHLER: I felt prefer it was going to be foolish and dumb and we might have a superb time no matter the way it performed… In watching it again years later, I was very moved by us all being up on stage collectively.

This text initially appeared on Ew.com

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