LOS ANGELES — As a director of awards shows, Glenn Weiss specializes in making big moments on the stage. He'll have a hard time topping this one.
In what could become the most talked-about moment of Monday night's Emmy Awards, Weiss used his acceptance speech for directing the Oscars telecast to propose to his girlfriend, stunning the celebrity-filled audience.
He was giving the sort of speech from a non-celebrity that makes most viewers tune out when he said that his mother died two weeks ago, and she was fond of his girlfriend, Jan Svendsen.
"You wonder why I don't want to call you my girlfriend?" he said to Svendsen. "It's because I want to call you my wife."
Audience members jumped to their feet with cheers. "Saturday Night Live" actress Leslie Jones was caught on camera with her mouth agape and eyes wide in surprise.
Svendsen was sitting shocked in her seat as Weiss tried to quiet the crowd so he could finish. He politely told his counterpart directing the Emmys telecast that he was going to need "a moment."
Svendsen got up on stage for the formal, knee-bent proposal as Weiss presented her with the same ring that his father gave his mother 67 years ago and asked her to marry him.
She nodded without a word and sealed it with a kiss.