From a scorched envelope — “to burn off all the germs,” he said — Jimmy Kimmel virtually presented Catherine O’Hara with her first Emmy Award for acting.
In a sequined black dress and matching mask, O’Hara accepted her statuette for best lead actress in a comedy for her role as Moira Rose on “Schitt’s Creek.” It was O’Hara’s second Emmy of her career.
“This is so cool.” she said. “I will forever be grateful to Eugene and Daniel Levy for the opportunity to play a woman of a certain age — my age — who gets to fully be her ridiculous self.”
The 66-year-old Toronto-born actress was nominated last year in the same category (Phoebe Waller-Bridge of “Fleabag” claimed the statuette). In 2010 she was nominated for best supporting actress for the HBO mini-series biopic “Temple Grandin” (O’Hara played the animal husbandry expert’s aunt, opposite Claire Danes).
She previously won a prime-time Emmy in 1982 for writing on “SCTV,” the influential Canadian sketch comedy show. (She impersonated everyone from Lucille Ball to Maggie Smith.) She has received six nominations in her 45-year television career, three for writing and three for acting.
“Schitt’s Creek,” which wrapped up its six-season run in April, began in 2015 on CBC in Canada and Pop TV — it got a boost in popularity when Netflix started carrying it in 2017. The show was nominated for 15 Emmy Awards for final season, including for best comedy.
O’Hara’s “Schitt’s Creek” castmates also won a trio of acting awards: Eugene Levy for best lead actor, Annie Murphy for best supporting actress and Daniel Levy for best supporting actor.
The quirky Canadian comedy follows a once-wealthy family who, after being bankrupted by a shady business manager, must move to a small town the father bought for his son as a gag gift. After being shut out of the Emmys for its first four seasons, the show broke through last year with its first nominations — four in all, including one for best comedy — though it didn’t win any.
O’Hara’s Moira is a fan favorite, beloved for her over-the-top personality and who-knows-where-that-came-from accent. But the washed-up former soap star isn’t just a meme mainstay — she is the unlikely emotional heart of the series.
Last month, O’Hara told The Times that she already missed playing the wig-obsessed diva. “Moira’s way more interesting than I am,” she said. “And the fun thing about her was that she was an actor, so I could, once in a while, get to perform or get to do an accent. Once you’ve had that in your life, it’s really hard to give up.”