Some of the best comedy moments defy categorization but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve recognition. Some of these ‘awards’ are genuine and some of them are a little tongue in cheek. Here are some of our favorite award-worthy happenings in comedy in 2018.
As all CQ fans know, Twitter kind of sucks. But every now and then you uncover a gem of a Twitter account. This year’s award goes to someone who is actually funny on Twitter, and on stage. Someone who writes jokes and makes us laugh, Adrienne Iapalucci. Give her that follow!
Judd Apatow, the most active activist on social media wins the first ever non-stop activist award. For his tireless pursuit of justice, whether its fighting against Trump’s outrageous policies, taking on FOX news and other media outlets, or ripping a package delivery company for non-delivery of holiday gifts, Apatow is relentless taking down the man on a daily basis.
This one goes out to Alec Baldwin. For selflessly making an ass out of himself, punching someone in the face and going to jail over a parking spot, you win.
Festival shows are already pretty great. So when there’s an unexpected major celebrity dropping in during a festival show, it’s pretty exciting. This year’s absolute best festival drop in took place at Cleopatra’s in Montreal during the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. Kevin Hart popped in on his long time friend Big Jay Oakerson’s show, Whats Your Fucking Deal, worked the crowd a bit, and then launched into a hilarious but dirty story- maybe even the kind that keeps people from hosting the Academy Awards. Anyone who was there knows they witnessed something pretty great that most Kevin Hart fans are never going to get to see. Read the full story here.
This one is a tie, for two of the greatest responses to two stupid protests. Both based on on Tom Segura’s hilarious special, “Disgraced.” First, to Tom Segura for doubling down on his response to Louisiana natives getting unglued about his jokes about the Louisiana accent. “Why do they have rights?” he jokes. Hoards of locals went bonkers on social media, taking huge offense. What did Tom do? He made tshirts.
Tom shares his award with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who handled another protest about another bit, from THE SAME SPECIAL with equal class and brilliance. This protest was much more serious and stemmed from a joke Segura makes about how “you can’t say retarded anymore.” Nearly 100,000 people, a Harvard Law Professor and the Special Olympics wanted Netflix to take the special down. Netflix didn’t budge. That’s balls, that’s brains, and more than enough to earn our respect. Disgraceful is an excellent special, and congratulations to Tom and Netflix for backing it up.
Someone doing God’s work this year, not just in his new hit television show, but also using that success and recognition to do something truly important. A true super hero, Bill Hader lead the charge to save Film Struck this year, and goddammit he succeeded. Thank you Billy Hades. Thank you from all of us.
Every year there’s a new comedian who can’t stay out of the tabloids. Everything they do is news- where they eat, who they date, if they got tattoos, what they’re wearing, everything. This year’s DJTMT/SPAakaTMZ award goes to Pete Davidson. We weren’t sure a comic could ever get more press than Amy Schumer, but you did it Pete, you did it.
For showing incredible and endless endurance, for never giving up, for always feeling hope and for taking a beating and never giving up, we give this year’s energizer bunny award to Artie Lange. After going through things that would kill ordinary men, Artie is still going. For his sweetness, his perseverance and because he’s still one of the funniest people on the planet despite unending setbacks, here’s to you Artie.
Jim Carrey is back. In fact, he’s very back. Carrey returned to tv this year on Showtime’s original series “Kidding.” He also stepped the frequency with which he has been sharing his incredibly political artwork via Twitter, and the media is just crazy about them. Just this fall Carrey opened an art exhibition featuring 108 of his drawings. If you have a Jim Carrey google alert, you went from years with hardly a peep, to a virtual tidal wave. Even if you don’t, he’s everywhere.
Lenny Bruce. Ronnie Marmo brought his show about Lenny Bruce to New York City and it turns out that Lenny Bruce can still offend, brilliantly. After all these years and after all the modern comedy that Bruce’s efforts have given rise to, there are still people who don’t get it. The New York Times reviewed Marmo’s play “I’m Not a Comedian…I’m Lenny Bruce” and the Times reviewer was uncomfortable. Not because they didn’t like the performance, but because of Bruce’s words. “The routine feels more editorial than comic now, a mirthless salvo about the power of language that, paradoxically, may make some modern pundits wonder whether speech should always be free.” Thanks Lenny for sticking around, looks like we still need you.
Brian Regan earned his million mile status on Delta this year. After 30 years in the business he’s a million mile man on Delta. “And that’s just from one airline,” he told a Pensacola paper. “I’ve flown millions of miles to make people laugh. I hope people appreciate that!” We do Brian.
Forget Al Gore, the best instance of recycling this year came in the form of a recycled classic television scene. The cast of Always Sunny in Philadelphia pulled this one off, recreating Seinfeld’s infamous scene from the infamous episode about jerking off.
Joe Rogan wins the award for the most dangerous podcast. He talked Elon Musk into getting a little ripped with him and Tesla has never been the same since. It’s a reminder to be careful when you do the Joe Rogan podcast. Very careful.
Lisa Lampanelli had a heckler and that heckler made Lisa very mad. That seems pretty normal by Lampanelli standards, but don’t forget this is new leaf Lisa. As much as we love the kinder, gentler Lampanelli, we’re glad to see the Queen of Mean is still in there somewhere. Read more and watch video here.
This goes to Sarah Silverman, who boldly declared with bare raw honesty that she had seen Louis C.K. jack off, and survived to tell the tale without major scars. Unfortunately, in 2018, bold declarations are unwelcome and just as quickly as she spoke up, she was forced to take back her own blunt honesty after people were appalled by her confession.
The Mob. 2018 is the year that even comedians kept their mouth shut. This year people are losing gigs faster than you can tweet “I’m sorry.” Even if you haven’t fucked up yourself, just supporting someone who fucked up, or expressing thoughts that are in disharmony with the woke brigade can land you in some serious shit. It’s great to use all channels available to encourage positive change, but a very fine line before it becomes repressive.
90 year olds killing it, in comedy and beyond. Dick Van Dyke, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, Betty White, Cloris Leachman- not only are they still alive, they’re still performing and they’re funnier than most people half their age. This year Dick Van Dyke appeared in the new Mary Poppins and blew everyone’s minds with his incredible physicality. Carl Reiner is writing books like a 30 year old. Mel Brooks is touring and speaking and being as sharp and funny as ever. If you missed it last year, Carl Reiner collaborated with 87 year old George Shapiro release an incredible doc on the topic “If You’re Not in the Obits, Eat Breakfast.”
Comedy clubs were always considered safe spaces, but it used to mean it was safe for comedians to take risks on stage. This year we saw the rise of the safe space meaning something different at some open mics and bar nights across the country. They mean safe for audiences. Safe from the risk of being offended. Safe from any jokes that could be interpreted in an offensive way. Comedy + safety. So fun.
One comic boycotted Just for Laughs this year, Amy Schumer announced she was boycotting Super Bowl ads in 2019, two people showed up to protest Anthony Cumia’s book signing, and two people protested Louis C.K.’s announced appearance at the Comedy Cellar and may not have been there at exactly the same time. When you show up for a protest and there’s nobody there, is it the same as being the only person to show up for a party? Cause that’s uncomfortable as fuck.
We struggled on this one a bit, but ultimately decided that this one had to go to the dean of crowd work himself, Rich Vos, who also was up for the “best comedian to call himself a legend” award. Happy New Year All!