Dave Karger
September 23, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Jon Hamm had warned me, an Emmy red-carpet virgin, that it was going to be hot. But I had no idea. This year’s intrepid nominees braved the 82-degree heat with varying degrees of perspiration. By the time poor Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation got to my spot halfway down the gauntlet, he was dripping wet. Over the course of two hours, I joked with The Big C nominee Laura Linney about her success at the Emmys (she’s won three), commiserated with Mad Men‘s John Slattery about his show’s bewildering lack of acting prizes, and tried (unsuccessfully) to pump The Good Wife‘s Josh Charles for plot secrets. And even though Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell predicted that castmate Ed O’Neill would win the best-supporting-actor-in-a-comedy prize, I had a hunch that he would emerge victorious. So we made a friendly wager. If he were to win? ”I will make you a golden robot,” he promised. ”It may not be real gold. Cardboard and pennies, stuff like that.” Hey, Mr. Emmy Winner: You’ve got my address.

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