Emmys 2006: Minute By Minute

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It's a glorious sunny Sunday (Aug. 27) afternoon in Los Angeles, which means that it must be around 90 degrees down at the Shrine Auditorium where the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy ceremony is being held.

So just remember that behind all of the glitz and glamour you're watching on TV, there are also gallons of perspiration. Just remember: Stars don't sweat, they glisten.

In case you miss a moment of the festivities, from host Conan O'Brien's monologue to the evening's final award, you can follow Zap2it.com's second-by-second coverage of the night Hollywood makes the small screen seem pretty darned big:

8:01 p.m. Eastern It didn't take long for airplane-related disasters to be funny again, as Conan O'Brien's monologue begins with a taped bit featuring the second-time host crashing on a deserted island. Apparently 49 people dying in a plane crash in Kentucky earlier today didn't cause anybody on the Emmy production crew to think twice. Hi-larious. Wouldn't this "Lost" parody have been funnier if the Emmy voters had bothered to nominate "Lost" for any major awards? Sure, Jorge Garcia jokes about the snubbing, but is that supposed to make it hurt less?

8:06 p.m. As funny as airplane disasters? Comic bits about sexual predators. Still, though, conebone69? Sophisticated stuff.

8:07 p.m. "It's my second time hosting and as you'll see tonight, the third time's the charm," O'Brien promises, before joking that since the show's on NBC, it'll be cancelled three-fourths of the way through. We also get the first Mel Gibson joke. Tellingly, the director opts not to cut to any of the celebs in the audience. Equally tellingly, the direct opts to cut to Kevin Bacon when O'Brien makes a joke about sexual inadequacy.

8:11 p.m. Tonight's Emmy swag bag -- totally taxable, kids -- contains a gift certificate to the Olive Garden worth $50,000, so kids O'Brien. All around America, people are sitting in their living rooms going, "Wicked awesome!"

8:13 p.m. O'Brien's monologue closes with a "Music Man"-style song and dance about NBC's ratings difficulties set to the tune of "Trouble," with lyrics like "With a capital T that rhymes with G, as in 'Gee, we're screwed.'"

8:15 p.m. Presenting the first award of the evening are Ellen Pompeo -- who seems to have eaten over the summer -- and Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey. The first Emmy goes to Megan Mullally of "Will & Grace" for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. Boy, I'm so glad that the Emmys changed the rules this year to get some fresh blood up on the podium. That's sarcasm, kids. "I've never cried on national television. I think I like it," Mullally says.

8:20 p.m. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Hayes make an ineffective joke about the nominating process, before giving the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series to Alan Alda of "The West Wing." I like to think he skipped the show as a conscientious objector.

8:25 p.m. "If the Emmys run one second over three-hours, Bob Newhart dies," O'Brien announces, as Newhart is wheeled out on stage in an airtight container allegedly holding only three hours of oxygen. Shortly after, in the evening's first technical glitch, Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen arrive on stage to present an award half-way through O'Brien's intro. The father-son duo present Blythe Danner with her second consecutive trophy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series. If you're keeping score at home, that's three straight wins for previous Emmy winners and, more importantly, three straight wins recognizing shows that won't be back next year.

8:29 p.m. Jeremy Piven breaks the streak by winning his first Emmy as outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his work on "Entourage," which has yet to be cancelled. He's surprisingly classy and brief. Ari Gold would be confused.

8:35 p.m. Christopher Meloni whizzes across the stage on a Segway podium lampooning the new Emmy policy intended to shorten the show.

8:36 p.m. It's time for the award for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie. The announcement of Ellen Burstyn's 10-second nomination gets a noticeable absence of applause, but no boos. Please let her win. Please let her win. Drat. Kelly MacDonald wins. I guess that's OK, since I've loved her since "Trainspotting." I'm not sure what she said in her speech, but her Scottish accent is divine.

8:39 p.m. Hey, you know what would speed up the Emmy telecast even more than Segways and playing legends like Blythe Danner off the stage? Not taking a commercial break four minutes after the last one.

8:41 p.m. If "The Guardian" -- a film starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher -- is truly the "movie event of the fall," civilization is truly in decline.

8:44 p.m. Heidi Klum joins John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor for a prepared bit that's every bit as unamusing as Tambor and Lithgow's new NBC series "Twenty Good Years." They give the Emmy for outstanding music or variety show to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Stewart gets a big kiss on the cheek from more deserving nominee Stephen Colbert. "I think this year you actually made a terrible mistake," Stewart quips.

