While Atlanta Robbin' Season got the shaft during last night's Emmys ceremony, Donald Glover's series wasn't completely out of the spotlight. During the televised ceremony, when Bill Hader was announced as the winner for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, he stood up and hugged... Teddy Perkins. If you missed it, here's a clip.
Now, immediately, the question was: who the FUCK was dressed up like the creepy and iconic Teddy Perkins!? Heads initially assumed it was Glover, but Glover was later spotted in the crowd, applauding. That brought people to assume it was Lakeith Stanfield, but he'd also been spotted out of makeup that night.
The plot thickens, especially when you consider that the Teddy in the above video clip was standing just as tall as the 6'1" Bill Hader; Glover and Stanfield stand 5'9" and 6', respectively, and in subsequent photos that Atlanta stars Glover, Stanfield, and Brian Tyree Henry took with Teddy Perkins showed that Perkins was taller than all of them.
Then something interesting happened, by way of a retweet. Earlier today, we tweeted one of the many images of Teddy Perkins out and about last night, and got a like and retweet from none other than Jay Pharoah. Heading over to his Twitter account, we realized that he not only retweeted that image, but he retweeted Fader's video of Teddy hugging Hader, as well as this Comedy Hype tweet about Pharoah actually being the Teddy Perkins under the makeup. Even Entertainment Tonight reported that "a source" told them it was Jay Pharoah, who shared the above photo on his own Instagram, saying, "I'm all for it, phuckin TEDDY PERKINS N THE @atlantafx cast Ayyyyeee!" Sure, he also tweeted a pic with Wanda Sykes as well, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have also been Teddy Perkins, right?
The theory does hold weight. For one, Pharoah and Hader were on Saturday Night Live for a number of seasons together, so it shouldn't be a shock that he'd want to a) sit next to Hader and b) be happy for his friend and former co-worker when he wins an Emmy. Two—and this is the key—Pharoah stands 6'1", so it'd make sense that if Jay was under the Teddy Perkins makeup, he'd be standing just as tall as Bill Hader would be.
Let's not forget that the show aired on NBC this year, with Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che hosting the entire ceremony. They told Variety that they'd have guys like John Mulaney and Seth Meyers pitching ideas for the evening, and the likes of Maya Rudolph, Kenan Thompson, and other SNL cast members (both current and former) were on hand for special segments as well. Could getting Jay Pharoah on the show as the eccentric Teddy Perkins have been a bit from the hosts of the show and the stars of Atlanta to get Twitter tweeting? It sure as shit feels like it.
Until Pharoah officially comments on it, it just feels like a very spot-on theory. Hell, Donald Glover hasn't even spoken on being Teddy Perkins throughout the production of the episode, so this could just be the code of silence. That won't stop Twitter from speculating, though.