Saturday night's taping of the first annual Comedy Awards was everything a fan could have hoped for. The biggest stars in comedy gathered together to honor each other and put on a hilarious show that successfully walked the line between veneration and irreverence.
Alec Baldwin kicked off the evening, coming to the stage to speak about comedy's place in the 13.7-billion-year history of the universe. Then the night's announcer Andy Richter revealed the list of presenters before Jon Stewart came out to present the first award of the evening.
Prior to giving out the Best Comedy Film award, Stewart helped set the tone by promising to shit on the show all night. This was a vibe maintained by many of the guests throughout the evening who sought to honor the winners while having fun and not taking things too seriously. Tina Fey later remarked that award shows are all meaningless, so why shouldn't comedians get to have one too?
After Stewart announced The Other Guys as the winner of the Best Comedy Film award, star Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay were joined onstage by what appeared to be about 50 members of the film's production. Other acceptance speech highlights included Tina Fey using the podium to take Helen Mirren down a peg and Stephen Colbert storming the stage after The Daily Show's win, stealing the trophy from Jon Stewart and shouting the staff off the stage in a flurry of expletives.
And speaking of expletives, there were a lot of them. As Eddie Murphy accepted the Comedy Icon Award, musical guest Akon quoted a classic bit from Raw, shouting, "Suck my dick, Eddie!" from the audience to many laughs. Meanwhile, one might say the word "fuck" was the show's most celebrated honoree. Bruce Willis was so delighted with the word, he decided to give the other attendees an impromptu lesson on the proper usage. Even David Letterman joined in the fun, dropping what may very well be his first televised f-bomb, while accepting the prestigious Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence from presenter Bill Murray.
Along with the awards themselves, the ceremony was punctuated with music from house band The Roots, The Lonely Island and Akon performing "I Just Had Sex" live for the first time, and a surprise bit by Two and a Half Men's Jon Cryer, who has apparently been dabbling in music now that he's got so much free time.
All in all, it was an incredible and unforgettable evening that must be seen to be fully appreciated. So be sure to tune-in for the premiere of the first annual Comedy Awards, Sunday, April 10 at 9/8c. The show will air simultaneously on Comedy Central, Spike TV, CMT, Logo, TV Land, VH1 and Nick at Nite and online at thecomedyawards.com.