Emmys: Jimmy Kimmel, Anthony Carrigan Spoof USPS Controversy With Mailman Bit


The 'Barry' actor played a mail carrier with a Russian accent from St. Petersberg, "Florida."

Emmys presenters and honorees didn't shy away from addressing politics on the eve of the 2020 presidential election — not even this year's postal service controversy was spared.

Between early awards at Sunday night's live (albeit primarily virtual) ceremony, Anthony Carrigan (from HBO's Barry) arrived onstage at the Staples Center in a USPS mail carrier's outfit carrying the next category's envelope. When Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel asked where his usual mailman was, Carrigan, calling himself "Derek" and speaking in a Russian accent, responded, "I am new mailman. Old mailman have unfortunate accident." (Carrigan plays a Chechen mobster on Barry.)

"Oh no, I hope he's okay," Kimmel said.

"He is not," Carrigan quickly responded.

Carrigan then identified that he was from St. Petersberg, "Florida," and began working for the postal service right before the 2016 election. He then asked Kimmel for his mail-in voting ballot for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. (Kimmel said he would mail his in from home.)

When Kimmel demanded the winners' envelopes, Derek began listing some winners' names before the night's host stopped him. "This is super quiet, okay, you can trust," Carrigan said. Referencing how the postmaster general has cut employee overtime hours and post office hours, leading to concerns about mail-in ballots during the upcoming November election, Carrigan responded, "Everything is okay at the U.S.S. PS."

"Thank the mail carriers and the postal service for everything they do," Kimmel said, bidding him adieu.

"Don't mention it. Seriously, do not mention it," Carrigan responded.

Apart from the postal service, Kimmel also nodded to 2020's turbulent political atmosphere in his monologue. "This has been a year of division, injustice, disease, Zoom school, disaster and death," he said. "What did we find in that dark and lonely tunnel? I'll tell you what we found, our friend, who is there for 24 hours a day, our television."

Later, in a comedy bit prior to the outstanding writing for a comedy series prize, presenter Tracee Ellis Ross joked that naming a winner would promote the "dividedness of the country." After performing the customary comedy bit before presenting the prize, she said she was going home. When Kimmel said she needed to announce the winner, she retorted, "Jimmy, people are very fragile right now and I am fragile right now, so good night." When he continued to ask her to present the award, she added, "Don't you think that there's enough dividedness in this country right now? Isn't art subjective?"

Once he convinced her the gift bag had a census form, pointed out her polling location and had a "bejeweled face mask," she named the winner (Schitt's Creek's Daniel Levy).

While accepting the night's award for best comedy series, Schitt's Creek co-creator and star Daniel Levy implored viewers to vote. "Go out and vote because that is the only way we will have love and acceptance out there. I am so sorry for making this political, but I had to," he said. Watchmen actor Regina King also urged viewers to vote in her acceptance speech: "Gotta vote," she said. "I would be remiss not to mention that [after] being part of a prescient show like Watchmen."

Several award winners also wore justice-oriented messages on tee shirts: King and Mrs. America actor Uzo Aduba wore tee shirts mentioning Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police when they entered her home on a no-knock search warrant in March. Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof wore a tee shirt saying "Remember Tulsa '21," referring to the Tulsa Massacre that also features in his HBO show.

The presidential campaign for former vice president Joe Biden also aired several ads during red-carpet coverage and the awards show. The ads featured real voters struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the Trump administration's ensuing response. Amazon Studios also aired an ad for Stacey Abrams' voter suppression documentary All In: The Fight For Democracy.

The 72nd annual Emmy Awards, hosted in 2020 by Jimmy Kimmel, aired live on ABC at 5 p.m. PT. Of the ceremony's presenters and honorees, only Kimmel spoke from Los Angeles' Staples Center; the rest shot themselves remotely.