Emmys 2018: Donald Glover Dons Whiteface to Reprise 'Atlanta' Role as Teddy Perkins

Donald Glover wore white face at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards Monday night, wearing his complete Teddy Perkins outfit from the acclaimed episode of Atlanta.

teddy perkins emmys
(Photo: NBC)

Glover sat in the front row, where cameras caught him hugging Barry actor Bill Hader as Hader went to pick up his Emmy for the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.

The famous "Teddy Perkins" episode was more than 10 minutes longer than a usual episode of Atlanta and was instantly acclaimed after it aired. Hiro Murai was nominated for directing the episode, but lost to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Amy Sherman-Palladino.

In the episode, Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) went to Teddy Perkins' home to pick up a piano he thought was once owned by a famous musician. Things get very strange after the two meet.

Viewers initially did not realize that Glover played Perkins, especially since the credits listed "Teddy Perkins as himself." Glover reportedly stayed in whiteface during filming, and even spoke with the same high-pitched voice used in the episode.

"The director [Hiro Murai] called 'Teddy' over [on set] and said, 'Let's see what Teddy thinks.' I'm like, 'Okay, who is this Teddy guy and why is his opinion so important?' When I say this guy was in character the whole time, it was just amazing the commitment he brought," Derrick Haywood, who appeared in the episode, told Vulture. "We were calling him Teddy, he acted as Teddy – there was no Donald on set whatsoever."

Atlanta was nominated for eight Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Glover was also nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series and for directing the episode "FUBU" and Outstanding Writing for "Alligator Man." Stefani Robinson was also nominated for writing the "Barbershop" episode.

Audiences at home quickly recognized that Glover was in his Teddy Perkins outfit. However, he later got out of the outfit.

"Teddy Perkins is at the freakin' #Emmys," wrote one viewer.

This is a breaking story and will continue to be updated.


Photo credit: NBC