Last night’s MTV Movie Awards were flooded with the stars of today, the movies of tomorrow, and the decisions of yesterday’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards voters. (Spoiler alert: Leo got snubbed AGAIN and apparently it was the Academy’s loss that Catching Fire wasn’t nominated for anything.) But to kick off the entire night’s festivities was none other than host Conan O’Brien in a madcap dash to capture 50 celebrity cameos.
THR has the video you see above, and according to their write-up, it was all done in three weeks.
Directed by Troy Miller (Arrested Development, Deadbeat), the opening was filmed with a lot of efficiency, and equal parts luck. Luck that included dealing with factors like Adam Sandler being in Dallas, Martin Scorsese being in New York, and their last cameo (Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o) signed the dotted line on Saturday. As in this Saturday, around 24 hours before the show.
And just why does MTV President Stephen Freidman credit this success to? According to his short statement:
"I think it speaks to how much the community loves Conan. To book 50 cameos in three weeks is kind of an epic challenge."
Whether you’re an MTV fan or not, whether you think the Movie Awards are lacking credibility or not, this is an opening worth the time to watch. Despite the fact that if you’re a stickler for accuracy, you’ll be bugged by the fact that there’s only 47 celebrity cameos. You can go ahead and skip this part if you’re a non-stickler, but for the rest of us there are a couple of moments that clearly don’t count. Moment 1: Tracy Morgan is credited as Banksy, which is a pretty funny joke on its own, but for those of us who wanted Conan to see it through to the end, that doesn’t count. Moment 2: "Faux Jack Nicholson" flipping the bird out of a limo definitely does not count. Moment 3, and this is the big one, is Conan himself. He’s hosting the show, so he can’t really cameo in his opening. You mean to tell the audience that you couldn’t have used that as a segue into the show, where he pulls the first presenter out of the crowd? And don’t even start the conversation about what counts as a "celebrity." Honestly, there’s one thing that pushes this argument off the table and makes this sequence a gem to be remembered. And that’s Danny McBride using Ed Helms as a drug mule. Looks like Pineapple Express 2 just got greenlit.
Inconsequential gripes aside, this is some seriously funny stuff, and it’s big of Conan to support a rival cable network with his talent. Then again, he’s always had a good relationship with a couple of Viacom employees, so he’s probably considered the unofficial third son over there. Oh, and before anyone asks in the comments, the insanely catchy tune used in the opening was Come With Me Now by Kongos. This video should complete your Monday morning playlist, so there’s that.