Craig Robinson kicked off the revived American Comedy Awards with a musical introduction of the first presenter of the night. Wonder who that might be?
And here are your winners of the revived American Comedy Awards, as broadcast May 8, 2014, on NBC:
- Comedy Supporting Actor, TV: Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
- Comedy Actor, Film: Will Ferrell, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
- Comedy Supporting Actress, TV: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
- Comedy Director, Film: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, This Is The End
- Club Comic of the Year: Maria Bamford
- Alternative Comedy Series: Key & Peele, Comedy Central
- Comedy Directing, TV: Peter Atencio, Key & Peele
- Comedy Special of the Year: Louis C.K., “Oh My God”
- Comedy Actress, TV: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
- Comedy Screenplay: Katie Dippold, The Heat
- Comedy Writing, TV: Modern Family
- Late-Night Talk Show: (tie) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
- Viral Video of the Year: “Bad Lip Reading: The NFL”
- Comedy Actress, Film: Melissa McCarthy, The Heat
- Concert Comic: Jim Gaffigan
- Comedy Film: This Is The End
- Comedy Television Series: Parks and Recreation
Rogen and Goldberg joked that they showed up because they were told in advance that they’d be winning one of the awards. It made the night’s proceedings, taped two Saturdays ago, so much easier to handle. “And that’s how all award shows should be done,” Goldberg said. Rogen added: “If they’re not. I assume they are.”
“This is for all the comics who are bombing tonight,” Bamford said, accepting her award for Club Comic of the Year. “Anybody who is going up in front of 300 silent angry jet-skiers in Laughlin, Nev., please I accept this on your behalf. And I’d like to say to all of the comics out there tonight, ‘Great set. Liked the new stuff.’ Anyway. Thanks!”
“Thank you! And thank you, Hannibal,” Gaffigan said upon accepting the Concert Comic award, after Buress prematurely stood up to anticipate his name being called. “I tell you these award shows seem a lot less silly when you win. I do want to thank my writing partner — my wife — who, amazing. I mean, she’s the mother of my five children, and she really is a terrific first wife. So, thank you very much.” Gaffigan’s latest CD, “Obsessed,” debuted this past week at #11 on the overall Billboard charts. Double congrats, Jim!
Video highlights! Bill Hader’s acceptance speech for Comedy Supporting Actor, TV, gone Down Under:
Kate McKinnon’s acceptance speech for Comedy Supporting Actress, TV:
Parks and Rec winning Comedy Series, TV, and taking comedians from all over the ballroom up with them to accept the prize:
And Sir Patrick Stewart, on viral videos:
The ACAs (not to be confused with the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” ACAs) also played an In Memoriam montage of comedians and comedic actors/actresses who’d died in the past year. In order of appearance: Harold Ramis, Eileen Brennan, Conrad Bain, Lisa Robin Kelly, Jonathan Winters, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dennis Farina, Bob Hoskins, David Brenner, Peter O’Toole, Bonnie Franklin, James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton, John Pinette, Marcia Wallace, Cory Monteith, Jane Kean, Mickey Rooney, Sid Caesar.
Jon Hodgman introduced that segment:
Andy Daly joking about the White Man category, aka Late Night Talk Show, and the pre-taped acceptance speech by the lucky coincidence duo of Stewart and Colbert:
Bill Cosby received a special lifetime achievement award named after Johnny Carson, and Chris Rock introduced him.
Rock said of Cosby: “They got me to deliver this award to Bill Cosby because Eddie Murphy said no. Now, before Bill Cosby comes out here and yells at all of us, I’m going to say some nice things about him. Now, as a black comedian, you haven’t made it until Bill Cosby calls you up and tells you how much you suck. OK? Bill Cosby made me want to be on TV. His comedy made being married and having kids seem like a lot of fun. It seemed like the most fun in the world! And it’s not! That’s how funny Bill Cosby is. Now, I’m sure that Bill Cosby is going to yell at me when I’m done for telling ya’ll how much I love him, but let me just say this: On a serious note. Bill Cosby is the greatest comedian to ever live. Greatest comedian to ever live. Now, sure, Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor were also funny. But if you booked all three of them for a gig, Bill Cosby would be the only one that showed up. You could count on Bill. Bill’s gonna get his money. In 1965, he became the first African-American actor featured in a TV show in a non-mop-carrying role. Yes, yes, yes! The name of that show was I-Spy. I-Spy. Now anyone who’s ever seen I-Spy is dead. But I hear it’s an amazing show. Now, after I-Spy, things got real bad for Bill Cosby. They got horrible. He spent the next 16 years making millions of dollars doing stand-up, and being the highest-paid pitchman in America, selling Coke, Kodak and Jell-O. And just when he was down to his last $500 million, NBC called up and gave him another break. The Cosby Show. Unbelievable. Who doesn’t love The Cosby Show? Now think about that show. It saved the sitcom format. And it paved the way for comedian-based shows like Roseanne, like Seinfeld, and Paul Reiser. Now two out of three ain’t bad — c’mon. Now The Cosby Show and its portrayal of a successful stable black household showed America a part of the black experience that America was unaware of. Even I was unaware of it! I mean, who knows, without The Cosby Show back then, we might not have a black man in the Oval Office today. That’s right. That’s right! Obama is the first black president. But Bill Cosby is the first black man to act like the first black president. So it’s so fitting that he receives this tribute. Cosby got his first exposure on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1963. And now tonight he is being honored with the award named after that true legend of comedy. His most recent concert special — have you seen it? It was funnier than most of ya’ll’s specials in here. OK? And his last special was called Far From Finished. And that describes him perfectly. Far from finished.”
Rock noted that the Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence is the lone holdover from Comedy Central’s The Comedy Awards, which handed them out to David Letterman and Don Rickles previously. In 2014, it’s Cosby!
Cosby said he earned $340 for that first appearance on The Tonight Show, when he was “only four years removed from the projects.” And back then, doing Carson’s show was a career game-changer for a comedian.
Here is his acceptance speech in full:
The Cos and many other comedians who walked the red carpet talked about his legacy and comic greatness before the ceremony even started. Roll the clip!