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Emmys Go Up in Smoke as Silverman Celebrates With Pot in Purse

August 26, 2014

Sarah Silverman

Comedian Sarah Silverman, winner of Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special for "Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles" poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theater on Aug. 25, 2014. Photographer: Kevork Djansezian/NBC via Getty Images

Marijuana made its way onto NBC (CMCSA:US)’s telecast of the Emmy awards in scripted and impromptu moments -- a sign, perhaps, of pot’s growing acceptance across the U.S. Or at least among Hollywood joke writers.

Emmy scribes worked several gags into the script of yesterday’s live primetime show, beginning with host Seth Meyers’s monologue, while comic Sarah Silverman brought her stash with her on the red carpet for a post-show smoke.

“I had pot for later in my purse,” Silverman said backstage, after winning a writing Emmy for her variety show. “I like to have a puff at appropriate times.”

The Legalization of Marijuana

California, home to Hollywood, weed dispensaries and even a Los Angeles pot-farmer’s market, is among almost two dozen U.S. states in which marijuana is all but legal. With relaxed criminal laws in more than a dozen states in and medical exceptions on the books in 23, attitudes have relaxed, a cultural shift reflected at the Emmys.

“Cable is looking at Netflix the way Justin Bieber looks at One Direction - through a cloud of marijuana smoke,” Meyers said in the show’s opening moments, referring to the 20-year-old pop star whose personal life has involved cannabis-related scrapes with the law.

In a video announcing the nominees for best director of a comedy series, the actress Hadley Delany credits Louis C.K. for teaching her “how to properly hold a joint” for a scene in “Louie.” Delany plays his daughter on the FX comedy.

Actor Matthew McConaughey was a frequent target of Emmy presenters. The Texan’s appearance in “Dazed and Confused” two decades ago made him an easy source of pot humor. While wondering why McConaughey was even at the event, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel joked the actor “sold his TV for a conch shell full of weed.”

Silverman’s Purse

“Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler later joked the names of McConaughey and his “True Detective” co-star Woody Harrelson both appear as “menu items at most marijuana dispensaries.”

It was an unscripted moment, however, that began trending on Twitter. Silverman told red-carpet interviewers she brought pot with her in her purse.

The comedian, who won the writing Emmy for her variety show, “Sarah Silverman,” said backstage that marijuana was legal and she doesn’t drink. She assured reporters that she wasn’t stoned. Even so, she ended her acceptance speech on an existential note.

“We’re all just made of molecules and we’re hurling through space right now,” Silverman said. “Thank you.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at Anne Reifenberg

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