Last night marked the 68th Emmys, honoring the best in American television. But did you know that these awards almost didn't have such a cutesy name? Here's the story about how Emmy got her moniker.
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was founded in 1946, and an awards ceremony for the best in that sector of the biz came about not long after. Someone had the bright idea of calling these awards the "Ikes," named after the iconoscopic tube. The so-called "father of TV," Vladimir Zworykin, invented this device, which helped create pixels, which, in turn, allowed for a composite image. Since this tube was so important in creating what was on television screens, "Ike" was an obvious choice...
Viola Davis wins a Best Actress award at the 2015 Emmys. Image via MICHAEL BUCKNER/VARIETY/REX SHUTTERSTOCK.
...but the name already had a ton of cultural cache. In fact, then-President Dwight Eisenhower was best known as "Ike," so seemingly naming awards after an elected official would be weird (although Eisenhower was apparently the first president to really use TV to get his message out there). Still, the hunt was on for another name, perhaps something more feminine, since engineer Louis McManus modeled the statue after his wife.
Someone suggested the "Immys," another abbreviation of a TV gizmo: this time, the image orthicon tube. NATAS liked the idea, but tweaked it slightly to resemble an already-existing female name: Emmy.
Feature photo via Emmys.com.