The evening at the Nokia Theater remains a bit of a blur to the actor who was on hand with the rest of the cast at TCA to start spreading the word on season two, which begins March 8 on AMC.
"I had three previous Emmy nominations that I didn't win, so I was comfortable not winning," he joked, referring to his years on "Malcom in the Middle." "My wife was getting nervous, though, and started to get sweaty palms."
And when he heard his name called — and not Jon Hamm of "Mad Men (another AMC show), who many expected to take home the prize — it didn't initially register.
"For the first millisecond, I went, 'Oh, that sounds familiar. Oh my God, that's me!' Then the one thought I had, after kissing my family, was please let me put a sentence together. Hopefully, whatever I said was coherent and appreciative."
Added series creator-exec producer Vince Gilligan, "It was one of the finest moments of my life. I knew it would be great for the marketing of the show, and it felt so unexpected. I've never had kids but this was the best moment of my life.
Chimed in Cranston: "I've had kids and it's better to win the award."
Gilligan says, in retrospect, it was fortuitous that the first season was shortened to seven episodes due to the writers strike.
"I wanted to have a slam bang season ending that would’ve been too much too soon," he explains. "For the second season, we didn’t pick up where we left off. The strike saved us from doing too much too soon."
— Stuart Levine