Tag Archives: The Comedy Awards

The laugh’s on me

I spoke too soon—about a few things.

In a February post I pined for the old American Comedy Awards, but took solace in the fact that Comedy Central would be starting a new comedy award program in April.

Then a few weeks ago, I gloated about having finished my taxes three weeks early.

As these sentiments came back to me yesterday, I ended up eating my words.

First, I suddenly remembered that, in addition to federal and state income taxes, I had to file state personal property taxes for my business. The form is only six pages long, but it causes me more heartburn than anything I do all year. I do this one myself, rather than rely on a tax preparer, because it should be relatively simple. I work in an eight-by-ten-foot home office, with very few assets and, but for a few printer cartridges, purchased nothing in the past year.

Still, factoring in dread and recovery on either end, filling out the form takes me several hours, and I had put it off until the last weekend day before April 15.

I got psyched up by promising myself that, if I finished filling out the ugly tax form Sunday afternoon, I would treat myself to an evening enjoying Comedy Central’s first annual Comedy Awards.

So I plowed through several pages of instructions, and tackled the analysis of the original cost of my assets by year of acquisition, a balance sheet breakdown of the value of furniture, fixtures and equipment, accumulated depreciation, depreciation per year for the last five years and the net book value. I filled out a form for the disposal of machinery (a deceased computer). I wrote a check for $300, a “filing fee” that is charged simply for the privilege of being sent a tax bill. Then I took two Extra Strength Tums.

The process was tedious and gut-wrenching.  I sweated, groaned, clenched, cramped and did a year’s worth of cursing, but I got it done. It was time to curl up in front of the Comedy Awards.

I was beyond psyched. After all, the nation’s great comedic pioneers and geniuses were behind the creation of this new event:  Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth MacFarlane, Conan O’Brien, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, George Schlatter, Jon Stewart and Lily Tomlin, among others.

The joke was on me. It was the worst awards program I’d ever seen, bar none, and this includes the TV Land Awards, the Teen Choice Awards and every other low budget, low talent competition in modern television.

I had more fun doing my taxes.

One bright spot – Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig won Best Actress. It almost made the misery worth enduring. Almost.

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Best in class

It might be irreverent to say it in this movie awards season, and I might just be a minority of one, but I wish they’d bring back the American Comedy Awards.

Everything that can be said about Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards has been said, by those far more in the know than I. To prove how out of touch I am, my favorite movies (drama and comedy) of the last two years didn’t receive significant mention; this is shaping up to be the third. Gran Torino in 2008 and Pirate Radio in 2009 went un-hyped. This year, one of my faves, Get Low, which featured one of Robert Duvall’s best acting performances to date, hasn’t really even been mentioned. Maybe Oscar will take notice.

What really baffles me about the Golden Globes is the make-up of their “Musical or Comedy” category and, specifically, why The Kids Are All Right was deemed a comedy. I watched it yesterday and didn’t laugh once, and wondered if there was simply a shortage of comedies and musicals and it just got stuffed in there for balance. I liked the movie well enough, and agreed that both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore deserved nominations for their acting, but can’t for the life of me understand the comedy designation.

Comedies don’t typically get serious nods during award season anyway. They’re often too raunchy for serious consideration. It seems that good comedies are rarer each year. Perhaps, rather than lump them in awkwardly with movies like The Kids Are Alright, comedies should have awards all their own. The question is: are there enough good ones?

I’d think that anyone with a bit of smarts and a working funny bone would enjoy two hours in a theater laughing until the tears flow—without toilet jokes,  off-color ethnic jabs or in-your-face genital humor.

In 2001, the year in which the American Comedy Awards were last held, Best in Show, perhaps the best of director Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries, took Funniest Motion Picture, Funniest Supporting Actor (Fred Willard) and Funniest Supporting Actress (Catherine O’Hara). It’s hard to find better comedy than that.

Word has it that MTV and Comedy Central are starting new comedy awards to air this April. I hear many comedic greats are involved, including Phil Rosenthal of Everybody Loves Raymond. This gives me hope that a void will be filled.

Otherwise, with no serious award to strive for, what’s the incentive to make a good comedy any more, except to entertain a country and a world in desperate need of intelligent humor?

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Filed under Movies, Television and Radio