'Holy Smokes!' Plainfield Native Snags Emmy

Melissa McCarthy of "Mike & Molly" was honored as best lead actress in a comedy series

Monday, Sep 19, 2011  |  Updated 6:34 AM CDT
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Emmy Awards' Most Memorable Moments

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Comedian Melissa McCarthy speaks onstage during the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, United States.

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A south suburban Chicago native is waking up Monday with an Emmy.

Melissa McCarthy of "Mike & Molly" was honored as best lead actress in a comedy series with an Emmy and a glitzy prom queen's crown.

"Holy smokes. Wow, it's my first and best pageant ever," said a beaming McCarthy. "I'm from Plainfield, Ill., and I'm standing here and it's kind of amazing."

Moments earlier, she and her fellow nominees had broken with tradition by jumping up on stage as their names were called, led by Amy Poehler of "Parks and Recreation."

They earned a standing ovation from many in the audience, which seemed fitting in a year in which TV shows and movies are giving women edgier leading roles. Among them is the box-office hit "Bridesmaids," which featured McCarthy.

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