The 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards took place last night, and it was filled with chaotic energy: Homer Simpson opened the show in lieu of a host, Ben Stiller hung out with wax figures, Thomas Lennon did some polarizing live Emmy commentary, there was an abundance of tributes to shows ending, and Halsey sang "Time After Time." The awards themselves were a mix of very expected and very unexpected: Game Of Thrones won Outstanding Drama Series but didn't dominate the awards as people expected; Veep got shut out for its final season; Jesse Armstrong picked up a much-deserved win for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Succession; and Fleabag cleaned up with multiple huge wins in comedy categories.
One of the biggest and best surprises of the night came when 21-year-old Bronx native Jharrel Jerome won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his work in When They See Us, Ava DuVernay's Netflix limited series about the Central Park Five. Jerome paid his respects to the "Exonerated Five," who were in attendance, during his speech.
Before the show, Jerome ran into fellow NYC native Lin-Manuel Miranda, and sweetly revealed to him: “I don’t know if you remember me, but you came to my high school performance of In The Heights, I played Usnavi.”
Amazingly, that rehearsal was captured on video! If you skip to the :28 second mark in the vid below, you can see teenage Jerome rapping in character as part of a school production at LaGuardia High School; you can spot Lin grooving to the performance at 2:10 and 4:18.