Offshoot honors elicit mixed views

The Comedy Awards 2012

Even as they were recognized for their different kinds of hijinx, nominees in some unsung or lesser-known categories of the Comedy Awards reacted like straight men.

The Comedy Awards now feature honors for funniest person on Twitter, comedy podcast, comedy app and remix, mash-up or supercut, which splintered off from the viral original category into its own. Few of those nominated in these smaller categories have seen much of a difference in traffic, nor do they think the Comedy Awards are going to open industry doors that weren’t open before.

“I don’t think it’s really going to change the game for any of the nominees,” says Lisa Cohen, founder and CEO of WitStream (nominated for comedy app). “But it’s a nice thing to see our logo alongside the Onion’s.”

Affiliation is a big selling point to the digital nominees. Graydon Sheppard, co-creator of the Shit Girls Say viral video, is psyched to be in a category that features Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell. But he’s doubtful opportunities will present themselves based on the nom alone.

“I think the films are industry calling cards in and of themselves,” he says. “And we’re basically not expecting to get the award because we’re thinking people are so sick of (spinoffs) popping up on their Facebook newsfeeds.”

He remains flattered by the nod, though others aren’t as rosy. One nominee in a smaller category sees the Comedy Awards as frivolous.

“I don’t feel like the comedy community thinks much of them,” one says. “They’re using me to tweet it out instead of paying for marketing.”

For those on the inside, it’s understandable that the Comedy Awards would feel superfluous. The Twitter category, for example, includes only one comic (Rob Delaney) who isn’t a regular on a television show or a ridiculously established standup like Steve Martin.

Opportunity for true exposure is fleeting, though it can still happen.

“(The nomination) raises my profile within the American comedy industry in a way that performing stand-up in the U.K. couldn’t,” says Richard Sandling, a Blighty-based nominee in the remix category for his “Tom Selleck’s Moustache” video that repurposes a burly face pelt over iconic movie scenes. “It blows my tiny comedy geek mind.”

The Comedy Awards 2012
All yuks, no filler | Offshoot honors elicit mixed views | The joke’s on them

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