Sunday's Emmy Awards are the biggest night in television, so naturally Fox ensured that everything would run like clockwork from the moment they kicked off.
And it did ... for about 90 seconds.
A tuxedoed, animated Homer Simpson kicked things off by strolling out onstage and announcing that hosting the Emmys had been his "impossible dream" — right before a piano dropped on him, a la Charlie Sheen's exit from "Two and a Half Men."
"What the hell was that?" shouted "Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson from the audience. And when no one gave him an answer, he leaped up and ran backstage to try and save things. After handing a few Emmys to his mother (we're pretty sure she was the real deal, one Doris Hancox) and noting, "I am so deserving of this," Anderson insisted to the crew, "What we need is an Emmy winner. Someone who can talk about the power of television."
Aha! A name on a list jumped out and a worker was dispatched to track the mystery presenter down.
"I saved the Emmys!" Anderson shouted.
At last, the show could begin (as, of course, it was always meant to begin; all of this chaos was well-choreographed and hilarious) as a man strode out onstage ... and it was Bryan Cranston!
"Fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and through the power of television 600 million people and 53 million households walked with him," said Cranston after recovering from his surprise. "Not a bad rating."
Cranston continued that he witnessed that historic walk when he was 13, and it "opened up a universe of possibilities" to him. "I could be anyone. I could go anywhere. Even Albuquerque," he quipped, a throwback to his "Breaking Bad" location.
Five decades on, he continued, TV was still transporting us to places like Winterfell ("Game of Thrones"), the Upside Down ("Stranger Things") and paradise ("Bachelor in Paradise"). "It welcomes us into the family home where we laugh at ("Modern Family's") Dunphys and cry with the ("This Is Us") Pearsons.
"Multiple times," Cranston glared at "Us" star Sterling K. Brown. "Every single week. Stop making us cry."
Not a chance, we think!
Of course, that wasn't even the start of things going sideways ... Ben Stiller stepped out next to present the first award of the night and walked through several decades of great TV as actors posed as George Burns and Lucille Ball ... and Bob Newhart. But wait! That actually was the 90-year-old comedy legend!
"Ben, I'm still alive," noted Newhart.
And we're all grateful for that.