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SHOW BITS: Smoking, hot celebs; Moms on parade

The Associated Press, Sunday, September 23, 2012, 5:33pm (PDT)

Show Bits brings you the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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A MAD MAN MOMENT IN EMMY LOBBY

It was life imitating art just off to the side of the red carpet outside the Nokia Theatre entrance as "Mad Men" newbie Ben Feldman caught a smoke.

The resourceful first-time nominee discovered a corner tucked away from the scads of cameras and celebrities that was the perfect spot for a quick pre-show cigarette.

Unfortunately, there weren't any bottles of scotch nearby for him to wash it down with, but just inside the lobby of the Nokia Theatre attendees were lined up at the concession stand for $10 cocktails.

Feldman's "Mad Men" leading man Jon Hamm held court on the other side of the lobby, attracting a line of attendees who wanted a photo with the veteran nominee.

— Derrik J. Lang — Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang .

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MOMS GOT THEIR DUE FROM THE RED CARPET

Moms weren't forgotten on the red carpet.

Rico Rodriguez, young star of "Modern Family," brought his mother as his date, presenting her to the world as "the beautiful ma-ma."

The pair were even featured in a prerecorded bit that tracked their progress in a limo from home to the Emmycast.

And earlier Stephen Colbert, while being interviewed with his wife at his side, took a moment to phone his 91-year-old mom on his cellphone to say hello.

"I've shouted at her 'We're on ABC!'" he told interviewer Josh Elliott.

— Frazier Moore — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier

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A RED CARPET PROPOSAL

One Emmy attendee used the red carpet for more than just walking — he got down on one knee and proposed to his date.

Security initially tried to shoo him off, but saw him reaching into his pocket for a ring and let the moment happen. With throngs of people cheering, he presented the ring and received a kiss, and presumably an answer "Yes," as those nearby applauded the mystery couple.

— Anthony McCartney — Twitter http://twittter.com/mccartneyA

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EVEN CELEBRITIES SWEAT

With temperatures topping 90 degrees on the Emmy red carpet, the stars were doing everything they could not to let you see them sweat.

"Dancing With the Stars" host Tom Bergeron sucked down a bottle of water as he walked the carpet. Others clutched hand fans and discreetly dabbed their brows as they made their way into the Nokia Theatre.

Ashley Judd of "Missing" went a different route, toting an umbrella as she sashayed between interviews.

— Anthony McCartney — Twitter http://twittter.com/mccartneyA

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FROM 1 JIMMY TO ANOTHER

Jimmy Fallon is playing musical chairs at this year's Emmy Awards, in more ways than one.

The 2010 Emmy host, interviewed on the red carpet, noted he has passed hosting duties on to another Jimmy this year, name of Kimmel.

As a result, Fallon said, he doesn't even have a ticket to the 2012 show.

"But Clint Eastwood said he was going to save me a chair," Fallon cracked.

His advice to this year's Jimmy: "Don't make out with Betty White. There's cameras everywhere and you'll get caught. And definitely go to Honey Boo Boo's after-party, cause that's gonna be where it's at."

— Frazier Moore — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier

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SEEING STARS ON THE RED CARPET

At the Emmys there's the red carpet and then there's — well — the other red carpet.

As the main red carpet fills up, security tries to keep the line moving by directing the big stars down the carpet where cameras are lined up to film them and entertainment journalists are waiting to interview them.

Meantime, the less famous are directed down a parallel red carpet closer to the fan bleachers.

"Please continue walking," security guards continuously say.

Sometimes they'll also give a gentle nudge to someone on the B-list red carpet who lingers too long taking pictures of the folks on the A-List red carpet.

— Anthony McCartney — Twitter http://twittter.com/mccartneyA

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QUICKQUOTE: JESSE TYLER FERGUSON

"It's so warm I thought a nice flannel tux would be appropriate." — Jesse Tyler Ferguson of "Modern Family" on the Emmy red carpet.

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GETTING THE STARS' ATTENTION

"Jesse Jesse Jesse!" the crowd chants trying to get the attention of "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He obliges with several waves to the bleacher crowd.

Before the first stream of stars arrived on the Emmy Red Carpet, a show producer told them to "make everything personal" if they wanted to get their attention.

It may take several chants, but the stars often answer with a wave, a smile or the occasional fist pump.

— Anthony McCartney —Twitter http://twittter.com/mccartneyAP

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KEEPING COOL IN THE FAN BLEACHERS

Fran and Elmer Armstrong are awards show veterans, joining throngs of fans for at least their sixth Emmy Awards Show on a sweltering Sunday afternoon.

The retired St. Louis couple's quest for a front row seat in the fan bleachers beside the red carpet began when they lined up outside the Nokia Theatre around 7:30 a.m. Sunday. As the day progressed, and temperatures rose, they hung in there, cheering as the cameras from E! Entertainment television filmed pre-show segments.

"Goodbye Giuliana," 70-year-old Elmer Armstrong shouted to anchor Giuliana Rancic as the E Entertainment crew wrapped up.

With temperatures topping 90 degrees, he and his 71-year-old wife were like many in the stands — trying to keep cool with water and wet paper towels. At least this year's stands are shaded. Elmer Armstrong recalled one year when fans were forced to sit in the blazing sun.

That's not the only change to this year's fan seating — a tall wall keeps fans from glad-handing or even getting autographs from cooperative celebrities.

Elmer Armstrong remains at the ready, however — keeping his digital SLR camera and telephoto lens handy to get shots of the stars.

— Anthony McCartney — Twitter — http://twitter.com/McCartneyAP

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EDITOR'S NOTE — Show Bits brings you the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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