The Emmys were back to being in-person after last year’s mostly virtual show, and things couldn’t help but be a bit awkward. There was Rita Wilson rapping. There were some dicey pre-taped comedy bits. But some of the night’s highlights, like Jason Sudeikis roasting Lorne Michaels, were purely spontaneous. One of the most out-of-nowhere moments came courtesy Conan O’Brien, who decided upon a random way to greet the night’s most obscure guest.
That person was Frank Scherma, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy. He was there to sing the praises of, well, television, but before he could even get a word out he was distracted by O’Brien. As the crowd applauded him to the stage, the longtime late night host’s voice cracked through the din. He was shouting in loud celebration, and he continued to do so even as Scherma’s speech began. Eventually O’Brien quieted down, but only so he could stand firmly in place, giving Scherma a mock-salute.
Conan is the best part of this show and he hasn't even been on stage. pic.twitter.com/jZfEFo6C5f
— av clark (@annevclark) September 20, 2021
It’s not entirely clear what O’Brien was doing, partly because the cameras almost didn’t show him. Was he being faux-disrespectful? Was it mere randomness? Whatever it was, people embraced the chaos.
— Ringer Dish (@RingerDish) September 20, 2021
Conan standing and saluting the CEO of the Television Academy throughout his spiel pic.twitter.com/8rZWKqF9Ln
— Kris HeHadTwoJabs (@DesignedToFade) September 20, 2021
— Cameron Newton (@CamBNewton) September 20, 2021
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) September 20, 2021
Conan O'Brien destroying the Television Academy's speech is one of the few spontaneously funny moments of the #Emmys so far
— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) September 20, 2021
Conan has officially gone insane and gives zero fucks at this point.
— Abraham Cavazos (@cavazus) September 20, 2021
Conan is an American treasure pic.twitter.com/dmyCl839fC
— Ryan Herrera (@ryan_mherrera) September 20, 2021
Some were simply glad to see O’Brien back on network TV.
this is the most network tv airtime Conan has gotten in over a decade and I’m loving it pic.twitter.com/ySK3dE8tbs
— sammy kay (@thatSammyKay) September 20, 2021
O’Brien had other antics that night as well.
Conan is giving no F’s tonight!
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) September 20, 2021
In short, O’Brien may wind up the MVP of Emmys 2021.