Emmy Awards 2023 highlights: 'Grey's Anatomy' reunion, 'Succession' ends big and Canadian chef Matty Matheson accepts 'The Bear' award

The Emmys were an eventful evening, including historic wins, LGBTQ+ advocacy, a Matthew Perry "Friends" tribute and standing ovation for Christina Applegate

Emmy Awards 2023 highlights: 'Grey's Anatomy' reunion, 'Succession' ends big and Canadian chef Matty Matheson accepts 'The Bear' award (Getty Images)
Emmy Awards 2023 highlights: 'Grey's Anatomy' reunion, 'Succession' ends big and Canadian chef Matty Matheson accepts 'The Bear' award (Getty Images)

The 2023 Emmy Awards (which took place in 2024), proved that Succession, The Bear and Beef were the most acclaimed shows of the last year.

FX series The Bear was awarded the Emmy for the best comedy series, with Canadian chef and restauranteur, Matty Matheson, stepping up to the mic for the acceptance speech.

Succession received the award for best drama series, for the final season of the show, beating out the popular first season of HBO's The Last of Us and the second season of The White Lotus.

The Netflix hit Beef received five awards on Monday night, including for its stars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun.

If you missed the eventful night recognizing the best in TV, here are the highlights from the 2023 Emmy Awards:

'Cheers,' 'Community' and original 'Grey's Anatomy' cast reunions

The big theme of the Emmys was reunions, including Cheers, Community, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Sopranos, All in the Family, Ally McBeal and original cast members of Grey's Anatomy.

The It's Always Sunny cast, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito, and the cast of Martin, Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Carl Anthony Payne II, and Tichina Arnold, all joked about not winning any Emmy Awards for their shows.

A decade has past since Katherine Heigl was at the Emmys, but she came on stage with her Grey's Anatomy co-stars Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chamber and James Pickens Jr.

"When the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy aired in March of 2005, I’m not sure if Shonda Rhimes knew that she had created a show that would have a lasting imprint on television and create lifelong friendships,” Pompeo said.

“And yes, there have been changes over the years. But the one constant is the amazing fanbase," Heigl added.

Grey's Anatomy is the longest-running prime time medical drama in television history.

Actors Joel McHale and Ken Jeong speak onstage during the 75th Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on January 15, 2024. (Photo by Valerie Macon / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Actors Joel McHale and Ken Jeong speak onstage during the 75th Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on January 15, 2024. (Photo by Valerie Macon / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

While we're still anxiously waiting for that Community movie, fans at least got a small reunion watching the Emmys when Joel McHale and Ken Jeong presented the award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program, which went to RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Christina Applegate arrives to a standing ovation

In a strong start to the ceremony, Christina Applegate announced the first award of the night, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, which went to Ayo Edebiri for The Bear.

Applegate had tears in her eyes as she walked out, with host Anthony Anderson, to a standing ovation from the crowd. The actor announced in 2021 that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

"Oh my god, you’re totally shaming me with disability by standing up," Applegate joked.

Canadian chef accepts Emmy for 'The Bear'

If you in live in Toronto, or have visited Toronto, you've likely been advised to go to one of Matty Matheson's restaurants over the years. Now he's become an internationally recognized TV star from playing Neil on The Bear, his very first acting role.

When the show won one of the biggest awards of the night, best comedy series, Matheson was tasked with giving the Emmy Award acceptance speech.

"I just want to thank restaurants as a whole, hospitality as a whole," he said as co-star Ebon Moss-Bachrach gave him a kiss on the mouth.

"I just love restaurants so much. The good, the bad. It's rough. We're all broken inside and every single day we've got to show up and cook, and make people feel good by eating something and sitting at a table. And it's really beautiful. And all of us here, we get to make a show together and we get to make people feel good, or filled with anxiety, or triggered. ... But this is really amazing. It's beautiful."

Matthew Perry 'Friends' tribute

With Friends star Matthew Perry included in the In Memoriam portion of the Emmy Awards, there was an emotional tribute to the American-Canadian actor.

The music shifted from Charlie Puth performing "See You Again," to the Friends theme song "I'll Be There For You," as Perry's image came across a screen.

Pedro Pascal, Kieran Culkin are still our favourite duo

The duo we loved during the Golden Globes, Pedro Pascal and Kieran Culkin, continued their awards show jabs at the Emmys.

