Compared to the Emmys, Golden Globes and, presumably, next week’s Oscars, last night’s WGA Awards were a wildly—and satisfyingly—unpredictable affair. So much so, in fact, that several of the nominees, including Best Original Screenplay winner Bo Burnham and Best Comedy/Variety Sketch Series winner Nathan Fielder, didn’t have speeches prepared.
In his acceptance speech, Burnham—who’s now won both a DGA Award and a WGA Award for his work on his debut feature Eighth Grade, and still wasn’t nominated for a single Oscar—quipped, “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” He added, “I prepared nothing. This all belongs to Elsie Fisher who performed the script. No one would care about the script if she hadn’t done it.” Meanwhile, Fiedler, who opted to end Nathan For You last fall after four seasons on Comedy Central, took the opportunity to make a dig at Lorne Michaels’ long, boring awards-show reign:
The other big winners of the evening have been more celebrated, although still not as much as we’d like: Best Adapted Screenplay winner Can You Ever Forgive Me? is nominated for a corresponding Oscar, although we’re not really expecting it to win. (Incidentally, Can You Ever Forgive Me? co-writer Nicole Holofcener is the only woman up for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar this year.)
And on the TV side, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s win for Best Comedy Series and The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’s win for Best Long Form Adapted Series was entirely expected after their strong showings at the Emmys and Golden Globes, but The Americans’ win for Best Drama Series felt like redemption after the show’s final season lost to Game Of Thrones at the Emmys last summer. Same for Best New Series Barry—which, like The Americans, picked up some acting awards at the 2018 Emmys, but lost the Best Comedy Series Emmy to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And, perhaps most surprising of all, The Simpsons won an award for writing in 2019.
Held in concurrent ceremonies in Los Angeles—whose ceremony was hosted by Chelsea Peretti—and New York City—whose awards were hosted by Roy Wood, Jr.—the WGA Awards are voted on by members of the Writers Guild Of America. A partial list of winners is below, via Deadline; you can see the full list of nominees and winners here.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that the WGA Awards’ New York City ceremony was a simulcast of the Los Angeles ceremony. This is incorrect; they are separate ceremonies, with different hosts, that are simply held concurrently. You can watch New York City host Roy Wood Jr.’s opening monologue below. We regret the error.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, based on the book by Lee Israel
Written by Bo Burnham
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Written by Kate Fodor, Noah Gardenswartz, Jen Kirkman, Sheila Lawrence, Daniel Palladino, Amy Sherman Palladino
Written by Peter Ackerman, Hilary Bettis, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Sarah Nolen, Stephen Schiff, Justin Weinberger, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson
Written by Alec Berg, Duffy Boudreau, Bill Hader, Emily Heller, Liz Sarnoff, Ben Smith, Sarah Solemani
“Paean To The People,” Homeland
Written by Alex Gansa
“Chapter One: Make Your Mark,” Barry
Written by Alec Berg & Bill Hader
LONG FORM ADAPTED
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Writers: Maggie Cohn, Tom Rob Smith, Based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth
LONG FORM ORIGINAL
Writers: Marc Bernardin, Scott Brown, Lila Byock, Mark Lafferty, Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason, Gina Welch, Vinnie Wilhelm
COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Writers: Tim Carvell, Raquel D’Apice, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Jeff Maurer, Daniel O’Brien, John Oliver, Brian Parise, Owen Parsons, Ben Silva, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Seena Vali, Juli Weiner
COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
Nathan For You
Writers: Leo Allen, Nathan Fielder, Carrie Kemper, Michael Koman, Adam Locke-Norton, Eric Notarnicola
The Fake News With Ted Nelms
Written by John Aboud, Andrew Blitz, Michael Colton, Ed Helms, Elliott Kalan, Joseph Randazzo, Sara Schaefer
“Bart’s Not Dead,” The Simpsons
Written by Stephanie Gillis
VIDEO GAME WRITING
God Of War
Written by Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog; Story and Narrative Design Lead Matt Sophos; Story and Narrative Design Richard Zangrande Gaubert; Narrative Design Orion Walker, Adam Dolin
Written by Cecilia D’Anastasio for Kotaku.com