The Great Way Donald Glover Appeared at the Emmys

The Great Way Donald Glover Showed Up on Twitter at the Emmys By Emily Surpless/Updated: August 30, 2022 at 5:20 p.m. EDT

Did you notice an unusual looking guy on the front row at the 2018 Emmys? Well, the guy you were wondering about was probably actor Donald Glover in disguise.

On Monday, September 17, 2018, Glover arrived in costume at the 2018 Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Sporting facial prosthetics, a black wig, and white makeup, the former community star appeared to audiences as a creepy white dude — specifically, Atlanta character Teddy Perkins.

And understandably, people watching the awards show turned their heads. “Did I just see Donald Glover as Teddy Perkins at the Emmys?!?” asked one Twitter user. Another tweeted, “Why isn’t anyone talking about Donald Glover (or anyone else) showing up to the #Emmys as Teddy Perkins from Atlanta?!”

Although it’s believed that Glover was behind the Teddy Perkins mask at the Emmys, it hasn’t been officially confirmed that he actually was. However, considering Glover didn’t walk the red carpet before the big event, it seems like a good bet that he’s gearing up for his shocking performance. Also, Glover – who goes by the stage name Childish Gambino when releasing and performing his music – was later spotted in the Emmys Sans costume, so it seems he quickly transitioned out of the look after winning the Outstanding Lead Actor award for The Comedy series, for which he was nominated, was awarded to Barry star Bill Hader (via Us Weekly).

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Embraced by the mystery Perkins character, Hader wasn’t even sure who was disguised as the man with the masked face. “I don’t know who I hugged, but it was the guy from Atlanta, he showed up,” Hader later noted, as reported by Variety.

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Perkins previously appeared in a Season 2 episode of Atlanta during a more horror-inspired episode that primarily starred series regular Lakeith Stanfield. Directed by Hiro Murai and airing in April 2018, the episode was hailed as one of the most innovative episodes in the FX series.

Although the Perkins character was originally uncredited, it was soon revealed that Glover had portrayed him. Actor Derrick Haywood, who played Perkins’ brother Benny Hope in the episode, later told Vulture that he had no idea Glover was underneath all the makeup when they shot their scenes together. “I was on the set and the director [Hiro Murai] called ‘Teddy’ and said, ‘Let’s see what Teddy thinks.’ I’m like, “Okay, who is this Teddy guy and why is his opinion so important?” Because I’d never heard of the guy before,” he shared. “Later on, as I went through and watched, saying that this guy was in the character the whole time on set – it was just amazing how committed he was to the character.”

Stanfield, who is another possible contender for who could have been dressed as Perkins at the Emmys, also revealed that he “snuck around all the time” while filming the “Teddy Perkins” episode, noting that he had no idea Glover was playing the title role. “I had no idea what was going on and it was really tripping,” Stanfield told Entertainment Weekly. “The way Darius felt was pretty similar to how I felt — uncomfortable for the entire duration of filming.” During the June 2018 interview, he added that he’s still not sure about Glover Perkins games as he never received any official confirmation from the creator of Atlanta himself.

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We can imagine that the entire filming process was one of the most unusual on-set experiences Haywood and Stanfield have ever had… and maybe Glover, too.

While we’re happy for Bill Hader to have secured the Emmy for Outstanding Actor, we can’t help but wonder what exactly would have happened if Glover had won the award. Would he have delivered his entire acceptance speech with character and in a high-pitched voice? We will never know.