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Twenty Reasons We'd Watch the Emmys

So NBC decided to turn over the hosting duties for September's Emmy Awards to the funny and talented Conan O'Brien instead of human Joke-O-Matic Jay Leno? Great -- but we won't be watching.

You say this year's Emmy ceremony doesn't figure to be as somber and ultimately irrelevant as last year's installment, delayed first by the terrorist attacks and then by the military action against the Taliban and maybe even because event organizers lost their deposit on the Shrine Auditorium? Everyone's entitled to live in hope, we suppose, but even if the awards show defies its basest instincts and stops just short of having all the nominees link hands and sing "We Are the World," we wouldn't be there to see it -- we'll be watching the Cartoon Network.

You think the list of nominees proves that this year's ceremony will be chock full of surprise winners and newcomers to the Emmy Awards victory parade? OK -- but try to hold back your disappointment when Frasier wins its 4,000th Emmy further ensuring the good-but-not-landmark show's place as the most honored show in history or when the casts of The West Wing and Sex in the City form a conga line up to the podium to receive their statues. As for us, we have some laundry to fold that evening.

When it comes to award shows, the Emmys are a double-dog drag, the wobbly caboose in the never-ending award show train. Less consequential than the Tonys, a show that honors the achievements of people who work in a nine-block stretch of midtown Manhattan. More square than the Grammys, which considers Jethro Tull a heavy metal band, the Three Tenors a pop group and Will Smith a greater rap artist than Public Enemy. Longer than the Oscars. More rigged than the American Music Awards. Stupider than the ESPYs. More... Well... nothing's stupider than the ESPYs. But you get our point.

In other words, there's absolutely no need to watch the Emmys, unless you're a big fan of spredetermined outcomes, passionless acceptance speeches and musical tributes to the cast of Fish. Hey, we like Fish as much as anyone, but as for the rest, we'll take a pass.

Unless... unless the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gets on the stick this year and decides to liven up the Sept. 22 telecast. If someone affiliated with the Emmy Awards were to contact us with an explicit promise that any one of the following 20 things would happen during the course of the evening, we'd tune in with the remote in one hand and a bottle of pep pairs to keep us awake for the four-hour ceremony in the other.

  1. Best Supporting Actor nominee Victor Garber eschews black-tie in favor of his Jesus costume from the original production of Godspell. "It still fits," he happily tells Joan Rivers.
  2. Rob Lowe interrupts his opening number duet with Spongebob Squarepants to turn the camera and say, "No, really, can someone explain to me why I'm the only West Wing cast member not to get nominated?"
  3. Ralph Nader's insurgent candidacy siphons off enough votes from favorite Kim Cattrall, allowing Cynthia Nixon to win Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy in an upset.

  4. Best actresses in a drama nominees Jennifer Garner, Rachel Griffiths, Frances Conroy and Allison Janey spend the entire ceremony staring at Amy Brenneman and humming "One of these things is not like the others."
  5. In a pre-show interview with E!'s Joan Rivers, Courtney Cox reveals that the sole reason she's the only "Friend" never to be nominated for an Emmy is that the Television Academy is afraid she'll bring her husband to the ceremony.
  6. Winners of the technical awards categories take the more glamorous creative awards ceremony hostage. "We have the technology," Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing winner Mary Jo Markey says. "Fear us."
  7. Whenever a West Wing cast member fails to win, Rob Lowe can be see on camera mouthing the words "Good."
  8. After presenter William Peterson announces that Law & Order has won an award, a vicious melee breaks out between the producers of Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent and the original Law & Order when all three try to claim the trophy.
  9. Jennifer Aniston is recognized by the academy as Best Actress in a Comedy on the condition that a shirtless Brad Pitt accepts the award on her behalf.
  10. Wolf Lake wins an Emmy for Best Theme Music, thus ensuring the series will forever be referred to as "The Emmy-Award Winning Wolf Lake" to fulfill a Biblical prophecy.
  11. As the list of nominees Best Supporting Actor in a Drama are read off, the words "Dule Hill" prompt Rob Lowe to jump to his feet screaming, "How, God, how?"
  12. All Drama award winners are required in their acceptance speeches to thank David Chase for producing the next Sopranos season when he's damn good and ready.
  13. Debbie Allen's musical dance tribute to Dinotopia goes horribly wrong when Matt LeBlanc is crushed during the triumphant finale.
  14. All Six Feet Under Emmy recipients pepper their acceptance speeches with unusually vile profanity.
  15. The producers of Bachelorettes in Alaska, Big Brother and Elimidate Deluxe are all invited into a room to receive a "special" Emmy -- only one walks out.
  16. Terrified presenters back away from a snarling Michael Chiklis as the balding, muscular actor accepts his Emmy in character. "You did right by me," Chiklis tells the academy. "Now, I'm going to do right by you."
  17. "Ladies and gentlemen: the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement goes to Nikki Cox."
  18. The camera cuts to Rob and Chad Lowe sobbing uncontrollably every time a winner is announced.
  19. Rick Cleveland, formerly a West Wing writer and now a supervising producer Six Feet Under accepts the Emmy for Best Drama by thanking former boss Aaron Sorkin for "providing unbelievably easy competition."
  20. Emmy organizers decide to save us all three hours of tedium by just giving HBO a few crates of trophies and sending everyone else home early.

Additional contributions to this article by: Philip Michaels, Lisa Schmeiser.


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