Jon Hamm: Emmy loser no more after nabbing tonight’s best drama-series actor win for his final season playing iconic anti-hero Don Draper. It was Hamm’s eighth at-bat for the role on AMC’s Mad Men and this year he was considered the front-runner and sentimental fave too, though the category included previous winners Jeff Daniels (Newsroom) and Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), as well as Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk, Ray Donovan’s Liev Schrieber and House Of Cards’ Kevin Spacey.
Hamm won though, as handsome as ever — “too hot” being among the theories as to why Hamm had failed to secure this win in seven previous tries (Sorry, Mr. Cranston), as well as a handful of guest acting noms for Tina Fey comedies 30 Rock, and one for her Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, for which he was passed over last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys.
“Terrible mistake,” Hamm said after climbing on stage and receiving the night’s first standing ovation (okay, except the one for the Emmy accountants at the urging of CBS late-night host James Corden). “It’s impossible to be named with all of the extraordinary gentlemen. It’s impossible to be standing up here,” Hamm said. Though Hamm did not name any of his Mad Men cast or the creator Matthew Weiner by name, he did acknowledge “this incredible cast, these incredible people, our incredible writers, our incredible crew.” He went on to thank, among many others, AMC and Lionsgate, and members of his extended family and friends.
“I was pulling for Chandler – I just dig that dude,” Emmy host Andy Samberg joked as Hamm exited the stage, referencing nominee Kyle Chandler.
Backstage Hamm told reporters, “I’m not a lead miner, and it’s not the hardest job in the world, but it doesn’t discount how I put a lot of myself in it. It’s really nice to be recognized. Whether we won or not, I was so glad to be here. Look at the people on the (nominee) list,” he added. Those are people I would watch if I wasn’t an actor…there were so many incredible people with incredible work who had their work recognized over my own.”
Further marveling about tonight, “Tina Fey gave me an award tonight. She gave me a job and another job. It’s the people I work with that I tremendously respect.”
Hamm this year submitted the series finale episode, “Person To Person”, in which he suffers existential crisis and has a creative epiphany at a spiritual retreat.
Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro contributed to this report.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.