Michael Slezak
August 28, 2006 AT 04:34 AM EDT

Slezak is blogging the Emmys telecast, yo!

8:01 p.m. I admit it: I’m partial to a host-in-the-machine mashup, butConan O’Brien’s is about as hilarious an intro as I’ve ever seen for anawards ceremony. Building a wooden blow-dryer on Lost‘s beach? Notinghe could sustain “two or three seasons of will-they-or-won’t-theysexual tension” with Pam on The Office? (Jenna Fischer’s soft-focusflirtation was downright Emmy-worthy.) Submitting to an examinationfrom Dr. House in which he’s described as having thin, wormy lips,female genitalia, and the odor of burnt cheese? I’m laughing so much Ikinda need a potty break.

8:10 p.m. There are enough good jokes in this monologue that I couldmake a top 10 list, but I’m on deadline, so I’ll go with three:

3. Conan will always remember HBO as the “bastards who only gave Arli$$ 11 seasons.

2. Re. Ellen Burstyn’s controversial nomination for Best SupportingActress in a TV movie or Miniseries: “Just because something lasts only14 seconds doesn’t mean it’s not spectacular.”

1. “Anyone who makes a heavy-handed political comment will be forced to make out with Al Gore in a Prius.”

8:15 p.m. The song and dance lyrics may not quite be up to par, butseeing Conan’s lanky frame do a Vaudevillian jig sorta makes up for it.

8:25 p.m. I’d complain that they whisked Megan Mullally off the stageawfully fast — she won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy after all– but she was kinda boring, no?

8:29 p.m. Oh no! Alan Alda’s not there to pick up his Emmy for BestSupporting Actor in a Drama. Well, at least Sean Hayes and JuliaLouis-Dreyfus made their podium shtick funnier than it should’ve been.

8:31 p.m. Bob Newhart in an airtight container with three hours worthof air, prepared to die if the show runs over? The only thing thatwould be better would be replacing him with Brandon Davis and ParisHilton – and making it real.

8:33 p.m. Riddle me this: If Jaime Pressly can score a laugh for podiumbanter about playing Jason Lee’s “greedy whorish slutty foulmouthedskank of an ex-wife,” why doesn’t she have an Emmy?

addCredit(“Emmy Statue: NBC”)

8:36 p.m. Okay, going into the night, I was rooting for Gob to get an Emmy for Arrested Development. (Imagine if they’d played “The Final Countdown” as he made his way to the stage?) But I have to admit I started rooting for Jeremy Piven after he eviscerated Billy Bush on the red carpet, so no tears here. (Except maybe a little for his brief but heartfelt acceptance speech.)

8:40 p.m. File under stupid but funny: Christopher Meloni on a Segway podium!

8:41 p.m. Meanest joke of the night so far: Conan’s dig that Dennis Haysbert and William Petersen have “more testosterone in their veins than female sprinter Marion Jones.” And he’s promising it’s gonna get rougher!

8:42 p.m. I’m suddenly overcome with the urge to buy auto insurance.

8:43 p.m. Hey! We literally just saw Ellen Burstyn’s entire nominated performance. And I don’t think I had an effing clue what she was saying either. Give her the Emmy!

8:46 p.m. Scratch what I said about Paris. Bob Newhart’s deadpan from the oxygen chamber during Conan’s Telemundo joke was the night’s best moment.

8:49 p.m. John Lithgow, why don’t you just grab onto the backdrop and chew it to bits?

8:50 p.m. Jon Stewart’s acceptance speech is like my empty wine glass: It leaves me wanting more, but yet, I know I’m not gonna get any.

8:52 p.m.
Cloris Leachman follows comedy’s first golden rule: Every sentence is funnier when it begins with, “As my old bricklayer used to say…”

8:54 p.m. Greg Garcia proves what this writer wants everyone to believe: It’s all about the writers! (Natch.) Leaving any higher power out of his acceptance speech, he notes: “God, I’m sure you’re responsible in some way, but you took my hair, and that’s not cool man. Not cool.”

8:59 p.m. This American Bandstand footage is priceless. Mad props to the Captain & Tennille, yo!

9:02 p.m. I know there are folks out there feeling skittish watching Dick Clark accept accolades with his slurred, post-stroke speech, but I look at it this way: Strokes are a fact of life, and since the guy is still looking pretty dashing, and feeling well enough to get out on that stage and soak up a standing O, I say more power to him!

9:07 p.m. I make no such noble speeches on behalf of Barry Manilow’s hideous bangs. Have at ’em, PopWatchers.

9:10 p.m. Barry Manilow had a special called Barry Manilow: Music and Passion?

9:11 p.m. Whoa! And he just used it to wipe the floor with Colbert, Letterman, Ferguson, and Jackman.

9:12 p.m. Something else I didn’t see coming: Barry is taking his Emmy into the operating room tomorrow. I’m officially a bad person.

9:14 p.m. Anybody else up for a sitcom about Bob Newhart trapped in an airtight chamber?

9:15 p.m. Evangeline Lilly and Wentworth Miller — Total Hotness Factor: 1 gajillionbazillion…

9:20 p.m.
Let’s be honest: Nobody would object if Conan just let Evangeline and Wentworth present for the rest of the night.

