As of Sunday night, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is officially something of a hoarder of Emmy superlatives.
She broke the record for most Emmys won by a performer for a single role, thanks to her sixth consecutive win for lead actress in a comedy, her seventh statue in that category overall. (She previously won in 2006 for “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”)
She’s now tied Cloris Leachman for most Primetime Emmys won by an actor or actress, with eight statues overall for individual work.
Backstage after her win, Louis-Dreyfus called her abundance of awards “very baffling” and attributed them to “a sh**-ton of good luck.” It seems everyone but Louis-Dreyfus knows that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The facts? Louis-Dreyfus is simply one of the greatest comedic actresses of this generation.
A joke about the actresses’ dominance even worked its way into a “Westworld”-themed sketch on Sunday night.
Jeffrey Wright, as his character Bernard, cracked that the Emmys were “a day when all the beautiful women and all the beautiful men gather to give golden statues to Julia Louis-Dreyfus.”
“She’s so good,” a naked Stephen Colbert replied.
It hard to imagine now that it took three seasons for the TV Academy to notice Louis-Dreyfus’s work as hilariously blunt Elaine on “Seinfeld.”
In its first two seasons, “Seinfeld” received a total of four Emmy nominations in writing, directing and editing categories. Then in 1992, it scored its first major haul of nominations, which included nods for Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld, and the show itself.
“Seinfeld” took the outstanding comedy series award in 1993. Louis-Dreyfus won her first individual honor in 1996 in the supporting actress in a comedy category.
Louis-Dreyfus and her castmates had trouble finding their next big hit following the end of “Seinfeld” in 1998, leading to one of many solid pieces of proof that ridiculousness existed and thrived long before social media — rumors of a “Seinfeld” curse.
“Somebody coined that phrase and it took off,” Louis-Dreyfus remembered in an interview years later with then-New York Times writer and current CNN contributor Bill Carter. “And all of a sudden, people — smart people — were asking me, ‘Do you think you’ll be able to break the curse?’ And I’m like, ‘What the hell are you talking about? I’m an actress and I’m going to keep trying to get jobs and some of them will be better than others.'”
Louis-Dreyfus found just what she was looking for in CBS’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” a sitcom where she played a divorced, middle-aged mother.
When accepting her first lead actress in a comedy Emmy in 2006 for the role, Louis-Dreyfus took the stage and despite appearing in a state of semi-shock, she cleared her throat and like an expert marksman took aim.
“Well, I’m not somebody who really believes in curses, but curse this, baby,” she said.
Bullseye. In a single line, she got the last laugh and first of many more to come.
“Veep” is heading into its final season, set to air in 2018. That means Louis-Dreyfus will have a chance to extend her streak to seven consecutive wins, if nominated.
And, yes, she still gets anxious about it.
“There’s always a sense of foreboding when the day is coming, when they’re going to announce nominations, and you never know,” she told THR last year, before pretending to weep. “There will come a day when you’re not listed, and it will be sad. It’s never a done deal.”
And for the sake of comedy, let’s hope Louis-Dreyfus herself is never done, either.