The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards are currently underway, honouring the television shows that comforted us and kept us distracted through the unrelenting hell of the past year. Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, this year’s ceremony turned RuPaul into the most decorated Black artist in Emmys history, and awarded a slew of trophies to the cast of Ted Lasso.
The 2021 Emmys also upheld a few traditions. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series went to Last Week Tonight writers yet again, making this the sixth year in a row the show has won this category.
“We were only allowed a small number to come, so the show sent the hottest writers,” quipped writer Chrissy Shackelford, speaking on behalf of the team.
Though only four other writers apart from Shackelford were present to accept the award, the Emmy also honours Johnathan Appel, Ali Barthwell, Tim Carvell, Liz Hynes, Greg Iwinski, Mark Kramer, Daniel O’Brien, John Oliver, Owen Parsons, Charlie Redd, Joanna Rothkopf, Ben Silva, and Seena Vali.
Aside from the standard thanks to colleagues in her acceptance speech, Shackelford also took the opportunity to make a sly reference to actor Adam Driver — a fun inside joke for Last Week Tonight viewers.
Last Week Tonight had maintained a long-running joke about the Marriage Story actor since February 2020, with host John Oliver frequently peppering in requests that Driver “shatter my knees, you fuckable redwood,” or “snap off my toes, you big, unwashed buffalo.” This thirsty gag came to a head in November, when Driver himself appeared on the show to call Oliver an “underbaked gingerbread boy.”
It looked as though that would mark the well-earned retirement of the joke. However, it seems Oliver’s ostensible Driver obsession had one more laugh in it.
“Finally, we would like to dedicate this award to Adam Driver,” Shackelford said, concluding her Emmys speech. “He knows what he did, and we know what we’d like him to do.”