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'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Saturday Night Live' Win Big at Emmy Awards


The Handmaid's Tale cast and crew pose with their Emmys.

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Hollywood honored its biggest stars of television Sunday night at the 69th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

The Handmaid’s Tale was one of the night’s major winners. It took the prize for best drama television series. And its star, Elizabeth Moss won for best lead actress in a drama series. She plays one of the few fertile women left in a totalitarian world.

The best comedy series award went to Veep, a show about a fictional U.S. politician. It was the third win in a row for the series.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room with her awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series for "Veep" at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room with her awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series for "Veep" at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Julia Louis Dreyfus, the star of Veep, won for best comedy actress for the sixth time in a row. She now has more Emmys for the same role than any other actor.

Several other stars made Emmy history Sunday, as well. Lena Waithe became the first African-American woman to win for comedy writing. She won for her work on the Netflix show Master of None. ​Donald Glover became the first African-American to win for comedy series directing. He earned the honor for his work on the show Atlanta.

Lena Waithe, from left, Riz Ahmed, and Donald Glover attend the Governors Ball for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy
Lena Waithe, from left, Riz Ahmed, and Donald Glover attend the Governors Ball for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy

And Riz Ahmed became the first Asian man to win a best actor award. He won in the limited series or movie group for his work on The Night Of. He played a Pakistani/Iranian-American college student who is accused of murder.

Saturday Night Live won the most Emmys of any show this year. It won the Emmy for best variety show. And the actors who play President Donald Trump and former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton -- Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon -- both won Emmys for supporting roles in a comedy.

Trump a big part of show

Trump was a major subject throughout the award show.

Comedian Stephen Colbert was the host of the show. At the start, he made several jokes about Trump. He recalled the president’s comment about never having won an Emmy for his work on the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice.

Colbert joked that Trump would not have run for president if he had been able to win the top U.S. television award.

Sean Spicer speaks at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Sean Spicer speaks at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

The president’s former press secretary, Sean Spicer, made a surprise appearance Sunday night. He rolled out onto the stage on an electric version of the White House lectern, from where he used to take questions from members of the media.

Another Saturday Night Live cast member, Melissa McCarthy, won an Emmy for playing Spicer. In her television impersonation of Spicer, she often used a motorized lectern.

On Sunday night, Spicer himself declared this year’s awards show the most-watched Emmys ever, mocking his own false statement about a record audience for Trump’s inauguration in Washington eight months earlier.

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VOA News and the Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

drama - n. a play, movie, television show, or radio show that is about a serious subject and is not meant to make the audience laugh

totalitarian - adj. controlling the people of a country in a very strict way with complete power that cannot be opposed

comedy - n. a play, movie, television program, novel, etc., that is meant to make people laugh

fictional - adj. written stories about people and events that are not real : literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer

variety - n. a type of entertainment that has many short performances (such as dances, skits, and songs) which follow one another and that are not related

lectern - n. a stand that holds a book, notes, etc., for someone who is reading, speaking, or teaching

impersonate - v. to pretend to be (another person)

mock - v. to laugh at or make fun of (someone or something) especially by copying an action or a way of behaving or speaking

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Full List of Emmy Award Winners:

Drama Series: “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Directing, Drama: Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Actor, Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us.”

Actress, Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: John Lithgow, “The Crown.”

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Comedy Series: “Veep.”

Directing, Comedy: Donald Glover, “Atlanta.”

Actor, Comedy Series: Donald Glover, “Atlanta.”

Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep.”

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live.”

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live.”

Variety Talk Series: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

Variety, Writing Series: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

Variety Sketch Series: “Saturday Night Live.”

Writing, Drama: Bruce Miller, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Limited Series: “Big Little Lies.”

Directing, Limited Movie or Special: Jean-Marc Vallee, “Big Little Lies.”

Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of.”

Actress, Limited Series or Movie: Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies.”

Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies.”

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie: Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies.”

Writing, Limited Series, Movie or Special: Charlie Brooker, “Black Mirror: San Junipero.”

Directing, Variety: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live.”

Writing, Comedy: Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, “Master of None.”

Reality Competition Program: “The Voice.”

Television Movie: “Black Mirror.”

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