‘It means the world to me’: Kansas City’s Jason Sudeikis, ‘Ted Lasso’ win big Emmys

·5 min read

Just as Jason Sudeikis’ character wins over the most jaded reporters with his unbeatable folksy optimism, “Ted Lasso” had world-weary pundits across the land rooting for the hit comedy to score big at the 73rd Emmy Awards on Sunday night.

Believe, as Ted would say.

Emmy voters did just that, bestowing four statuettes in major categories, on top of three technical awards the show won the previous weekend.

As expected, the show, about a Kansas football coach trying to lead and inspire a British soccer team, won best comedy series, and Sudeikis won best actor in a comedy series.

“This show is about family, this show is about mentors and teachers, this show is about teammates. And I wouldn’t be here without those three things in my life,” Sudeikis, who grew up in Overland Park, said in accepting his acting award, wearing a teal velvet Tom Ford tuxedo with a black bow tie, minus his character’s trademark mustache.

“I’m only as good as you guys make me look. So really it means the world to me to be up here and just be a mirror of what you guys give to me and then we reflect back-and-forth on each other.”

Another show set in Britain, Netflix’s “The Crown,” won the most awards Sunday night, seven, including best drama and four drama acting awards. Netflix’s chess drama “The Queen’s Gambit” won the highly competitive limited series prize, beating HBO’s detective mystery “Mare of Easttown,” which acquitted itself with three acting awards.

With “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, the top three awards all went to shows on streaming services, a first for the Emmys.

In the first award of the evening, Hannah Waddingham won best supporting actress in a comedy. “Jason, you’ve changed my life with this,” she told “Ted Lasso” creator and star Jason Sudeikis.
In the first award of the evening, Hannah Waddingham won best supporting actress in a comedy. “Jason, you’ve changed my life with this,” she told “Ted Lasso” creator and star Jason Sudeikis.

The evening kicked off with a double dose of “Ted Lasso” love.

The first award of the night, best supporting actress in a comedy, went to Hannah Waddingham, who plays team owner Rebecca. “Jason, you’ve changed my life with this, and more importantly my baby girl’s,” she told Sudeikis from the podium. “Honestly, I’m so privileged to work with you.”

Among the nominees she defeated: co-star Juno Temple, who plays girlfriend/influencer Keeley Jones. “There is no Rebecca without Keeley,” Waddingham told her co-star, through tears.

Right after that, the award for best supporting actor in a comedy went to Brett Goldstein, aka grumpy, foul-mouthed soccer star Roy Kent. “I was very, very specifically told I’m not allowed to swear so …,” he said, and then was promptly muted (or maybe he was just miming for comic effect). What we did hear: “This cast makes me sick they’re so good.”

Brett Goldstein won the Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy. Among the other nominees: three of his co-stars. “This cast makes me sick they’re so good,” he said in his acceeptance speech.
Brett Goldstein won the Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy. Among the other nominees: three of his co-stars. “This cast makes me sick they’re so good,” he said in his acceeptance speech.

Among his competition were three of his co-stars: Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), Nick Mohammed (Nate the Great) and Jeremy Swift (ever-helpful assistant Higgins).

In all, “Ted Lasso” had been nominated for 20 Emmys, a record for a new comedy series. In addition to starring, Sudeikis is also a producer and writer on the the show and laced season one with Kansas City references.

“Ted Lasso” didn’t fare as well in other categories Sunday night. It went in with three nominations for directing and two for writing, but HBO’s “Hacks” took both of those honors (as well as best actress for Jean Smart).

Because “Ted Lasso” was competing against itself in a few categories, the most awards it could have won on Sunday was six.

The other nominees for best comedy were “black-ish,” “Cobra Kai,” “Emily in Paris,” “Hacks,” “The Flight Attendant,” “The Kominsky Method” and “PEN15.”

The other nominees for best actor in a comedy were Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”; Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”; William H. Macy, “Shameless”; and Kenan Thompson, “Kenan.”

The previous weekend, “Ted Lasso” picked up three more awards at the Creative Arts Emmys for casting, sound mixing and picture editing (for season finale “The Hope That Kills You” — it was also nominated in that category for “Make Rebecca Great Again”). The show was also up for best production design, sound editing and theme music.

“Ted Lasso” was coming off a winning year. Sudeikis and the show already pulled in statuettes at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Writers Guild Awards, among others. Last week, “Ted Lasso” dominated the Television Critics Association awards, winning three top honors for Outstanding New Program, Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and Program of the Year.

“The cast shines, the writing crackles, and it pairs the rhythm of a classic sitcom with the heart of a sports movie,” Seth Meyers, Sudeikis’ fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum, wrote in an essay about him published this past week for Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People of 2021.” “It’s hard to make something this good look so easy.”

“The Crown” won best drama series and all four drama acting Emmy Awards on Sunday, including best actress for the queen herself, Olivia Colman.
“The Crown” won best drama series and all four drama acting Emmy Awards on Sunday, including best actress for the queen herself, Olivia Colman.

List of Emmy winners

Here are Sunday night’s main winners:

Comedy series: “Ted Lasso.”

Drama series: “The Crown”

Limited series: “The Queen’s Gambit”

Actress, drama series: Olivia Colman, “The Crown”

Actor, drama series: Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

Actress, comedy series: Jean Smart, “Hacks”

Actor, comedy series: Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Actress, limited series or TV movie: Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown.”

Actor, limited series or TV movie: Ewan McGregor, “Halston”

Reality-competition program: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Variety talk series: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

Variety sketch series: “Saturday Night Live”

Variety special (pre-recorded): “Hamilton”

Variety special (live): “Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020”

Supporting actress, drama series: Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”

Supporting actor, drama series: Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”

Supporting actress, comedy series: Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”

Supporting actor, comedy series: Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”

Supporting actress, limited series or TV movie: Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown”

Supporting actor, limited series or TV movie: Evan Peters, “Mare of Easttown”

Governors Award: Debbie Allen

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