As consummate TV freaks, we love September because that's when our favorite award show of the year — the Emmys — airs.
The 60th Prime Time Emmy Awards are this Sunday. We're rooting for a "30 Rock" sweep. Alec Baldwin's already won Emmy gold, but nothing would make us happier than to see the brilliant Tina Fey join the ranks of Mary Tyler Moore and Bea Arthur — partly because she proves time and time again that she’s not just a good writer, she's also a talented actress (Sarah Palin impression, anyone?), but mostly to hear what will undoubtedly be a hilarious and memorable acceptance speech ... and a worthy addition to our list of Top 5 Emmy moments from the past:
1. Michael J. Fox
In this tumultuous political climate, one thing's for sure: Alex P. Keaton would dig this year's heated presidential race. The staunch Republican would undoubtedly have a McCain bumper sticker on the back of his SUV and a poster of Sarah Palin, rifle on shoulder, hanging on his bedroom wall.
But whether you're voting McCain or Obama this year, odds are you still liked the conservative son of the hippie parents on "Family Ties," regardless of his political leanings. Why? Because Michael J. Fox is so lovable.
Emmy voters loved Fox, too. He won three back-to-back Lead Actor in a Comedy Series statues for "Family Ties." It meant a lot to Fox. After his first win the diminutive actor proclaimed, "I feel four feet tall!"Watch video of Michael J. Fox
2. Lily Tomlin
Lily doesn't get enough love. Long before Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Silverman and Amy Poehler, there was Lily. She started her career on Rowan & Martin's "Laugh-In" playing Ernestine and Edith Ann, two characters that would remain with her throughout her career.
She is a trailblazer, professionally and personally. She was the first female comedienne in reverse drag — creating such male characters as Pervis Hawkins, a Luther Vandross-like soul singer — and she has been committed to lifelong partner and co-writer Jane Wagner for more than 30 years (take that, Ellen and Portia).
Her TV specials "Lily" (1973), "The Lily Tomlin Special" (1975), "Lily: Sold Out" (1981) and "The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe" (1993) alone garnered her eight Emmy nominations and three wins. All told, she’s been nominated for 13 Emmys and won four.
But Lily's the kind of girl who keeps the Hollywood thing in perspective. Upon winning her Emmy, the actress-writer said, "This is not the greatest moment in my life, because on Friday I had a really great baked potato at Niblick's on Wilshire."
3. Kirstie Alley
Today Kirstie’s known more for her battle with the bulge than her fight for the Emmy. But long before she was a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig, she had a quick rise in Hollywood.
In 1987, shortly after uptight barmaid Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) left Sam Malone (Ted Danson) at the altar on "Cheers," the bar doors flew wide open for Rebecca Howe (Alley). We're not convinced, as some claim, that she saved the show, but the Sam-Rebecca chemistry was undeniable, the ratings soared, and the series hit No. 1.
Kirstie garnered an Emmy nod her first season, but she didn't win. Another nomination followed in 1990, but no statue. Finally, the third time was the charm, and she took home the award in 1991. Emmy voters might have regretted it after Alley’s slightly off-color acceptance speech, in which she thanked then-husband Parker Stevens for giving her "the big one."Watch video of Kirstie Alley
4. Ted Danson
When looking back at Kirstie’s costar, Ted Danson, some might remember him as "Becker" or as one of the "Three Men and a Baby." But to us he'll always be Sam Malone on "Cheers." While the former Boston Red Sox relief pitcher was unlucky at the game, “Mayday” Malone, a professional sweet-talker, was lucky in love.
In real life, Danson's mix of good and bad luck seemed to follow him to the Emmys. He was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series seven times in a row before finally taking home the prize in 1990. That's a lot of strikeouts.
This year, Ted received his first Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nomination, for the role of corrupt CEO Arthur Frobisher on Damages. Hopefully history won’t repeat itself, and Ted will connect in his first at-bat.Watch video of Ted Danson
5. Alan Alda
Here's a bold statement for you: “Hawkeye” Pierce is the best character on a TV show, EVER. The sharp-tongued, quick-witted, adorable and fun-loving surgeon with a penchant for whiskey and a heart of gold made us all laugh and cry in 251 episodes of "M*A*S*H."
Over the show’s 11-year run, Alda was nominated for 25 Emmys and won five. Aside from playing Hawkeye, he also wrote and directed many of the show's episodes. In fact, he wrote so many from 1977 to 1983 that "M*A*S*H" is sometimes jokingly called The Alan Alda Show.
When Alda won his writing Emmy — becoming the first person to win for writing, acting and directing — he was so excited he did a cartwheel down the aisle to the stage.Watch video of Alan Alda
Amy and Nancy Harrington spend their nights watching TV and their days unearthing retro TV stories for Getback.com. Drop by GetBack.com for your daily dose of pop culture pleasure — music, movies, games, and more.