8:48 p.m. Leslie Jordan and Cloris Leachman, guest actor and actress in a comedy series, pop up to present the comedy writing and directing prizes. The comedy directing Emmy goes to Marc Buckland for the "My Name Is Earl" pilot. He makes a joke about his bar mitzvah and about the irrelevancy of directors to the viewers at home. He's right. They're still thinking of what they would do with $50,000 at the Olive Garden. The writing Emmy goes to Greg Garcia, also for the "My Name Is Earl" pilot. He reads a list of people he doesn't want to thank, including his 8th grade social studies teacher and God, who took his hair.

8:52 p.m. The latest premature commercial break offers the chance to ponder this riddle: If "My Name Is Earl" had the season's best-directed comedy episode and the season's best-written comedy episode, don't you think the show maybe should have been nominated in the outstanding comedy series category?

8:57 p.m. The crowd boos Simon Cowell, who pronounces telly-vision funny. He doesn't call anything "dreadful" or mention Paula Abdul as he cues a tribute to Dick Clark. Telly-vision. Telly-vision. Telly-vision. He keeps doing it!

9:01 p.m. Clark presents Barry Manilow, giving millions of viewers the chance to check out "Pirates of the Caribbean" on ABC or a bathroom break.

9:10 p.m. "I'm Emmy winner Tina Fey." "And I'm home-owner Tracy Morgan." The stars of "30 Rock" get a couple chuckles before presenting the outstanding individual performance in a musical, variety or comedy to Barry Manilow. I guess it might have been humiliating if they'd brought Barry on stage and then left him without an Emmy. I have no problems humiliating Barry Manilow. "This goes into the operating room with me tomorrow morning as a good luck charm," Manilow says.

9:14 p.m. In the funniest moment of the evening thus far, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar takes the stage with the Ernst and Young accountants. This is payback for the Emmy Kareem didn't get for his guest starring turn as a judge on "Uncle Buck."

9:16 p.m. Christian Clemenson, outstanding guest actor in a drama series, comes out to present the drama directing Emmy. Because nobody knows who Christian Clemenson is, Evangeline Lilly and Wentworth Miller stay on stage with him as he gives the trophy to "24" helmer John Cassar. "We're working in the new Golden Age of television, let's enjoy it," Cassar says.

9:18 p.m. As soon as Cassar's gone, Clemenson is booted from the stage and Lilly and Miller give the drama writing Emmy to Terrence Winter wins for "The Sopranos." Part of me would like to believe that this win is also recognition for Winter's script for the 50 Cent movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'."

9:24 p.m. "She has the kind of beauty that wars have been fought over. He has the kind of moustache that traps a lot of food," O'Brien dead-pans, before calling Mariska Hargitay and Tom Selleck to the stage. The Emmy for supporting actor in a miniseries or movie goes to Jeremy Irons for "Elizabeth." He doesn't seem to want the actual trophy, but makes a quick speech and departs.

9:26 p.m. Megan Mullally goes out of her way not to touch Howie Mandel. He's relieved. Together, they go out of their way not to be funny, but since they're presenting the award for directing on a musical, comedy or variety program, nobody's watching anyway. Thus, nobody's watching as the category devolves into an excruciating parody of "Deal or No Deal." And nobody's watching as Louis J. Horvitz wins for his work on the Oscars. He's directing the Emmys as well, so he accepts from the van. He instructs the orchestra to play him off, but not soon enough.

9:32 p.m. The nominees for writing for a variety, comedy or musical are always presented in creative ways. "The Colbert Report," all of the writers are presented as bears, with Stephen Colbert as a hunter. "The Daily Show" writers appear on cue cards held by a man under water. The "Conan O'Brien" writers are presented as out-sourced Indians in cubicles, including a red-headed Indian as Conan. The "Letterman" writers are wrestling on stage. The "Bill Maher" writers are all Right Wing pundits and politicians including Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter and, well, Bill Maher. The "Daily Show" writers win. "I have decided right here and now to kill Bob Newhart," Stewart says before standing in silence. He also gives a shout-out to the writers on "The Colbert Report."

9:39 p.m. Hugh Laurie, who isn't nominated, and Helen Mirren, who is, present the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a movie or miniseries. Laurie amusingly translates Mirren's presentation into French. Warren Beatty is laughing. I can only assume that Louis Horvitz cuts to Beatty because he's a well-known liberal and liberals love the French. Andre Braugher wins for "Thief." He should thank viewers for not tuning in to "Thief," because if anybody had watched it, it would have been a series instead of a movie or miniseries. He doesn't.