9:24 p.m. We’re up to all those TV Movie awards that kinda make me go to the happy place. God, I hope there’s something tasty in the fridge.

9:25 p.m. Pita crisps? That’s it?

9:26 p.m. Pita crisps. Mmmm.

9:27 p.m. I’d almost feel bad for Howie Mandel and Megan Mullally right now, if it weren’t for the $50,000 gift bags.

9:28 p.m. I know which Deal or No Deal suitcase this shtick makes me think of: No. 2.

9:33 p.m. And the award for Funniest Comedy-Variety Writers in Effigy goes to: Late Night with Conan O’Brien, for the Indian call center spoof that was thisclose to not-right.

9:37 p.m. Is it just me or does Conan’s ability to deliver timely bits like that spot-on TiVo gag make him the most relevant awards-show host we’ve seen in eons?

9:40 p.m.
Let’s hope Andre Braugher’s new Emmy means he’ll never again be forced to slum it in crap Poseidon.

9:42 p.m. I’m not gonna try to crack a joke about Shalhoub’s Best Actor in a Comedy win, ’cause I gotta go wash the bile out of my mouth: Steve Carell, you wuz robbed!

9:43 p.m. Whoa! Was that an ad for Pita Thins? How meta!

9:55 p.m. I think Stephen Collins said it best: Aaron Spelling “made TV that simply tasted good,” and what could be sweeter tribute to the legendary producer than watching the title sequences for so many of his shows played back to back? On a shallower note, I’m calling for a Dateline NBC investigation into Jaclyn Smith’s murder of Father Time.

10:04 p.m. I wonder if Eva Longoria was skeeved out as me by James Woods’ leering “a guy could really get used to the idea of life in television” put-down/come-on?

10:08 p.m. Best podium intro: Stephen Colbert’s “Good evening, godless sodomites.”

10:10 p.m. “[Reality TV] warps the minds of our children and weakens the resolve of our allies,” adds Colbert, who clearly watches The Bachelor.

10:11 p.m. Amazing Race?! This Idol fan will meet you out back by the bike rack after school tomorrow. Don’t even think about wimping out either!

10:16 p.m. There’s more movie and miniseries awards to hand out, but all I wanna do is bring The Comeback quotes: “People like Valerie Cherish! They don’t wanna see her brutalized!”

10:17 p.m.
Note to Emmy voters: “At the end of the day, make no mistake: No more mistakes. And I need to know that I’m being heard. Am I being heard?”

10:18 p.m. “Richard Curtis couldn’t be here tonight because…he’s home watching The Comeback on DVD.” Okay, I’ll cut that out.

10:22 p.m.
The “In Memoriam” montage always makes me a little misty, not that it stopped me from measuring the applause level from the audience: For the record, The West Wing‘s John Spencer definitely got the most love, followed closely by Don Knotts and Richard Pryor.

10:31 p.m. Sorry, Piv, but after Helen Mirren’s acceptance speech — “the great triumph is not falling ass over tit as I came up those stairs” — I change my mind: I want to have 10,000 of her babies.

10:33 p.m. MARISKA!!!!!! (I totally just hooted and hollered.) I’m so excited I can’t even talk right now.

10:40 p.m. I wonder how come Victor Garber always plays scary-angry dudes? His apology that time constraints had put the kibosh on “the extended comic romp Tyra [Banks] and I had so lovingly planned” was the funniest bit of podium pablum all night.

10:41 p.m. [DUE TO UNSAVORY LANGUAGE AND TERRIFYING EMMY RAGE, TIME INC. EXECUTIVES HAVE REQUESTED THAT POPWATCH REMOVE THE OPENING PORTIONS OF THE 10:41 P.M. EMMY LIVE-BLOG ITEM.] And after a long day of blogging, note to self: I don’t need to SEE Julia Louis-Dreyfus cradling Valerie Cherish’s Emmy!

10:44 p.m. Ray Liotta, you’re scaring me!

10:45 p.m. I was really hoping Kiefer might pull a Jack Bauer and torture some accountants till they recounted the votes for the Best Actress in a Comedy category, but dude’s been in the business a while. He’s got a lot of folks to thank.

10:51 p.m. The only way Bob Newhart’s intro for Best Comedy series could’ve been funnier would be if they’d made him stay in the airtight container.

10:54 p.m. The Office‘s Greg Daniels is so funny, he might want to consider writing himself onto his own show as a corporate drone or something. Exhibit A: Daniels’ deadpan delivery of the following punch line: “Twenty years ago, Conan O’Brien and I were roommates and comedy writing partners, and we always said some day he would host the Emmys, and I would win an Emmy, and that we would lose our virginity. And tonight, I hope it will come true.”

10:56 p.m.
No disrespect to 24 (even though I was rooting for Grey’s Anatomy), but is there anything less exciting than ending the night with a bunch of producers thanking lists of people? They should’ve closed with Newhart breaking outta the box!

11:01 p.m. Okay, PopWatchers, I’m off to watch “Valerie Does Another Classic Leno.” Feel free to make like Lionel Richie and vent your Emmy rage and delight in the comments section… all night long.

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