In reality, Howard explained to Jimmy Fallon on Monday's The Tonight Show, he was just overconfident in his ability to memorize his lines and not have to rely on the teleprompter. The Empire star also admitted that he got distracted by seeing so many A-listers in the audience.
"I'm about to kill it," he told Fallon. "And then I get out there, there's Oprah. ... I choked!"
Much to Howard's chagrin, he and Fallon did a Monday morning quarterbacking-style analysis of his speech on The Tonight Show, during which the actor copped to accidentally whacking the microphone at one point, which created a jarring off-camera sound on the telecast.
"I thought I had it together and then I hit the microphone and I was like, 'Maybe nobody noticed,'" Howard admitted, sending the Tonight Show audience into hysterics.
Check out his breakdown of the speech below: