The Handmaid’s Tale, Saturday Night Live and Veep were the big winners at this year’s Emmys, but the on stage appearance of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer stole the show.

The dystopian series The Handmaid’s Tale was crowned best TV drama on Sunday at this year’s Emmy Awards, also winning best drama writing and directing and earning Elizabeth Moss a best actress statuette and Ann Dowd a best drama supporting actress award.

Veep and Saturday Night Live were also big winners.

Sterling K. Brown won his second back-to-back Emmy for his role in the series This Is Us and in his speech honoured Andre Braugher, who was the last black man to claim top drama performance honours, for Homicide: Life on the Street in 1998.

Donald Glover won the best comedy actor for Atlanta, which he created and which carries his distinctive voice, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus was honoured for a sixth time for her role as a self-absorbed politician in the comedy Veep, named best comedy for the third time.

This is Us actor Sterling K.Brown became the first black man tsince 1998 o win an Emmy for best actor in a drama series. (Reuters)

Sean Spicer

Emmy’s host Stephen Colbert took shots at US President Donald Trump’s tweeting habits, but it was the appearance of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer that stunned the star-studded audience, including Melissa McCarthy.

A beaming Spicer, donning a suit and bow tie, walked on stage at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles wheeling in a podium that looked like the one he used to stand behind while addressing journalists at the White House, except it had ‘The Emmys Hollywood’ written on it.

McCarthy, who won a guest actress Emmy award this year for parodying Spicer on NBC’s late night sketch show Saturday Night Live, expressed surprise and laughed as she tapped her nose.

“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world,” Spicer said while pointing his finger at Colbert, the Emmys’ host.

“Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego,” Colbert deadpanned, before pointing at Spicer and saying, “Melissa McCarthy everyone, give it up,” as Spicer laughed and shook his head.

Spicer served as Trump’s first press secretary, bursting onto the public stage in January with a scolding rant against reporters and accusing them of lowballing the size of the Inauguration Day crowd. He left the White House this summer, sparking a flurry of speculation as to his next career move.

Saturday Night Live took the Emmys by storm by winning three early awards.

After the show’s most-watched season in 23 years, Alec Baldwin won the comedy supporting actor Emmy for his withering impersonations of Trump, while Kate McKinnon was a winner for her spoofs of his presidential election rival Hillary Clinton and White House aide Kellyanne Conway.

The SNL team grabbed three early awards including Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. (Reuters) (Reuters)

All Winners

Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale.

Actor, Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown, This is Us.

Actress, Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Directing, Drama: Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: John Lithgow, The Crown.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Directing, Comedy: Donald Glover, Atlanta.

Comedy Series: Veep.

Actor, Comedy Series: Donald Glover, Atlanta.

Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live.

Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Variety, Writing Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live.

Writing, Drama: Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Directing, Limited Movie or Special: Jean-Marc Vallee, Big Little Lies.

Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Riz Ahmed, The Night Of.

Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies.

Actress, Limited Series or Movie: Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies.

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie: Laura Dern, Big Little Lies.

Television Movie: Black Mirror.

Limited Series: Big Little Lies.

Writing, Limited Series, Movie or Special: Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: San Junipero.

Directing, Variety: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live.

Writing, Comedy: Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Master of None.

Reality Competition Program: The Voice.

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