LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A makeshift hallway outside the back door of the Shrine Auditorium was the scene of nearly as much Emmy action as the stage. After accepting their stand-in trophies on stage, the winners paraded past a table under a white tent and collected their real statuettes.
Many lingered to smoke, hang out with friends and even shed a few tears before heading through a set of blue curtains into an adjacent room to field questions from the assembled media.
Actor Tony Shalhoub was reeling after his win for best actor in a comedy series for USA’s Monk.
"All the blood rushed out of my head, and I got dry mouth," he confessed. "I felt like I should be watching someone else get it."
Blythe Danner, winner of the best supporting actress award for a drama series, fanned herself with her winner’s envelope to cool down on the hot night.
Charlie and Martin Sheen took a cigarette break after presenting an award together. They were joined by Friends star and presenter Matthew Perry.
Actor Jeremy Irons popped a hand-rolled smoke into his mouth and lit it before picking up his trophy for best supporting actor for a miniseries or movie.
Asked how it felt, he answered, "heavy."
"Always nice when you’re nominated and actually win," he said.
American Idol judge Simon Cowell grabbed a smoke, too, after introducing a tribute to Dick Clark.
Presenter Tina Fey took a spill while heading down a set of stairs. She recovered and threw her arms into the air as though seeking applause for a performance.
"I have giant bruises already," she said before going back inside the auditorium.
Actor Jeremy Piven, winner of the best supporting actor award for comedy for HBO’s Entourage, got teary eyed after thanking his father on stage during his acceptance speech.
"That was crazy," Piven told a friend who gave him a hug as he picked up his Emmy.
None of the awards had been engraved yet. Television academy representative Louise Danton said nameplates would soon be mailed to all the winners.
"Just pick one?" Piven asked her. "I’d better pick a good one."
Barry Manilow, winner of the statuette for individual performance in a variety or music program, asked, "How much are they?"
"Priceless," Danton answered.
Andre Braugher asked Manilow for his autograph while picking up his award for best actor in a miniseries or movie.
Behind Piven came Kelly Macdonald, winner of the best supporting actress award for a miniseries or movie for her role in HBO’s The Girl in the Cafe.
"I expected to be nervous for a while, and then for someone else to win it," she said.
The trophies had arrived in cardboard boxes and were carefully unwrapped by assistants in tuxedoes.
They were lined up in gleaming glory on either side of a notebook, where the winners signed their name to collect their prize. A nearby video monitor showed the action inside the auditorium.