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THE EMMYS

There Is Accounting for Some Humor

September 23, 2002|Mimi Avins

Behind the scenes: Host Conan O'Brien wanted a gag--in which he welcomes the accountants who tabulate the Emmy ballots, then introduces the FBI agents charged with taking them away for cooking the books--to be a surprise to the vote counters. TV academy Chairman Bryce Zabel suggested that the accountants needed to be let in on the joke. When they were, they discussed it with their lawyers, who weren't amused. Two days before the telecast, it still wasn't clear whether O'Brien's sense of humor would rule. It did.

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