LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Conan O’Brien won’t be too shy to strip down as host of the MTV Movie Awards.
“I’ve been preparing for this job for several years,” joked the talk show host backstage Friday during a break from rehearsing for Sunday’s fan-favourite ceremony. “I knew I’d be doing the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, so I’ve been doing a series of isometrics, underwater exercises, Pilates and Greco-Roman wrestling, which had no benefit to my body, but I strangely enjoyed it. My body is in incredible shape, and you might be seeing some of that on the show.”
The host of TBS’ “Conan” also isn’t afraid of the show’s competition from other networks that night, which includes the latest installment of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and the sixth season premiere of AMC’s “Mad Men.”
“‘Game of Thrones’ is a complete waste of everyone’s time,” said O’Brien. “The dragons attack everyone and eat their face on Sunday night. That’s what happens, so don’t even bother watching. ‘Mad Men’? Yawn. OK. Someone had too much to drink and slept with somebody. Whatevs, OK? MTV Movie Awards, that’s the show to watch.”
This year’s ceremony will honour the winners in such silly categories as best kiss, best fight and best shirtless performance. The funnyman noted the over-the-top MTV ceremony won’t be comparable to his tenure as host of the Emmys in 2002 and 2006. The biggest difference? Lots of special effects on the show’s apocalypse-themed stage, which includes a giant 5,000-pound bucket of fake popcorn and a sign that lights on fire.
“It’s the most flames I’ve ever been around in my life,” said O’Brien. “I’ve been working in show business for a long time, and every single part of the set explodes into flames at one point during the show.”
O’Brien said he’s most excited to see Johnny Depp, Kate Upton and Zedd in attendance. Other celebrities expected at the Nokia Theatre ceremony include Cameron Diaz, Mark Wahlberg and recent Oscar winners Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o, who are slated to have front-row seats down the aisle from Grumpy Cat, the frowning feline viral sensation.
“Grumpy Cat will be in attendance, we’re told,” said O’Brien. “We were told through Grumpy Cat’s people. Grumpy Cat is sort of like the Pope. You hear rumours. Maybe you’ll get an audience with Grumpy Cat, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll get a blessing from Grumpy Cat? It’s very difficult. I think it’s easier to get to Jay-Z right now than it is to get to Grumpy Cat.”
O’Brien teased the typically hijinks-filled ceremony would include several surprises, including an attempt at the beginning of the show to break a world record, as well as those promised bare-skin moments from the pale 50-year-old talk show host.
“You’re gonna see a lot of me in the show, so watch for it,” said O’Brien. “I know that’s what gets ratings. The idea of an Irish-Catholic male who sort of eats OK showing off his skin.”
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang .