Conan O'Brien might have lost his chance to take home an Emmy for his late-night talk show on Sunday night, but the comedian still managed to steal the spotlight at the ceremony, much to the enthusiasm of fans on social media. Between moments of spontaneity like standing to salute the Television Academy chairman to his deadpan facial expressions caught by the cameras inciting laughter among the audience, O'Brien proved to be a real charmer during the more than three-hour broadcast. But it was his viral moment of crashing the stage during Stephen Colbert's win for Outstanding Live Variety Special that had fans wondering what was up with the beloved comedian. Thankfully, Colbert is speaking out and dispelling any negative fodder reminiscent of a Kanye West and Taylor Swift moment over the heartwarming scene.
After Colbert's win became a meme-worthy moment with O'Brien jumping the stage without any context or explanation, the late-night talk show host admitted to Entertainment Tonight that his longtime friend didn't crash anything. In fact, O'Brien, who ended his own talk show this past June, was invited by Colbert beforehand to join them had they won the honor. "I said: 'Why don't you come on stage with us if we win?' and he said: 'Really?' I said yeah and he went: 'OK, if you change your mind just let me know.' And he came up! We love Conan, and we're honored to be superfans."
Colbert went on to tell the Associated Press that O'Brien joining him on stage was the perfect addition to his Emmy win. "It is right and fitting that he should because Conan is — he is the Mandarin of what we do and he has been a tremendous friend to me and really a guiding light to all of us on how to be thoughtful and stupid, and physically ridiculous and there's never going to be anybody else like him and it's an extraordinary honor to call him a friend," he said.
Colbert, who won the award for his special, Stephen Colbert's Election Night 2020: Democracy's Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020 further addressed the viral, meme moments back backstage and joked why O'Brien wasn't in attendance in the press room, celebrating the win with reporters. "Conan would be here, but I had to fire him in the last five minutes. It was a budgetary thing. COVID has hit a lot of budgets really hard and we had to cut. They said cut by height," Colbert quipped. "It's been an honor to work with him and I'm sure he'll find a gig someplace."