Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien

From Chicago's Red Eye

Nothing was sacred during host Conan O'Brien's Emmy opening Sunday.

Not the controversial Emmy voting system, not Tom Cruise, not even his own network and the ceremony's home, NBC.

O'Brien kicked off the show with a taped segment that showed him flying to the ceremony in California.

"What could possibly go wrong tonight?" he asks--before the plane crashes onto an island a la ABC's "Lost."

When that show's character Hurley (Jorge Garcia) approaches, O'Brien asks him if he wants to go to the Emmys.

"We weren't exactly invited," Hurley says, in what becomes O'Brien's first poke at the new Emmy voting system, which failed to bring last year's best drama winner even a nomination this year.

"Nothing makes sense this year," O'Brien says.

O'Brien flees through a mysterious hatch and ends up crashing through other series including "The Office," "24" and "House," where he is diagnosed by Hugh Laurie, who plays the cranky doctor.

"Subject could be anemic, possibly albino," Laurie says of O'Brien.

O'Brien runs into the bedroom of "South Park" character Stan, who screams "Dad, Conan O'Brien won't come out the closet!"

When O'Brien finally does, he says "There's someone else in there." Turns out it's Tom Cruise.

O'Brien ends up being grilled by "Dateline NBC" host Chris Hanson on "To Catch a Predator." When Hanson interrogates O'Brien, whose screen name is "conebone69," O'Brien flees. When O'Brien appears on the Emmy stage, he kept up the attacks.

  • He explained that because NBC was telecasting the awards, "half way through the show the Emmys will be cancelled."
  • "Even movie stars have TV shows," he said. "Alec Baldwin has a new show on NBC, James Woods has a new show on CBS, and Mel Gibson has a new show on Al-Jazeera."
  • He mentioned that CBS' "Two and a Half Men" was the highest rated sitcom on TV. "There's something about Charlie Sheen raising an impressionable young kid that just feels right."
  • He offered guidelines for speeches, including not mentioning that the award is heavy: "Of course it's heavy. It contains the shattered dreams of four other people."
  • He said that Ellen Burstyn's nomination for a role that lasted only 14 seconds shouldn't be troubling. "Folks, let me speak from experience, just because something only lasts 14 seconds doesn't mean it's not spectacular."