Although he failed to follow through with an earlier promise to drop naked covered with cooking oil into the celebrity packed audience, O'Brien garnered plenty of laughs as he interacted with the casts of "Lost," "The Office," "24," "House" and even "South Park" in his fictional quest to reach the stage of the Shrine Auditorium.
O'Brien kept the sometimes plodding kudofest moving along by presenting actor Bob Newhart in a glass enclosure and warning award winners to keep speeches short since the TV icon had only three hours of air and would die if the telecast went one second past 11 p.m.
The first four award recipients followed his instructions and kept their thanks mercifully brief.
Megan Mullally of NBC's "Will & Grace" won best supporting actress in a comedy for her work in the final season of the show while the best supporting actress in a drama award went to Blythe Danner of "Showtime's" canceled "Huff."
Alan Alda was not on hand to accept his award for supporting actor in a drama series for the final season of NBC's "The West Wing." But first-time winner Jeremy Piven gave an emotional thank you to his parents when he was named best supporting actor in a comedy for his portrayal of agent Ari Gold in HBO's "Entourage."