‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ sweeps the Emmy Awards

Rachel Brosnahan accepting the best actress in a comedy series award at the 70th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Neilson Barnard/FilmMagic)

Lior Zaltzman

(JTA) — It was quite a Jewish night at the 70th Emmy Awards. While Michael Che joked that most of the first winners, despite being white, didn’t thank Jesus, the explanation may have been that almost all of them were Jewish.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the Amazon show about a Jewish housewife turned stand-up comedian, won almost every award it was nominated for, including best comedy, best writing for a comedy series, best directing for a comedy series and best actress in a comedy. The show gobbled up eight awards in total.

Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show’s creator and  behind the iconic show “The Gilmore Girls”, won two awards, for writing and directing. She dedicated her first award to her dad, saying the show was based on him. Her father Don Sherman, who died in 2012, was a comedian.

“My father inspired this, really, so I had to turn a six-foot-two Bronx Jew into Rachel Brosnahan. That’s Hollywood!” she said in her acceptance speech.

Rachel Brosnahan, who isn’t Jewish, won an Emmy for her role as the titular Mrs. Maisel. She urged viewers to participate in the political process ahead of November’s midterm elections.

“One of the things that I love about this show is that it’s about a woman who’s finding her voice anew,” she told the crowd. “One of the most important ways that we can find and use our voice is to vote.”

Actress and “Mad TV” alum Alex Borstein, who plays Suzie Myerson, Mrs. Maisel’s gruff manager, won the second award of the evening. Her mother was a Holocaust survivor from Hungary.

Here are the other Jewish highlights from TV’s biggest night:

-The night’s opening monologue started with jokes about Roseanne, who was fired from the reboot of her eponymous sitcom after a controversial racist tweet.

“Roseanne was canceled by herself, and then picked up by white nationalists,” host Colin Jost joked. Co-host Michael Che retorted: “I heard Roseanne’s actually moving to Israel. How messed up is your life when you have to move to the Middle East just to get peace of mind?”

-Maya Rudolph, who recently opened up about her Jewish father, also starred in the show as a clueless Emmy expert with Fred Armisen, adding some odd humor to the wacky night. Rudolph and Armisen star in a new Amazon show titled “Forever.”

-Jewish actor Henry Winkler, who has become a ubiquitous character actor since his days as “The Fonz” in “Happy Days,” won his first-ever first Emmy, in the supporting actor for his role in the HBO show “Barry.” It was a sweet moment for him.

“I only have 37 seconds, I wrote this 43 years ago,” he said. “Kids, you can go to sleep now, daddy won.” (Winkler is a grandfather ).

Winkler’s German Jewish parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1939. They helped found Congregation Habonim, a conservative German synagogue in Manhattan, where Winkler married his wife, Stacey Furstman.

-Another sweet moment came later, when the Jewish director of the Oscars awards show Glenn Weiss (who won best directing for a variety special) turned his Emmy acceptance speech into a proposal to girlfriend Jan Svendsen. He first honored his mother, who died two weeks before the awards, and then proposed to Svendsen, who he called “his sunshine,” with his mother’s ring.

-The in memoriam segment honored Jewish legends Monty Hall and Neil Simon, among others.

-Joe Weisberg won an Emmy for his writing for the FX drama “The Americans.” Weisberg is Jewish and a former CIA officer.

-D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the Jewish showrunners of “Game of Thrones,” were the last winners of the night, taking home the trophy for best drama series.

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