Source: CBS Photo Archive / Getty

On a night where Broadway celebrated its return with the 74th annual Tony Awards ceremony, David Alan Grier started the night off with some genuine humor towards host Audra McDonald as he accepted his first-ever award.

The veteran TV and film actor began the evening’s festivities when he won the Tony for Best Performance By a Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Sergeant Waters in A Soldier’s Play, the captivating tale about Black soldiers on a military base during World War II which won a Pulitzer Prize before being converted into a play.

Grier took the stage decked out in a black tuxedo jacket and vibrant plaid pants and began his acceptance speech with a playful jab at McDonald: “Audra, I finally won one of these, too!” McDonald has won six Tony Awards in her career and opened the ceremony as host for the first two hours. “She’s got like seven of these bad boys,” the actor continued.

The Yale School of Drama graduate had been previously nominated for a Tony four times during the past several years for his work on Broadway. He got emotional as he thanked the late Black playwright & actor Douglas Turner-Ward, who saw his performance before his passing. Grier also thanked the Roundabout Theater where the play was being held Kenny Leon, the director of A Soldier’s Play, stating “I don’t know if I was the first call or the last call, but I’m just glad you called, baby!!” He closed out by saying, “And to the other nominees, tough bananas! I won!”

The 65-year old actor’s jubilation was in full display afterward as he sent out a tweet saying, “I can’t believe this sh*t! I fu**ing won a Tony!”


David Alan Grier Cracks Up Tony Awards Crowd With Audra McDonald Shoutout  was originally published on

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