You’d think that an awards show run by comedians wouldn’t fall prey to the bullshit Hollywood popularity contest. These guys are shrewd and cynical — that’s what makes their observations so funny — and yet the nominees list for The Comedy Awards 2012 feels like a letdown.
Consider the fact that both Jennifer Aniston (Horrible Bosses, at left in her “funny” banana scene) and Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher) are up for Best Actress. Maybe at the Kids’ Choice Awards, but they’re out-of-place when the voters are comprised of “professionals from the comedy community including writers, producers, performers, directors and stand-ups.” The other three nominees are all key: Emma Stone for Crazy, Stupid, Love, and Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy repping Bridesmaids.
But you get a feeling that whoever decided the nominees is throwing Melissa McCarthy a bone. If you’re going by the “Hollywood is high school” cliche, then this feels like the hot, popular girls tossed off a joke during the Homecoming skit and now think they’re hot shit on the stage, while the real comedians are shunted off to the side. To that end, it’s not surprising that TCA didn’t recognize another deserving Bridesmaids actress: Rebel Wilson, who played Annie’s dumb roommate and who’s also taking larger roles in What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Bachelorette.
Other deserving performers from 2011 who were overlooked include Ken Jeong (The Hangover Part II, Community), Casey Wilson (Happy Endings), Colin Farrell (Fright Night), the cast of The Muppets.
And Breakout Performer of the Year? Give us a break. The only one who qualifies is Josh Gad from The Book of Mormon, who should receive the award now and save everyone the time. Melissa McCarthy and Donald Glover are on the border, since they’ve both had dedicated (if niche) followings for several years with Gilmore Girls and Community, respectively. It’s difficult when “breakout” means “when did you get mainstream?”
But Jason Sudeikis? Come on, the guy’s been on SNL since 2008. His inclusion seems like another twisted way of blowing more smoke up Horrible Bosses‘ ass. However, the worst offender on this list is Zooey Deschanel. For one, New Girl isn’t funny. For another, we’ve known about her since 2003′s Elf. You know which wry brunette from New Girl should be considered a breakout performer? Lizzy Caplan, who’s appeared on the show for four episodes and stolen the attention from Zooey each time.
Plus, a lot of the movies nominated — for the film/screenplay itself or certain performances — were Oscar nominees. Midnight in Paris. The Artist. Somehow we always figured that the point of a fledgling comedy awards show like TCA was to move away from what the stuffy Academy deemed worthy.
Let’s just hope that next year’s nominations will include the buzzed-about movies and TV shows that we think actually deserve recognition: Lena Dunham‘s upcoming HBO show Girls and the darkly funny quartet in Bachelorette.