The most surprising celebrity appearances at the 2020 Emmys

For all the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards were lacking due to Covid-19 restrictions, we certainly got a fair share of charming and hilarious surprise celebrity appearances. Interspersed between video montages and acceptance speeches, we were treated to cameos from some of Hollywood's biggest names from the past and present. Whether you appreciated these unexpected moments because they broke up the monotony of Schitt's Creek taking home win after win (congrats to them!), or because they were just plain funny, these appearances certainly satisfied our craving to see more familiar Hollywood faces on an evening that was noticeably devoid of them.

Tonight's cameos started off with a bang and only got better as the night went on. Prior to the announcement of the winner for Outstanding Comedy Series, we were treated to a jackpot of celebrities with Elton John, Shaquille O'Neal, Morgan Freeman, Gabrielle Union, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer and more all making virtual appearances to state their case for who should take home the award. The supercut of these beloved celebs was just a taste of what was to follow. Here are the most surprising celebrity appearances from tonight's Emmys.

David Letterman delivered trademark style at the Emmys

The comedy didn't end with the Best Comedic Performance category, though. Former late-night TV host David Letterman dropped in to announce the winner of Outstanding Variety Talk Series. True to his curmudgeonly reputation, Letterman rolled on screen mid-argument with his Uber driver and was dumped on the side of the road in a very outdated-looking tux, which he explained was the one he wore when he hosted the Emmys in 1986. He proceeded to pull cards from his pocket and deliver joke after joke, all of which definitely applied in the 80's but are still funny today. Although Letterman's wild, white beard kind of stole the show, it was nice to see him cracking jokes in the spotlight once again. The Late Show host retired in May of 2015 (via NPR) and tonight's cameo reminded us just how much he's been missed.

Bob Newhart surprised the Emmys audience for a different reason

Letterman wasn't the only comedy legend to appear on tonight's Emmy broadcast. Bob Newhart also made a virtual appearance via Zoom to update us on how life has changed since quarantine. The 91-year-old quipped, "I gave up sky diving and quit my class in alligator wrestling." Newhart's appearance had many folks on Twitter expressing surprise that he is still alive, and we suppose that sort of assumption is common when someone is in their 90s. But in Newhart's case, age is just a number. He won an Emmy a mere seven years ago for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Professor Proton on The Big Bang Theory (via the Television Academy). Clearly, his comedic timing is still as sharp as ever.

Tracy Morgan stood in for another famous Tracy at the Emmys

As exciting as tonight's cameos were, Tracy Morgan might have been the highlight of all the surprise celebrity appearances when he emerged in place of Tracy Ullman for the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress Limited Series or Movie. Morgan, who suffered a debilitating accident in 2014 and returned to TV in 2018, delivered his lines flawlessly and still maintained his trademark misguided confidence (via Bustle). When host Jimmy Kimmel questioned his appearance, Morgan joked Tracy Ullman asked him to fill in for her noting, "We Tracys stick together," (via Twitter). Ullman did not win the Emmy, but Morgan's surprise performance was still a total treat for fans.