Blame Teri Hatcher. Or the floor-buffing guy.
Either way, viewers got a video replay and firsthand account of the Tonight Show bit that bit back at Conan O'Brien Friday, causing the host to cancel the taping midway through and take up an afternoon residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
"I've been bombarded with emails and calls and people wondering just what the hell happened on Friday," O'Brien said.
"When you smack your head on cement, it tends to elicit that kind of interest," cohort Andy Richter replied.
The injury—which briefly rendered O'Brien's otherwise razor-sharp verbal abilities slurred and the entire incident, in his mind, blurred—occurred at the tail end of a bit in which Hatcher had the "great idea" to stage a mock triathlon against O'Brien, which should've ended with both stars crossing the finish line in the studio.
Nonspoiler alert: It didn't.
"I raced down the stairs. I think I was trying to take a slide—it's a very slick floor—and my feet go out from under me and just…actually, I don't remember much," O'Brien said. "I'm not even kidding."
"Why don't we show people what happened. Set your VCR to record. Your friends can all laugh watching this later. 'His pumpkin really got pounded'…that's my father talking."
The footage shows O'Brien attempting to pass Hatcher, only to wind up lying prostrate, with the back of his head appearing to bear the brunt of his fall. He hit his head so hard, in fact, that "for five seconds, I understood the plot of Lost."
Now that's hard.
"In that moment I saw stars, but I tried to keep going. I honestly don't remember this part. I tried to stand up and I couldn't stand up and I tried to throw to a replay…I'm on autopilot."
"I knew you hit your head and it looked pretty serious, and I couldn't believe that you called for a slo-mo of it immediately afterward, but I think you weren't thinking straight," Richter understated.
The red flags were raised when O'Brien was getting prepped for the next segment, an interview with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. When handed his blue cards, his nightly desk fixture with information and questions for his guests, O'Brien said they may as well have been "a menu for an Egyptian restaurant."
O'Brien was removed from the studio and checked out by a nurse, doing his best to outwile the pro with his unintentionally comic answer to the first basic question, what year is it?
"My first answer was, 'I know it's not 2011.' I knew that was too high. They asked me what month it is and I didn't know what month it is, but it's Los Angeles! You never know what month it is! That's the other thing I thought was unfair. It's like, 'Well, here's a clue, it's 110 degrees.' I don't know, Christmas?"
And while O'Brien, who asked his pal Richter "what happened about four times," wasn't doing so well on the nurse's queries—which lasted about an hour and a half—it maybe wasn't entirely his fault.
"One of the neurological questions was, how many nickels in $1.35? I've never known that."
As for his second banana, Richter proved just what an asset, and not only professionally, he is.
"You were great," O'Brien said, switching into sincere mode. "This guy came with me in the ambulance and he came with me to the hospital. He's a good friend…You just had me laughing the whole time…and to be fair, I was laughing at everything."
OK, not that sincere.
"I was in the front of the ambulance and I didn't know whether to tell you this or not, but those paramedics took a lot of pictures of your penis," Richter said. "I figured it was something medical. At one point it looked like they put sunglasses on."
"They always have sunglasses on," O'Brien replied.
Yeah, he's gonna be just fine.
Want more Conan? You got it.