Pascal presented the award for best supporting actor in a drama series to Succession star Matthew Macfadyen, but started by addressing why his arm is in a sling.

"I think tonight is a perfect time to tell everyone that Kieran Culkin beat the shit out of me," Pascal said.

This came after Culkin said, "Suck it, Pedro," in his Golden Globes acceptance speech last week.

Later on in the Emmys ceremony, Culkin won the award for lead actor in a drama series, where he announced to the world, and his wife, that he wants more children.

Niecy Nash-Betts: 'I’m a winner, baby!'

Niecy Nash-Betts gave one of the most memorable acceptance speeches of the night, after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series, for the Netflix series Dahmer.

"I’m a winner, baby!" Nash-Betts shouted from the stage. "I want to thank me, for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do."

"Finally, I accept this award on behalf of every Black and Brown woman who has gone unheard, yet over-policed, like Glenda Cleveland, like Sandra Bland, like Breonna Taylor."

RuPaul is the most awarded host for a reality or competition show

When RuPaul and Drag Race stars got up on stage to accept the award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program, it marked the fifth time the show won this award. RuPaul is also the most awarded host of a reality or TV competition show, with eight consecutive wins.

The show's host used the acceptance speech as a moment to call out anti-drag laws.

"You guys are just pure lovely for honouring our show and recognizing all these queens," RuPaul said. "We have released into the wild hundreds of drag queens and they’re beautiful. On behalf of all them, we thank you."

"And listen, if a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her. Because knowledge is power and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you. So listen to a drag queen. We love you, thank you."

Later in the evening the organization GLAAD received the Governors Award, with Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, accepting the Emmy on stage.

"More people say they have seen a ghost than know a transgender person," Ellis said. "When you don't know people, it's easy to demonize them."

"Visibility creates understanding and it opens doors. It's life-saving. Our community has achieved so much, and yet, we are still being victimized and villainized with cruel and harmful lies. Sharing stories is the antidote and now is the time to take action."

Ayo Edebiri's sweet message to her parents

After having the best acceptance speech of the night at last week's Golden Globes, Edebiri did it again at the Emmys, after winning the award for best supporting actress in a comedy series for The Bear.

"This is a show about family and found family, and real family, and my parents are here tonight and I’m making them sit far away from me because I’m a bad kid, but I love you guys so much," she said. "Thank you so much for loving me and letting me feel beautiful and Black and proud of all of that. I just love you so much."

"Probably not a dream to immigrate to this country and have your daughter be like, 'I want to do improv,' but you're real ones."

'Beef' success and Steven Yeun opens up about 'judgement' of his character

The Netflix series Beef was incredibly successful in the 2023 Emmys, after its recognition at the Golden Globes as well.

Ali Wong and Steven Yeun both won Emmys in lead acting categories for a limited series. Beef also won for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, and Lee Sung Jin for won for Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.

In his acceptance speech, Yeun opened up about what he learned from playing Danny.

"There were days when it was difficult to live in Danny’s skin," he said. "Sometimes I wanted to judge him. Sometimes I wanted to make fun of him."

"[Our on-set photographer, Andrew Cooper,] pulled me aside and he’s like, ‘Never bail on Danny.' I want to say thank you to Danny for teaching me that judgment and shame is a lonely place, but compassion and grace is where we can all meet."

Quinta Brunson makes history with 'Abbott Elementary'

Quinta Brunson made history at the 2023 Emmys, becoming the first Black woman to win the award for lead actress in a comedy in 42 years. The award was previously won by Isabel Sanford in 1981 for The Jeffersons.

"I love making Abbott Elementary so much and I am so happy to be able to live my dream and act out comedy, and I say it every time, but I just love comedy so much that I am so happy to be able to get this," Brunson said in an emotional speech.

"I love my mom, my dad, my sisters, my brothers. My entire family so much. I love my husband. I'm so happy. I love my cast. I love Abbott Elementary. Thank you so much."

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reunite in SNL style

Iconic Saturday Night Live (SNL) alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler may have been the most exciting reunion of the night, doing a Weekend Update-style presentation for the award for Outstanding Variety Special to Elton John: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.

"We've reached the stage in life where we'll only present awards sitting down," Fey said, before the pair introduced the nominees.

John's award win means he's official an EGOT award winner.