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John Oliver praises Conan O'Brien and late Norm Macdonald in Emmys acceptance speech

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John Oliver used his acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards on Sunday night to praise Conan O'Brien and the late Norm Macdonald.

The host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver won Best Variety Talk Series, making it his eighth Emmy win for the late-night programme. In his acceptance speech, he turned his attention to fellow comedians.

"Thank you so much. I think like many in this room, I was kinda rooting for Conan, so this is bittersweet," Oliver began. "Thank you so much Conan for 30 years of inspiring comedy writers - a ridiculous number, you're the best."

O'Brien, who retired from hosting his nightly show in June, stood up in thanks for the recognition. The Birmingham native then thanked HBO executives and his staff members for their support, before acknowledging that the awards show is the first time he's been able to see them since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As he signed off, he brought his attention back to O'Brien and stand-up comedian Macdonald, who passed away last week at 61 following a private battle with cancer.

"I just want to say that this is an award for late-night comedy," Oliver continued. "No one was funnier in the last 20 years than Norm Macdonald on late-night comedy."

Macdonald was a frequent guest on O'Briens's multiple late-night shows over the years, and gained recognition on the late-night sketch show Saturday Night Live.

"So, if you have any time in the next week, do what I did and just spend time YouTube-ing clips of Norm and Conan - because it just doesn't get any better than that," he signed off.

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