“All I wanted to be was a clown in the circus when I was a kid growing up,” said Stonestreet, who plays a boisterous gay dad and partner. He thanked his parents for their support and promised to send his trophy home with them.
Lynch also thanked her folks along with her wife, Lara Embry. The pair married in Massachusetts in May.
“This is outlandish. … I want to thank my lord and creator, Ryan Murphy, for creating his role,” Lynch said, paying tribute to the “Glee” executive producer.
“Top Chef” won best reality series, ending the seven-year winning streak of “The Amazing Race.”
Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” won its eighth consecutive Emmy Award for best variety, music or comedy series. The victory kept Conan O’Brien from claiming an Emmy for his short-lived stint as “Tonight” host.
George Clooney accepted the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award from his former “ER” co-star, Julianna Margulies, who lauded his fundraising efforts for victims of this year’s earthquake in Haiti, the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Clooney, recalling evenings spent with Bob and Dolores Hope at the home of his aunt, singer Rosemary Clooney, said he was inspired by the late comedian and his wife, now 101.
“If you look at everything they accomplished in their lives … They’re the best version of the term ‘celebrity,’” Clooney said.
Jewel sang her song “Hole in My Heart” during a memorial tribute to prominent TV figures, including Robert Culp, Soupy Sales, Dixie Carter, Gary Coleman, John Forsythe and “Roots” producer David L. Wolper.
“Temple Grandin,” based on the life of the gifted, autistic animal sciences expert, was honored as best TV movie and earned Emmys for its star, Claire Danes, and supporting acting trophies for Julia Ormond and David Strathairn. The film’s director, Mick Jackson, also was honored.
Al Pacino was honored as best lead actor in a miniseries or movie for “You Don’t Know Jack,” about euthanasia advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who was in the audience and stood, smiling, at Pacino’s request. The controversial physician received scattered applause.
Host Jimmy Fallon opened the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards on a musical note, performing a song-and-dance number with the cast of “Glee” and a wildly mismatched group of celebrities including Betty White, Jon Hamm, Kate Gosselin and Randy Jackson.
Much of the group ended up on the Nokia Theatre stage to kick off the awards with a high-energy version of “Born to Run,” with Fallon on guitar.
“Tonight we’re going to celebrate your work,” Fallon told the audience. “So let’s have some fun tonight.”