Neil Patrick Harris, Jay Leno
This week, a lot happened on TV, but who had time to watch, what with all the shenanigans going on in late-night? Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno all used their shows to issue informal press releases on the latest machinations of the Tonight Show shuffle — to brilliant comic effect. Welcome to Top Moments: 2010 NBC Panic Edition!
10. Most Surprising Cameo: While Jack Black does his best Jack Black impression on Community Thursday as an aspiring new member of the Spanish study group, it's Owen Wilson's surprise appearance in the episode's final moments — as a guy in the "cool" study group — that makes us laugh the hardest.
9. Longest-Overdue Comeuppance: Desperate Housewives' Bree has been cheating on her husband, Orson, for some time now — much to the detriment of Kyle MacLachlan's otherwise entertaining performance. So it was satisfying to see Orson -- albeit paralyzed in a wheelchair — finally stand up to his cheating wife. "I'd rather be cared for by a flatulent helper monkey," he says when she offers to take care of him. Our boy is back!
8. Best Dressed: How I Met Your Mother turns 100 with a rip-roaring musical ode to Barney's ultimate companion: suits. Backed by 65 dancers and a vocal assist from his castmates, resident song-and-dance man Neil Patrick Harris extols the virtues of double-breasted greatness (sample lyric: "They're oh-so-debonair/The perfect way to snare/a girl with daddy issues") with his usual aplomb. We were thisclose to choosing suits over Stacy Keibler too. Now can he finally win an Emmy?
7. Worst Time for a Scary Story: Pat Robertson uses the occasion of a devastating earthquake in Haiti to tell CBN viewers about how once upon a time, a few hundred years ago, everyone on the island got together to make a pact with the devil, and the earthquake is the result. Double shame on him: first, for profound insensitivity, and second, for spoiling a major Season 6 plot twist on Lost.
6. Oddest Couple: Forget Huddy, Luddy, Foreteen and all those other couples on House, let's talk about Hilson! When a new neighbor, Nora, thinks House and Wilson are partners after Wilson asks her out, House seizes the opportunity to pretend he and Wilson are a troubled gay couple in order to ultimately get in her pants. In retaliation, Wilson proclaims his love for House in a crowded restaurant and proposes to him in front of Nora. Now nobody will get the girl.
5. Best Worst Audition: No, Gen. Larry Platt was never going to make it to Hollywood (he was 62 years old, after all), but his hilarious and somewhat catchy "Pants on the Ground," is easily the most remarkable aspect of American Idol's ninth season thus far. Platt spoke directly to the belt-challenged, who he claims look like fools. Simon says he thinks it's going to be a hit; based on the viral response, it already is.
4. Gutsiest Impression: On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the SNL vet conflates his surprisingly accurate Neil Young impression with a cover version of the aforementioned Idol phenomenon "Pants on the Ground" to capture the teen zeitgeist with a musical joke that only the adults in the crowd understand.
3. Backhandedest Compliment: On The Jay Leno Show, the beleaguered host uses his monologue to look at the positive side of the Tonight Show shakeup. "With the all the controversy going on here at NBC, actually, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien's ratings have gone up. They've gone up. So you're welcome!" he exclaims.
2. Longest Joke: Jimmy Kimmel Live's host does the job in the guise of Jay Leno, who explains that the once and perhaps future Tonight Show host is now "taking over all the shows in late night." No moment equals the shock of his lisping, gray-wigged, prosthetic-chinned entrance, but give Kimmel credit for keeping up the routine all episode long. He nails Leno's tendency to lean on the band for laughs, and his "Headlines" segment pinpoints Leno's fondness for easy targets, like misspelled classified ads. Bonus points to Kimmel for getting Chevy Chase to play Conan O'Brien.
1. Best Lemonade: On Wednesday's Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (for now), guest Ricky Gervais turns what could have been an extremely awkward situation and finds the funny. He asks O'Brien what he'll do next. "You have no discernible skills," he says with a tone of faux concern. Watch the full episode to catch O'Brien's shout-out to TVGuide.com's poll about the late-night shakeup during his monologue.