Comedy Central to honor world's funniest with awards

— Yet another awards show. It sounds like something the folks at Comedy Central would rather mock than be responsible for.

So they're trying to do both.

The ad campaign for the first Commie Awards, to be shown 8 p.m. Sunday on Comedy Central, questions whether another awards show is really necessary.

"We really wanted to strike a balance between our comedic irreverence in acknowledging the fact that there are way too many awards shows already and actually acknowledging that these are awards for jobs well done," said Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central's programming chief, who's editing the show.

"It's tough," she said. "Part of what we're doing right now is making sure that the balance was struck."

The show honors the best in comedy for 2003. In between serious awards like funniest person and funniest movie actor are categories such as "Oh, I thought you were dead" award and the funniest unintentionally funny film of the year award.

An awards show is straight out of the cable television playbook, particularly for networks owned by Viacom. Spike is airing the Video Game Awards on Thursday. Nickelodeon has its Kid's Choice Awards, and MTV has the Video Music Awards and its own movie awards.

The idea is to generate some sort of event that will get fans excited and involved, and entice new viewers.

With the Commies, the network obviously is hoping for something that can become as big an annual event in the comedy world as MTV's video awards are in music.

photo

AP Photo

Host Andy Richter chats with the audience during taping of Comedy Central's "The Commies," at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif. The first-ever awards show will air at 8 p.m. Sunday on Comedy Central, Sunflower Broadband Channel 47.

"It is important that we have an awards ceremony," said Bill Hilary, Comedy Central's executive vice president. "But it's more important that it's funny."

Andy Richter serves as the show's host, and the Commies pay tribute to Rodney Dangerfield, giving him its first-ever comedy idol award.

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