9:44 p.m. Tony Shalhoub wins a default prize for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series. Yes. We know you Emmy voters like "Monk." I had a great joke written about how the last time Steve Carell won a major award, it was from the Television Critics Association and I presented it to him. Now I don't get to make that joke. Sigh. You're still a winner to me, Steve!

9:51 p.m. Joan Collins, Stephen Collins and Heather Locklear lead the tribute to Aaron Spelling, described -- somewhat backhandedly -- as "a man who clearly understood his audience."

9:57 p.m. The original trio of thespians from "Charlie's Angels" earn a big cheer. Was that Tori Spelling ever-so-briefly featured in the crowd? She doesn't get much screen time. Kate Jackson makes people in the audience cry. Farrah Fawcett makes herself cry.

10:02 p.m. Well, they didn't short-change Aaron Spelling. That's for sure.

10:06 p.m. James Woods flirts ineffectually with Eva Longoria even though we all know she's too old for him. In a minor upset, "The Girl in the Cafe" wins for outstanding made-for-TV movie.

10:08 p.m. Stephen Colbert and Stewart join forces to present the outstanding reality program. "Good evening, Godless Sodomites," is Colbert's greeting. "I'm bringing the truth, Jon. We're in Hollywood, the belly of the beast." Of reality programming Colbert quips "it warps the minds of our children and weakens the resolve of our allies." When Stewart tries encouraging him to get on message, Colbert replies, "I lost to Barry Manilow. Barry Manilow... Singing and dancing is not performing!" The winner, as always, is "The Amazing Race." I hope this encourages the show to do another family edition.

10:17 p.m. The lovely Katherine Heigl and the dapper Omar Epps salute the outstanding director of a movie or miniseries something or other. It's Tom Hooper of "Elizabeth I." And then it's time for outstanding writing in the same category. Richard Curtis wins for "The Girl in the Cafe." This show is getting long.

10:20 p.m. Edie Falco and James Gandolfini, neither worthy of a nomination this year, apparently, take time out to mention our troops. Good of them. The award for outstanding miniseries goes to "Elizabeth I."

10:23 p.m. It's time to pay tribute to people who weren't Aaron Spelling, but also died. Red Buttons, Mike Douglas, Don Knotts and John Spencer earn particularly loud applause, while Richard Pryor gets the coveted final position in the montage. Actually, nobody really covets that position, but under the circumstances, it's probably an honor.

10:30 p.m. Kiefer Sutherlandand Felicity Huffman are paired. He doesn't attack a Christmas tree. She doesn't attack Lindsay Lohan. Instead, they present the award for best actress in a movie or miniseries to Helen Mirren for "Elizabeth I," her third win in nine nominations. "My great triumph is not falling ass over tit as I came up those stairs," Mirren announces. She can say that because she's a dame. If one of our American actors said such a thing, it'd probably get bleeped. As it is, we'll see if the FCC gets involved. She closes an otherwise passionate speech with, "I'll take my bloody shoes off now."

10:33 p.m. Calista Flockhart and Craig Ferguson make a pair of "ass-over-tit" jokes and then give Mariska Hargitay of "L&O: SVU" the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. She makes it onto the stage without going ass-over-tit.

10:40 p.m. Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series also known as "The prize for an actress whose comedy series will actually still be on TV this fall." She begins her speech with a jubilant, "Well, I'm not somebody who really believes in curses, but curse this, baby!"

10:43 p.m. Moving right along... Ray Liotta manages to make reading a teleprompter look creepy before the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series goes to the long-overdue Kiefer Sutherland for "24." He sends thousands of reporters scrambling to Google trying to figure out who "Sarah Dew" (Doo? Due?) is.

10:50 p.m. O'Brien rescues Newhart from his airtight case to announce the outstanding comedy series, declaring, "Thousands of people called in and the majority of callers wanted you to live." The winner is "The Office." Thank heavens. Greg Daniels gives a nod to former roommate O'Brien, saying, "He always said that someday he would host the Emmys, I would win an Emmy and we would lose our virginity."

10:54 p.m. Even though she lost to the woman who didn't go ass-over-tit, Annette Bening trots out to give the outstanding drama series prize to "24." If people talk really quickly, the show will end by 11. Please talk fast.

10:57 p.m. They do. O'Brien signs off at 10:57. That's a waste of three minutes.

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