×

TV Land Icon Awards Celebrate Classics With John Stamos, Debbie Allen, Norman Lear

Television mega-fans gathered Sunday night to honor icons John Stamos, Debbie Allen and Norman Lear for their contributions to history, both on and off the screen at the first TV Land Icon Awards. Hosted by George Lopez, the event took a playful and touching look back at the careers that have helped to change the face of television.

Honored with the Timeless Icon Award for his extensive career, John Stamos was joined by his co-stars and friends for the evening. “He’s had the spectrum of a career that a lot of performers dream of having, and I’m so proud of him,” said “Full House” co-star Dave Coulier.

“He’s lovely,” Paget Brewster said of her “Grandfathered” co-star, “otherwise I wouldn’t be here because these things make me nervous. He’s a really funny, kind, generous, thoughtful guy, which is kind of gross that anyone that good looking is also going to be talented at stuff – and nice!”

“I thought it was undeserving but I guess I’ve been around a long time,” Stamos told Variety. “All I wanted was to be on a show like ‘Happy Days,’” he said, sharing how he had once snuck onto the Paramount lot to watch the cast rehearse. “All I ever wanted to do on TV was be on a show like Garry Marshall’s.”

Marshall, Stamos’ “show business godfather,” presented him with the award. “He gives me a lot of credit because I suggested him for – what was the name of that show? – ‘Full House!’”

“I feel like I owe this and everything good in my life to the people who surround me with love,” Stamos said, accepting the statuette. The actor choked up a bit when thanking his family, co-stars and friends, as well as the fans “who have been watching me since ‘General Hospital’ and allowed me to come into your living rooms…and I promise I never take that for granted.”

To celebrate, Stamos joined his longtime friends The Beach Boys at the drum set, for a rousing performance of their hit “Barbara Ann.”

“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane was on hand to present the Impact Icon Award to the evening’s most prolific honoree, Norman Lear, whose career has delivered such classics as “All in the Family,” “Maude” and “The Jeffersons,” and subsequently launched hundreds of careers from cameramen to actors and directors.

“Norman Lear is either an inspiration or a horrific vision of the future in which you never stop working,” MacFarlane joked before getting right to the core of Lear’s work. “It’s amazing how Norman’s shows from 40 years ago address race, sexuality, income inequality in a more open, candid and progressive way than shows do now. Through his thoughtful presentation, Norman has done more to advance race, gender and sexual inequality than any politician, member of the clergy and even Supreme Court justice.”

“I have two words,” Lear said, accepting the award. “Holy s—. Life is a great collaboration. I’ve worked with so many great people, trust me when I say, my success is one giant collaboration and I thank you for that.”

Lear was honored with a champagne toast led by Jane Lynch, and a performance of a medley of the beloved theme songs from his shows, by “Glee” star Amber Riley and “The Voice” winner Javier Colon, in addition to numerous standing ovations.

With a high-energy dance tribute to “Fame,” Debbie Allen was honored with the Trailblazer Icon Award, not only for her strides in entertainment, but also for her charitable work bringing the arts to schools. “From the very start of her career on Broadway, she has followed her passions, chased her dreams and never let a ‘no’ get in her way,” said presenter Ellen Pompeo, who both stars with and is directed by Allen on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“I can’t begin to tell you how much I feel in this moment,” said Allen, thanking her family and the long list of individuals who “helped me to get where I am.” She gave special note to “Fame,” “for letting me become this director, producer, choreographer and actress who traveled the world with these wonderful children. I know we were the grandmother of ‘Glee.’”

“Better Caul Saul’s” Bob Odenkirk presented a touching tribute to comedian Garry Shandling, who unexpectedly died in March, declaring him “an icon for the ages.”

Comedy team Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were awarded for making their mark on television with “Key & Peele,” which wrapped it’ five-season run in 2015. “We’re extremely humbled by the company we’re in,” said Key as the duo thanked Lear for “paving the way” for their careers.

The Icon Awards also honored Ryan Murphy and FX’s hit “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” for its quick and deep impact on television, and “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons, who was voted favorite iconic TV character by fans.

The TV Land Icon Awards air at 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 17 on TV Land.

(Pictured: Garry Marshall, John Stamos, Norman Lear)

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 -- Pictured:

    'American Horror Story' Recap: Welcome to 'Camp Redwood'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the season premiere of “American Horror Story: 1984” entitled “Camp Redwood.” Welcome back to “American Horror Story,” which in its ninth season travels back in time to the 1970s and 1980s to play in the slasher genre. Only one episode into the season, it already [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Bob Iger Would Have Combined Disney With Apple if Steve Jobs Were Still Alive

    Disney and Apple are both launching their own streaming services come November, but Disney CEO Bob Iger says the two companies weren’t always on competing paths. In an excerpt from his autobiography published Wednesday in “Vanity Fair,” Iger revealed that Disney and Apple likely would have merged if Steve Jobs hadn’t died in 2011. “I [...]

  • The Mentalist

    #NotWorthLess: 'I Was Great and Deserve to Be Paid the Same'

    Women writers, producers and assistants across Twitter turned the hashtag #NotWorthLess into a trend Wednesday, shining a light on issues of pay inequality in the entertainment business. Sparked by screenwriter Adele Lim’s recent decision to walk away from the “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel in protest of being paid less than her male co-writer, dozens of [...]

  • does self-described "family brands" business Hasbro

    With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?

    Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of eOne in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Reality Boss Talks Ratings Success, Diversity Backlash

    Last night, Peter Weber was unveiled, perhaps unsurprisingly, as the next Bachelor during the season finale of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Weber’s selection coincided with a season-high rating for “Paradise,” and caps a solid ratings summer for the “Bachelor” franchise. As ratings have been in decline across the board this summer, “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content