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August 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In the end, Conan O’Brien got the hook again. Widely expected to receive the Emmy for outstanding variety, music or comedy series for the period when he hosted The Tonight Show, he lost out to Jon Stewart, who took the award for the eighth consecutive year. The residue of the NBC debacle was very much evident during the awards ceremony, which was carried by NBC. (It moved the date of the telecast to August in order to avoid conflict with its Sunday Night Football telecast.) Early in the telecast, Fallon, who replaced O’Brien on NBC’s Late Night when O’Brien took over The Tonight Show, quipped: “NBC asked me to host a late-night show, and I thought, ‘What could go wrong?'” On cue, the producers cut to O’Brien sitting in the audience. While O’Brien may have been denied the opportunity to take some shots at NBC during the Emmy broadcast, he nevertheless may have experienced a large measure of schadenfreude as NBC received only a single Emmy for a primetime entertainment program all evening (for Bucky Gunts, who directed the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Vancouver). Nevertheless, the Emmy telecast may have been a terrific promotional vehicle for Fallon, who has acknowledged that he was given the opportunity to host the Emmys because NBC was carrying the awards show this year. Critics today showered him with praise. Los Angeles Times TV writer Mary McNamara wrote: “As a white-tuxedoed, wandering minstrel, Fallon played perfect host in the traditional sense of the compliment — he did not dominate so much as facilitate, making the category transitions lightly and cleanly, introducing presenters with humor and an insider’s ease, and remaining infectiously happy to be there without drawing too much attention to himself.” And Alex Ben Block commented in the Hollywood Reporter: “Host Jimmy Fallon brought a nice liveliness to the proceedings and proved a solid entertainer, helping build his own late-night audience.”