Sep. 23, 2013 at 12:20 AM ET
Anyone who slogs through the weekend with little kids in tow must have laughed in approval by the end of the night Sunday when Will Ferrell trotted onto the Emmy Awards stage. The actor was decked in full weekend warrior garb, and by his side were his three fair-haired young sons.
Ferrell and the boys came out in shorts and T-shirts to present the final awards of the night. Magnus, 9, Mattias, 6, and Axel, 3, looked like they all had just been unstrapped from their minivan car seats.
"Unfortunately Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith dropped out at the last second and they called me literally 45 minutes ago and I couldn't find child care, OK?" Ferrell told the audience. "We had a soccer game, there was a neighbor's birthday party, a nut allergy, I didn't have time to do my hair. It doesn't matter, it's great to be here."
On a night when so much is made of looking perfect, it was indeed perfect to see Ferrell looking like the rest of us. A pan of the audience caught Ferrell's old "Saturday Night Live" cohort Tina Fey laughing hard at the bit and wearing the look of a mom who has been there.
Ferrell told his oldest boy, "No, you cannot play Angry Birds right now." But he was quick to realize what any level-headed modern parent understands: iPad = distraction. "Fine, take turns, 30-second turns."
After presenting "Modern Family" with the award for best comedy series, Ferrell and the boys stuck around to present the best drama series Emmy. His youngest son, Axel, was especially endearing, standing in front of a televised audience of millions clutching his blankey.
"I asked you backstage if you had to go to the bathroom," Ferrell said to one of the boys. "So you're just gonna have to hold it. This is the Emmys. Don't blow this for me, all right, guys?"