Backstage, Spike Jones, recipient of TV Academy’s Syd Cassyd Founders Award, was asked to comment on FX Networks CEO John Landgraf’s recent comment that there is “too much” television. “I never want to believe he’s right… I love the stuff than I’m seeing,” Jones said. “I love the various (formats) – YouTube, Internet, cable, all over the place.” Then to the important question: What does the former long-time Creative Arts Emmy Awards producer (he oversaw the past 20 telecasts) think about tonight’s open bar policy? “I had nothing to do with that, I’m not producing the show, and this is the first time in 20 years the bars have been open,” he exclaimed. “I guess the producers wanted to liven it up a little bit. I have no idea what’s going on up there.” He was also asked how it felt to be onstage rather than behind the scenes: “I want to go home,” he joked, adding: “No, I love it…I used to be a performer.”
After touting The Americans onstage, Margo Martindale, guest actress in a drama winner for the FX series, continued her effusive praise for the Cold War series, which has been largely overlooked by the TV Academy with only a handful of Emmy nominations and this first win for Martindale. “I’m so happy to be part of the show and honored to be on the show,” she said backstage. “It’s ridiculous that everybody else isn’t nominated and winning awards. It’s just the greatest show.” Asked about next season, Martindale said, “Next year I don’t know yet what I’m doing (on The Americans) but I do know I’m there for more than this last year….They promised me they’d never kill me. But it’s show business. I hope they can keep their promise.” Martindale has won two Emmy Awards to date, both for FX series, Justified and now The Americans. ”They have been my favorite home because I also had done a series before on FX, The Riches. John Landgraf – I think he funs a fantastic shop. They’re all great.”
Fellow drama guest actor winner Reg E. Cathey was less committal about his character’s future on Netflix’s House of Cards.“I’m sworn to secrecy,” he said, joking: “I wish I could, because I think it’s ridiculous.“ Cathey, a first-time Emmy winner, also was asked to explain his extremely short acceptance speech — he said Thank you, I’m thrilled before walking off stage. “My mind was completely blown, I’m still a little verklempt ..I thought brevity was the best course of action. “
Jane Lynch called Carol Burnett her comic inspiration. As for hosting, she said she was a big fan of Gene Rayburn, Burt Convey, Charles Nelson Reilly, Paul Lynde and “those guys who did the celebrity-based game shows. I always wanted to be that person.” Comparing hosting and acting, she says the processes flex different muscles. She hopes she’s become a better host through doing the show: “I’m hopefully less shrill and more confident.”
“Beirut — that’s a town I love,” Anthony Bourdain — whose CNN program Parts Unknown won a third consecutive Informational Series or Special Emmy — said backstage. “We’ve learned that some places, as soon as you get off the plane it smells like a city you’re going to love and that’s what happened – we all fell in love with the city. I feel very strongly that all the good and bad things in the world are present in this one gloriously mixed-up city.” He added, “If things work out in Beirut somehow then there’s hope for the rest of us. It’s very complicated. It’s a very beautiful place.” Asked where else he’d like to visit, Bourdain said, “Yemen” which he acknowledged is “obviously problematic at the moment” and added, “I’m not try to go all flak-jacket Geraldo (Rivera)….I’m the father of an eight-year-old and I’d like to be around for the eye-rolling stage.”
Bourdain heaped praise on his network CNN: “People say ‘it’s not personal, it’s business’. All business is personal and CNN has made personal commitments to me and honored them. They’ve backed me up and done things they said they were going to do. They’ve backed our play when we handed them very difficult material and allowed us to go places other shows can’t go. It is the happiest business relationship in my life…I’m particularly grateful to (CNN chief) Jeff Zucker who really stood up for the show before the show even existed.“
Also backstage, after joking there was no one else to thank for the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show because “I did it all by myself,” lighting designer Robert Barnhart waxed more serious and thanked “the more than 600 people standing on the other side of an NFL tarp waiting for someone to say Let’s go!” The get-off-the-stage music came up before he had ended his speech: “You can’t play me off when I’m thanking the Academy!” he protested.