Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The 1st (hopefully of many) Comedy Awards

     With awards shows often hiring comedians to host, and with comedy movies often getting overlooked at the major awards shows, it would make sense that Comedy take their own night to hand out kudos. What's more, since everyone involved is in the business of making people laugh, it is bound to be much, much funnier than other dreary, dragging award galas. It seems like such a no brainer. Yet, it wasn't until this past week that Comedy Central stepped up to host the first ever 'The Comedy Awards', which honored performers and shows from many channels, and aired on several other networks, too. It premiered on television Sunday night, though was filmed a couple of weeks ago.

     Well, of course, success was had! While there was no opening sketch or monologue, the people tapped to introduce and hand out awards were plenty funny. Even the In Memoriam segment showed some of the deceased's funniest moments on screen, celebrating what they did so well, rather than playing sappy music and bringing tears to eyes. Andy Samberg's Lonely Island and Akon performed "I Just Had Sex", which came off even more entertaining than the original Saturday Night Live digital short it was taken from. Jon Cryer also delivered a very classy, amusing bit, playing off current events.

     The sad part is, this show took place in New York, so while all of the New York people were in attendance (Jon Stewart, David Letterman, the cast of 30 Rock, etc.), many L.A. performers couldn't make it. This may be chalked up to first year stumbles, and if the show becomes an anual tradition, more effort to attend among the various nominees will hopefully be made. Because of this, a few major awards were shown only in brief clips, rather than as part of the live broadcast, as the winners were not there to collect them.

     Most winners chose to go for jokes rather than a serious, sentimental speech, which was welcome. Best acceptance speeches of the night go to: Honorable Mention: Kristen Wiig, who thanked several Lornes before getting to Michaels. 3rd place: Trey Parker and Matt Stone, remarking winning an award for South Park, a show that airs on the network giving out the awards, felt awkward. 2nd place: Ty Burrell, representing the mostly-absent Modern Family cast. 1st place: Stephen Colbert, accepting The Daily Show's win, after kicking the real victors off stage, on behalf of all the people sick of being beaten by them for the last eight years.

     Two really big comedy stars were honored with extensive air times. Eddie Murphy was given the Comedy Icon award, and his clip reel reminded viewers that once upon a time, he used to be very funny. Sadly, it appears his acceptance speech was not, as it was thoroughly edited down. Billy Murray presented Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence to David Letterman. The audience went crazy for the elusive Murray. Letterman's speech, on the other hand, went too long and got boring. It's fitting that he won the award, but next time, remember this is a comedy show.
     Other winners included Louis C.K., Childrens' Hospital, Tina Fey, The Other Guys, and Auto-Tune the News for their Bed Intruder Song.


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