Each year’s return to award season reminds us how comedy and comedians all too often are overlooked, marginalized or otherwise different enough from other performing artists such that, heck, how can anyone win, really?

For every victory or nomination at the Academy Awards for individual achievement — screenplays are often a best bet, with supporting roles sometimes also given a chance — there is an equal and/or opposite reaction just before the Oscars from the Golden Globes.

They nominate and recognize comedy performances in movies: Hooray! They do it for TV, too: Huzzah! But they must compete with musicals: Huh? Why? What the?

And sometimes, the entries in the Comedy or Musical section aren’t exactly funny, and the cast members never break out into song, either.

We’ll have time to try to make sense of this year’s nominees before the Golden Globes are handed out on Jan. 13, 2013, on NBC. At least we can count on the co-hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, to bring the funny. Even if they’re also vying for awards in the same category.

Here is their 30-second promo. Roll it!

Here, then, are the Comedy or Musical nominees for work done during calendar year 2012.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL 

Blueprint Pictures/Participant Media; Fox Searchlight Pictures
b.    LES MISERABLES
Universal Pictures, A Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Productions; Universal Pictures
c.    MOONRISE KINGDOM
Indian Paintbrush; Focus Features
d.    SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
CBS Films; CBS Films
e.    SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Emily Blunt – SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
b.    Judi Dench – THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
c.    Jennifer Lawrence  – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
d.    Maggie Smith – QUARTET
e.    Meryl Streep  – HOPE SPRINGS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Jack Black  – BERNIE
b.    Bradley Cooper  – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
c.    Hugh Jackman  – LES MISERABLES
d.    Ewan McGregor – SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
e.    Bill Murray  – HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
a.    BRAVE
Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
b.    FRANKENWEENIE
Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Pictures
c.    HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA
Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing
d.    RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
DreamWorks Animation LLC; Paramount Pictures
e.    WRECK-IT RALPH
Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    THE BIG BANG THEORY
CBS 
Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
b.    EPISODES
SHOWTIME 
SHOWTIME, Hat Trick Productions, Crane Klarik Productions
c.    GIRLS
HBO 
Apatow Productions and I am Jenni Konner Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
d.    MODERN FAMILY
ABC 
Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
e.    SMASH
NBC Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Zooey Decshanel – NEW GIRL
b.    Julia Louis-Dreyfus – VEEP
c.    Lena Dunham – GIRLS
d.    Tina Fey – 30 ROCK
e.    Amy Poehler – PARKS AND RECREATION

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a.    Alec Baldwin – 30 ROCK
b.    Don Cheadle – HOUSE OF LIES
c.    Louis C.K. – LOUIE
d.    Matt LeBlanc – EPISODES
e.    Jim Parsons – THE BIG BANG THEORY

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a.    Hayden Panettiere – NASHVILLE
b.    Archie Panjabi – THE GOOD WIFE
c.    Sarah Paulson – GAME CHANGE
d.    Maggie Smith – DOWNTON ABBEY: SEASON 2
e.    Sofia Vergara – MODERN FAMILY

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a.    Max Greenfield – NEW GIRL
b.    Ed Harris – GAME CHANGE
c.    Danny Huston – MAGIC CITY
d.    Mandy Patinkin – HOMELAND
e.    Eric Stonestreet – MODERN FAMILY