Ricky's show Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale lost out on the six awards it was up for - a disappointment he turned into a lengthy joke.
Pretending to be a sore loser, the comedian quipped that he planned to retrieve an award that was "stolen" from him last year by Steve Carrell.
Steve, the American star of the US version of The Office, which the Brit co-created, collected his pal Ricky's 2007 best comedy actor Emmy in his absence.
"I made you what you are and I get nothing back," he deadpanned, feigning menace as he approached his friend in the front row. "Give it me. I'll tickle you. Give me the Emmy."
Apart from 20 Rock the evening's other big winner was Mad Men, a Sixties-set show about the US ad industry, which won in the drama category.
Meanwhile, flying the flag for Britain were Tom Wilkinson and Dame Eileen Atkins, picking up best supporting actor awards for their roles in the period dramas John Adams and Cranford.