Inaugural Comedy Awards coming to Comedy Central

Comedy Central is rejoining the kudos circuit.Will-Ferrell-will-ferrell-131461_414_600

Cabler, as well as fellow MTV Networks Spike TV, TV Land, Nick at Nite and VH1, will air the inaugural Comedy Awards simultaneously April 10 from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. Kudocast will be taped March 26.

Event will honor the top laffers in television, film, standup and on the web. Much has often been made that the Academy Awards don’t give enough recognition to laffers, and the Comedy Awards will credit those actors and films that often don’t make the cut at the Oscars.

“We really felt comedy needed its own night,” Doug Herzog, president of the MTV Networks Entertainment Group, told Daily Variety. “Comedy couldn’t be bigger at the box office, and TV comedies are very strong. Also, because of new platforms, comedy is more accessible than ever before.”

Show is set to be a two-hour telecast. Herzog added that while this year’s edition will be taped 15 days before airing, future editions will likely be live.

“It’s first-night jitters, and we want to make sure it floats,” he explained. “We have the opportunity to make it perfect on its first night. Down the line we’ll probably make it live.”

Nominees will be chosen by a board of directors that include James Burrows, Billy Crystal, Will Ferrell, Whoopi Goldberg, Brad Grey, Seth MacFarlane, Jay Roach and Ray Romano. Once the noms are announced, winners will be selected by 500-1,000 members of the comedy community, including writers, producers, performers and directors.

Back in 2001, Comedy Central hosted what was the final year of the American Comedy Awards. Those kudos ran from 1987-2000 on ABC before shifting to cable for its last installment.

Also, as part of the telecast, MTV Networks Entertainment Group will work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation to establish a fund to provide financial assistance, health benefits and other resources for struggling comedians.

Don Mischer, Charlie Haykel and Casey Patterson are exec producers.

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