The eighth time was the charm for Jon Hamm.
The actor, who had been nominated for Emmys seven times previously—and gone winless—for his iconic role as Mad Men's Don Draper, finally won the trophy Sunday night, in his eighth and final year of eligibility.
"There has been a terrible mistake, clearly," said Hamm at the 67th Emmy Awards, as he accepted his award to a standing ovation.
Without the win, Hamm would have joined an esteemed-but-snubbed list of actors who had shockingly never won Emmys for their iconic TV roles, including Steve Carell (The Office), Hugh Laurie (House), Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) and Amy Poehler (whose Sunday night loss meant that she'll never be recognized for Parks & Recreation).
While Mad Men lost outstanding drama series to Game of Thrones (more on that below), it was also the subject of a hilarious video package from host Andy Samberg. He spoofed Mad Men's fantastic series finale—which strongly implied that Don Draper had dreamed up Coca-Cola's famous 1971 "Hilltop" ad during an Esalen retreat—with his own take of the classic ad. But Samberg's version, which changed the lyrics from "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" to "I'd Like the Buy the World an Emmy," concluded with an unexpectedly violent twist: A man (played by Parks and Recreation's Jim O'Heir) ends up stabbed by an Emmy trophy.
How to Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis, who became the first African-American to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama, took the industry to task for its dearth of roles for black women. "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity," she said. "You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."
HBO's Game of Thrones swept most of the drama categories. HBO had 14 wins in total on Sunday night, and 43 Emmys in all this year, including last week's Creative Arts Emmys. The network's comedy Veep also ended Modern Family's five-year reign as outstanding comedy.
Samberg gave out a functioning HBO Now login and password, explaining that since CEO Richard Plepler said he didn't have a problem with subscribers giving out their passwords, he would do the same.
Later on in the evening, as Twitter users began to report they were no longer able to log on, HBO Now suggested they sign up for their own accounts. The network did not respond to inquiries Sunday night as to whether they had advance knowledge of Samberg's Emmy stunt, or how long that HBO Now account would remain active.
Comedy Central had four Emmy wins Sunday night (eight in all), including three for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Amazon also won its first two Primetime Emmys ever for Transparent—outstanding actor in a comedy series (Jeffrey Tambor) and directing (Jill Soloway)—to go along with the show's three Creative Arts Emmy wins last week.
The telecast boasted several emotional moments, including a surprise appearance by Tracy Morgan, stepping out for one of the first times publicly since his near-fatal car accident in June 2014.
A complete list of Emmy winners is available here.
Samberg kicked off a strong, confident night as emcee (he expertly pulled off many of his seven keys to a perfect Emmys telecast) with a opening sketch that satirized the Peak TV phenomenon: More than 400 scripted series will air this year, which FX Networks CEO John Landgraf recently called "too much TV."