It was a first nomination and first win for Luke Kirby on Sunday at the Creative Arts Emmys, where he won for his guest star turn as late comedian and social commentator Lenny Bruce on Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. As befitted a first-time winner, he clutched a piece of paper in one hand and joked about his own insecurity, wondering what it would be like if this were the moment “all my teeth decided to fall out.”
He then looked down with mock dismay at his pants, which were both unusually tight and appeared curiously short because they were hiked up to meet the tops of his black Chelsea boots. “Look at these pants, this is why you shouldn’t [raise] yourself up by your bootstraps,” he said.
Kirby went on to thank the Television Academy for “this very shiny award,” praising his fellow nominees and the Maisel cast, whom he called “the dreamiest of actors.” He dedicated the award to, among others, “the fond memories of the one and only Lenny Bruce.”
Backstage, Kirby said his preparation to portray Bruce included watching historical footage of some of his performances and reading the book about the comedian by Bruce’s daughter, Kitty. He said Lenny’s recorded performances became funnier the more research he did about Bruce’s era.
“I liked him even before the job, I always thought he was kind of neat,” Kirby said. “He makes me giggle.”