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Five memorable Emmy speech moments

By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Ah, live TV, how quickly you can turn us from bitter, grumbling shade factories to weeping messes.

The Emmys was no exception.

Say what you will about the repeat-filled winners, some of the honorees brought their acceptance speech A-game under a kind of extreme duress most of us can only imagine (a room of super influential people + audience of millions … you get it).

Here were some of our favorite moments:

Hannah Waddingham

“Ted Lasso” star Hanna Waddingham picked up the award for best supporting actress in a comedy — her first Emmy — and couldn’t hide her joy on stage.

In her speech, she showed particular love for her co-star Juno Temple, who was also nominated in the category and bawling tears of joy for her friend from the audience.

“There’s no Rebecca without Keeley,” she said, referring to their characters. “If you ever leave my life, I’m going to stalk you.”

She also thanked her parents and circle of friends, saying, “This single mum wouldn’t be standing here without you.”

Jean Smart

“Hacks” star Jean Smart picked up her fourth Emmy award outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and opened her acceptance speech with a touching tribute to her late husband, Richard Gilliland, who died in March.

“I would not be here without him, without his sort of putting his career on the back burner so that I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I’ve had,” she said.

Michaela Coel

The incredible talent behind HBO and BBC’s “I May Destroy You” gave prepared remarks when accepting her Emmy for best writing in a television limited series or movie — the result being strong evidence in support of more pre-written speeches.

“Write the tales that scare you, that make you feel uncertain that isn’t comfortable. I dare you,” she said. “In a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves and to in turn feel the need to be constantly visible — for visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success — do not be afraid to disappear. From it, from us, for a while and see what comes to you in the silence.”

Coel also dedicated the show “to every single survivor of sexual assault.”

Olivia Colman

During what was a huge night for “The Crown,” actress Olivia Colman picked up her first Emmy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth II. Though she joked she “would’ve put money” on her win not happening, she was clearly moved.

She became especially emotional when closing out her speech.

“I’m going to be very quick because I’m very teary as my wish my dad was here to see this,” she said. “I lost my daddy during Covid, and he would have loved all of this.”

Debbie Allen

The ever-inspiring Debbie Allen got a hero’s welcome as she took the stage to accept her Governors Award and she did not throw away her shot to speak to women and young people directly.

“Let this moment resonate with women across the world — across this country and across this world — from Texas to Afghanistan,” she said. “Also the young people who have no vote, who can’t even get a vaccine — they’re inheriting the world that we live in and that we lead in. It’s time for you to claim your power. Claim your voice, sing your song, tell your stories. It will make us a better place. Your turn.”

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