Jason Sudeikis wins first Emmy, thanks Chicago improv teachers

His “Ted Lasso” is named best comedy and co-stars Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein also are honored.

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Jason Sudeikis accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for “Ted Lasso” during the Primetime Emmy Awards.


LOS ANGELES — Feel-good soccer comedy “Ted Lasso” scored at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, winning the best comedy series Emmy after castmates Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein all earned acting honors.

Jason Sudeikis, who plays the title character in the Apple TV+ show about a happy-go-lucky American football coach hired to head a British soccer team, won the Emmy Award for best actor in a comedy series.

“This show is about family, this show is about mentors and teachers, this show is about teammates,” Sudeikis said before offering a litany of thanks to his own family members and castmates.

He expressed gratitude to three Chicago theaters where he performed early in his career — Second City, iO and the Annoyance — singling out one local teacher and director, Mick Napier.

It was the first career acting Emmy for Sudeikis, also a producer of “Ted Lasso.” The former “Saturday Night Live” actor also tried to thank that show’s mastermind Lorne Michaels but found he was missing from his seat.

“I want to thank Lorne, who went to go take a dump, now, perfect,” Sudeikis joked.

An ebullient Waddingham, winner of the best supporting actress award for a comedy, said Sudeikis “changed my life with this, and more importantly my baby girl’s.”

Goldstein, who won the counterpart award for supporting actor, said he had promised not to swear and either mimed or was muted for a few seconds, then called the show the “privilege and pleasure” of his life.

Jean Smart of the generation-gap story “Hacks” won the comedy series actress trophy and began her acceptance speech on a somber note: Her husband actor, Richard Gilliland, died six months ago.

“I would not be here without him” and his willingness to put her career first, said Smart. She also praised their two children as “courageous individuals in their own right.”

Olivia Colman, who won an Oscar for playing one queen of England in “The Favourite,” took home an Emmy for playing another. She was named best actress in a drama series Sunday for playing Queen Elizabeth II in the fourth season of Netflix’s “The Crown.”

With trophies also going to “The Crown” stars Josh O’Connor, Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies, the show swept all four dramatic acting categories and also was named best drama series.

“Halston” star Ewan McGregor won best actor in a limited series or TV movie for his performance as the famed fashion designer, and Kate Winslet was presented the best actress award for her tough Philly accent in “Mare of Easttown.”

“Mare” co-stars Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters claimed best supporting acting honors, and both saluted Winslet.

“Man, you’re good at acting. But turns out you’re good at caring for a whole production,” Nicholson said.

The show opened with a musical number that featured host Cedric the Entertainer rapping a modified version of the Biz Markie hip-hop hit “Just a Friend” with lyrics like “TV, you got what I need.” LL Cool J bounded from the audience as stars like Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore and more dropped verses celebrating the breadth of television.

Seth Rogen presented the first award, throwing some cold water on the celebratory vibe by noting that the Emmys were being held in a giant tent. “There’s way too many of us in this little room,” he exclaimed in what seemed to be an attempt to be funny that fell flat.

“Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided.”

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