'Raymond' goes out on top
'Lost' wins best drama
By Todd Leopold
"Everybody Loves Raymond" won the Emmy for best comedy in its ninth, and final, season.
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(CNN) -- "Desperate Housewives" may have had all the attention, but "Everybody Loves Raymond" won the big award -- best comedy -- at the 57th Annual Emmy Awards.
"We want to thank all of you for nine wonderful years," said show creator Phil Rosenthal. The show ended its successful run in May.
"Raymond" also picked up awards for supporting actor Brad Garrett and supporting actress Doris Roberts.
"Lost," the rookie ABC show about people marooned on a strange island after a plane crash, won best drama.
"Housewives," which earned 15 nominations, didn't come up completely empty. Felicity Huffman won the award for best actress in a comedy, beating out competition that included show colleagues Marcia Cross and Teri Hatcher.
Lamenting that she was turning into "one of those" actresses -- that is, one who becomes overly emotional in her acceptance speech -- she thanked a variety of forces in her life and concluded with a heartfelt valentine to her husband, William H. Macy.
Huffman's victory was followed by another surprise: a win for Patricia Arquette of "Medium" in the best actress in a drama category. Arquette's competition included Jennifer Garner of "Alias" and favorite Glenn Close of "The Shield."
Tony Shalhoub won best actor in a comedy for "Monk" and James Spader won best actor in a drama for "Boston Legal." His show colleague, William Shatner, earlier won best supporting actor in a drama.
The Emmys also smiled on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which won two major awards during the broadcast: best variety/musical/comedy series and best writing for a best variety/musical/comedy series.
"When I said that I wanted to put together a writing staff that would only be 80 percent Ivy League-educated Jews, they said it couldn't be done," said "Daily Show" host Stewart in accepting one honor.
Members of "Raymond" and "Daily" even met on stage, as the cast of "Raymond" presented the best variety/musical/comedy show Emmy to "The Daily Show."
Stewart received laughs throughout the show.
At one point, after an emotional speech by "Lackawanna Blues" actress S. Epatha Merkerson -- who'd lost her speech down her dress -- Stewart, who came on next, pretended to look down his pants for his own speech.
That was followed by Stewart showing a comedic video ripping authorities for the Katrina reaction. As he ranted about the mishandling of Katrina's aftermath, a voice-over offered more polite -- or less controversial -- substitutions, such as during Stewart's conclusion:
"And George Bush hates black --" Stewart began.
"Sabbath," the voice-over concluded.
Indeed, if there was a term to describe the Emmy broadcast, it might be "weird."
"Lost" creator J.J. Abrams even used that word -- though it was to describe his feelings upon winning an award for his show.
Consider: Blue Man Group gave out the Emmy for best reality competition by wearing televisions in place of their heads, and rolling images on the TVs as if they were wheels on a slot machine. (The winner: "The Amazing Race.")
As part of an "Emmy Idol" competition, Donald Trump sang "Green Acres" and Shatner performed the "Star Trek" introduction. (Trump and his duet partner, Megan Mullally, were named the winners of "Emmy Idol.") The cast of "Family Guy" offered commentary. Garrett accepted his best supporting actor by puckishly dedicating his award to "Britney and our baby."
And host Ellen DeGeneres, after an uneven monologue, did bits in which she strolled into the parlor of the ladies' room to show the waiting women what they were missing, chatted with the show's timekeeper and asked for drinks at a conveniently located bar.
Thoughts and prayers
The offbeat segments changed the tone of a show that began rather somberly, with acknowledgment of Hurricane Katrina victims and remembrances of previous Emmy wins.
DeGeneres wasted little time addressing Katrina in her monologue.
"Our thoughts and our prayers go out to everyone affected," the host said, noting the magnolias worn by many celebrities in honor of Katrina's victims. DeGeneres is a New Orleans native who has relatives in Mississippi.
The comedian and talk show host, who also hosted the Emmy show after the September 11 attacks, said she was "honored [to host]. It's times like this that we really, really need laughter."
News was also at the center of a segment later in the evening, celebrating the careers of network anchors Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and the late Peter Jennings.
Brokaw and Rather were greeted by a rousing ovation.
David Letterman introduced a segment about his mentor, Johnny Carson, to a hushed audience with a combination of well-turned jokes and elegant respect. Carson died in January.
"You didn't really know how your day had been until you saw Johnny and his friends," said Letterman. "Whenever I drive on the freeways of Southern California, I still think of cutting off my Slauson [a reference to a famous Carson line about the 'Slauson cutoff']."
In a mild surprise, HBO's "Warm Springs" won best TV movie over "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers." The latter won awards for star Geoffrey Rush, director Stephen Hopkins and its scriptwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Hopkins, who is currently shooting a movie in Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- where many Katrina evacuees are staying -- seemed visibly moved when describing the spirit of the Louisiana capital.
Other winners included Hugh Jackman (for hosting the Tony Awards), Blythe Danner (for "Huff"), Paul Newman ("Empire Falls") and Jane Alexander, who played Sara Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt's mother, in "Warm Springs."
Alexander now has the distinction of winning an Emmy for playing Franklin's mother and being nominated for an Emmy for playing his wife, Eleanor -- which she did in both 1976's "Eleanor and Franklin" and 1977's "Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years."
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