SAG Awards: 10 Most Memorable Moments

9:33 PM 1/27/2019

by Jasmyne Bell and Alexandra Del Rosario

A hint at the Robert Mueller probe was just one of the notable moments at Sunday night's show.

The 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards gave actors a chance to acknowledge the work of fellow artists, share breakthrough stories and thank those who supported them on the way up, with the silver anniversary of the awards show featuring a number of notable moments. 

While there were few shocks and surprises, the ceremony did have its share of memorable speeches and jokes.

Highlights include Alan Alda's moving acceptance speech for his lifetime achievement award and words of encouragement from actors like Jason Bateman and Sandra Oh. 

Read on for more highlights from the 2019 SAG Awards.  

  • 'Cosby Show' Actor References His Trader Joe's Job

    Geoffrey Owens referenced the viral photo of him working as a cashier at Trader Joe's during the traditional "I Am an Actor" opening at the 2019 SAG Awards.

    "Somewhere in the middle of the road in my life, I found myself in the dark wood of unemployment and debt, but instead of switching careers like a sane person, I took a job at a local Trader Joe's," Owens said Sunday night. "And it's actually worked out pretty well."

    Owens was shamed after the photo of him working at the grocery store went viral.

    After sharing his story Sunday night, the former Cosby Show actor received a resounding round of applause from the fellow SAG-AFTRA members around him. 

  • Megan Mullally Jokes About Awards Show and Industry's Lack of Representation

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner

    The Will and Grace actress made her awards show hosting debut with a slew of jokes. 

    After rounding off the traditional "I Am an Actor" opening skit by sharing her own story, Mullally went on to crack jokes about the fellow actors in the room and the works they're being recognized for.

    "[This is] the greatest honor an actor can receive — this weekend," Mullally said, poking fun at all the various awards shows taking place this month and next.

    The actress' stream of jokes didn't stop there; she also tackled the industry's problematic history with representation. Before she set up the punchline, Mullally noted the progress seen in the past year with works like Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther.

    "Hollywood did manage to get a few things right: they cast black people in Black Panther, Asians in Crazy Rich Asians and a green book in Green Book," she said. She continued her joke, "You know there was some executive saying, 'Could the book be white?'" 

  • Tracy Morgan Nearly Reveals Best Comedy Series Ensemble Winner Too Soon

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner

    As the presenter of best ensemble in a comedy series at the 2019 SAG Awards, Tracy Morgan made a quick quip about the 2014 car crash that left him in critical condition and facing a long recovery.

    "As a former winner, if you win this award tonight and get hit by a Walmart truck and survive ... you're gonna be set for life," the actor joked. 

    After he got laughs from the joke, Morgan nearly announced the winner of the category before the videotaped introduction of the nominees. As he started opening the envelope and began to announce the winner, voices from the audiences were heard encouraging him to back up.

  • Emily Blunt Thanks Husband John Krasinski in Her Acceptance Speech for 'A Quiet Place'

    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for Turner

    A Quiet Place's Emily Blunt won the SAG award for best actress in a supporting role. Blunt's acceptance speech was melting hearts as she announced how she wanted to share credit with her co-star and husband. 

    "I'm going to share this completely with my husband, John Krasinski," said Blunt. "You are a stunning filmmaker. Thank you for giving me the part; you would've been in major trouble if you hadn't."

    Blunt was also nominated for best actress in a leading role for her performance in Mary Poppins Returns.

  • The Real Ron Stallworth Joins 'BlacKkKlansman' Cast

    From left: John David Washington, Ron Stallworth and Adam Driver
    From left: John David Washington, Ron Stallworth and Adam Driver
    Getty Images

    The cast of BlacKkKlansman was in the audience for this year's SAG Awards  with a special guest. Ron Stallworth, who was portrayed in the film by John David Washington, sat among the ensemble, including Washington and Adam Driver. The film, based on Stallworth's memoir, centers on the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.

  • Patricia Arquette Thanks Robert Mueller for Supporting American Sovereignty

    Patricia Arquette received her award for best leading actress in a drama series at the 2019 SAG Awards from Glenn Close and Michael Douglas on Sunday night.

    She urged her fellow SAG-AFTRA members to push their employers to pay them for overtime and provide them the benefits they're entitled to. The Escape at Dannemora actress also thanked her fellow co-stars and supporters in addition to one surprising figure.

    "Thank you, [special counsel] Robert Mueller, and everyone working to make sure we have sovereignty in America," she said.

  • Alan Alda Gets Standing Ovation

    Kevin Winter/Getty

    Alan Alda, born Alphonso D'Abruzzo, got a standing ovation from his fellow actors upon receiving SAG-AFTRA's Life Achievement Award.

    The 2019 SAG Award nominee began his speech after jokingly checking his watch to see how long the audience had been applauding for him. The actor, celebrated for a variety of roles, including those in M*A*S*H, The West Wing and ER, spoke of the importance of acting during his acceptance speech. 

    "It may never have been more urgent to see the world through another person's eyes when the world is so divided ... actors can help a little with what we do," he said. "Let's stay playful; let's have fun. Let's keep searching."

  • Jason Bateman Encourages Struggling Actors to Keep at It

    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The Ozark star accepted the award for best actor in a drama series by commenting on the nature of the industry, and giving a word of advice to actors who may be losing hope in themselves. 

    "We're liars up there, and we're hoping people will buy it," he says about acting. "You're just one job away. That job for me was Arrested Development. You're plenty talented, just hang in there."  

    Bateman was also nominated for best ensemble in a drama series for Ozark.

  • Sandra Oh Wins Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series

    After her history-making win at the Golden Globes, Sandra Oh was recognized once again for her talents. 

    The Killing Eve star gave an emotional speech, thanking her peers for uplifting her throughout the years. From Jamie Foxx to Lena Waithe, she recalled their encouragements to her throughout her career. 

    "I have felt your support so tremendously in the past years," she said with gratitude.

  • 'Black Panther' Makes History With Best Ensemble Win

    A best ensemble win — the equivalent of SAG-AFTRA's best picture prize — for the Black Panther cast left star Chadwick Boseman in shock, as he admitted he did not expect that he would have to speak. The win for the Marvel film counts not only as a win for the cast, but as a win for young, gifted black actors, he said. 

    Boseman expressed how he is constantly asked the question: Is this film changing the industry? He said, "We all know what it's like to be told, 'There is not a place for you to be featured,' yet you are young, gifted and black. We know what it's like to be told, 'There's not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on.' We know what's it like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it's like to be beneath and not above."

    His speech, while inspirational and important, was interrupted by music that was meant to cue Boseman to wrap it up. "Don't give me the music," he said. "I just have to say, it's a pleasure to be celebrated by you and loved by you. I know you can't have a Black Panther now without a 2 on it."

    The movie made history as the first superhero pic and the biggest box-office earner to ever win the guild's top prize.