There were exactly two events at last night’s otherwise ho-hum Emmys that applied to the social media landscape: Tracy Morgan’s “pass out” and Claire Dane’s “holla!”
Morgan, formerly the brilliant “Astronaut Jones” on SNL, now of “30 Rock,” was “innocently selected” by Emmy host Jimmy Kimmelto participate in an ABC advertisement masquerading as a social media prank. Kimmel instructed Morgan to “pass out on stage for about 10 minutes or so” and then everyone in the audience and at home would tweet “OMG Tracy Morgan just passed out at the Emmy’s. Turn on ABC now!” As Tracy went down, he instructed Kimmel to “hold my nunchuks” before producing the ancient ninja weapon. Good work, Astronaut Jones.
Tracy played the part convincingly, lying there through the presenting of the award Best Writing For A Drama and even during a commercial break. Eventually, members of TV shows, “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family” ended up dragging him off the stage as Morgan wailed, “Tell Kerry Washington I’m okay!”
During that time, roughly 25,000 tweets were sent out, including from members of the audience Stephen Colbert and Joel McHale. By most media accounts, specifically Twitter TV, who tracks Twitter trends, the stunt was a success. By my personal estimation, the prank was a fail, as only one person “in my vast circle” participated in, or was fooled by, Kimmel and Morgan’s antics (and for once, it wasn’t me). Perhaps that’s more a statement of how few young people bother to watch the Emmys… or the unpopularity of my social media connections.
The far more organic event at the Emmy’s that sent Twitter trending was “Homeland” star, Claire Dane’s shoutout “Mandy Patinkin, holla!” to her co-star during the acceptance speech for her Best Actress award. Sunday into Monday, the talk was on it becoming THE next meme; tabloid site Gawker, in their bid to quantify the event, even called it “the new Angelina Jolie’s leg.” I don’t know about that — it’s certainly no Jay Cutler smoking.
Check out Kimmel and Morgan’s Emmy stunt below: