At the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, Tony Hale upset favorites Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell of “Modern Family” to win the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Gary Walsh on the HBO show “Veep.” Although he received critical reviews for his portrayal of the vice presidential aide, few expected him to walk away with the Emmy, including Hale himself.
“It’s so surreal,” said Hale during the post-win interviews. “I’m so thankful to be working, and to have this is completely mind-blowing.”
Perhaps equally surprised were residents of Macon when Hale gave a shoutout to his mother and father.
“I want to thank… my mom and my dad, Mike and Rita Hale in Macon, Ga.,” said Hale in his acceptance speech broadcast on CBS to almost 18 million viewers.
Although Hale never personally lived in Macon, his parents have lived in Macon for over a decade. Mike Hale retired as executive director of the Warner Robins Campus of Macon State College, now Middle Georgia State College. The Hales have remained in Macon after Mike Hale’s retirement.
“Macon, to me, is becoming more of a college town,” Mike Hale told WMAZ in an interview after his son’s Emmy win. “A university town is the hallmark of Macon, and I think that’s wonderful. Now we have a football team at Mercer. Things are just happening with that as the focus, and I think that’s a blessing for Macon,” he said.
Tony Hale would go on to make headlines for his antics during co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s acceptance speech for her second straight Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Hale’s character plays the loyal personal aide to Louis-Dreyfus’s character, Vice President Selina Meyer. In the same way, Hale played an aide of sorts to Louis-Dreyfus during her acceptance speech, reminding her of everyone to thank. Such a character is not new for the Hale family, as Tony Hale’s mother was a legislative aid to Rep. Kathy Ashe from 1995 until 2002.
Tony Hale’s win and speech was not the only recognition Macon received during the 2013 Emmy Awards weekend. Carrie Preston won the 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Elsbeth Tascioni on the CBS show “The Good Wife”. Preston, who in an interview with WMAZ remarked that she still considers herself a “Maconite,” was born and raised in Macon, performing at Theatre Macon and Macon Little Theatre. She even married actor Michael Emerson on stage at Theatre Macon in a ceremony officiated by Theatre Macon director, Jim Crisp.
Hale will return as Gary Walsh for a third season of “Veep,” which was renewed by HBO in May for a 2014 debut. Preston will reprise her role as Elsbeth Tascioni for a fifth season of “The Good Wife,” with a premiere date to be announced in the near future.