Hard to believe my feet held out but I managed to hit the trifecta of post-Emmy parties — "Entertainment Tonight"/People, HBO and AMC. To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy (with apologies), all happy families are alike, and all Emmy after-parties are fun in their own way.
The "Entertainment Tonight"-People magazine bash at Vibiana was bouncy and upbeat — a good place to eat with Susan Feniger making the rounds and plugging her eats. I ate my share of those mini ice cream sandwiches and mini chocolate-dipped cones provided by Milk (yum!).
A few laps around the venue where you can still see plenty of evidence of the cathedral that it once was and just as the night's surprise guest, Mary J. Blige, got cranking, we made a dash for the 40-pound swag bag and the valet line. (I had good luck with valet parking all night — no tortuous waits at all.)
HBO was the spectacle of spectacles, as always — HUGE crowd at the Pacific Design Center. Big dance floor with a very energetic Afro-Cuban percussion band perched on the second story to keep the atmosphere pulsating. A short set of vintage Michael Jackson tunes also got people off their seats.
AMC was a nice post 1 a.m. capper at the Chateau Marmont. It was quite busy — the "Flight of the Conchords" dudes arrived shortly before 2 a.m. — but somehow still intimate, and of course had the winner's aura that was visible from Sunset Boulevard. It also had more smokers per capita than any other event (why am I not surprised?).
Matt Weiner was soaking up the congratulations and promising us that we ain't seen nothing yet as far as this season was concerned. Two sweet moments observed while squeezing my way around the crowd: Jon Hamm and January Jones playfully going it at as if they were, well, an old married couple, and Hamm
administering a bear hug to Bryan Cranston for winning in the category in which Hamm was nommed. They say character is what you do when no one's looking, and I'd also say that character is what you do as 2 a.m. approaches on an awards night after (presumably) a few drinks.
I enjoyed the heck out of each event, but was most touched by a moment with actress Shohreh Aghdashloo
at the HBO party. After talking about her win for "House of Saddam," I asked her about the comments she made backstage about the green rubber bracelet (pictured right) she was wearing as a symbol of support for her fellow Iranians who are fighting for democracy and protesting the official results of the June presidential election.
Her eloquence on the situation facing her homeland is facing was quite stirring, and it reminded me that the problem hasn't gone away just because it's moved off the front pages of U.S. newspapers. As we spoke, she took off her bracelet, inscribed "I Am Iran," and slipped it onto my wrist. I'm honored to wear it.
(More to come on the Emmy party scene once I get a second wind and maybe 20 winks…)