Comedy Central's Comedy Awards: Due recognition or sideshow?

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Comedy Central announced an awards show devoted to comedy today. It will be called The Comedy Awards and will air simultaneously on Comedy Central, VH1, Spike, TV Land and Nick at Nite on March 26. On one hand, comedy does tend to get boned in the other major awards, particularly the Oscars. On the other hand, do we really need another awards show?

Winning one of these will be even less meaningful than winning any other award, obviously, but that's not what could be potentially interesting about this thing. No one wants to hear Taylor Swift gasp for thirty seconds into a microphone, but if they actually manage to wrangle the nominees into a theater for this ceremony, this could make for some incredibly entertaining TV. Are you telling us you wouldn't tune in to watch Russell Brand and Louis C.K. make fun of themselves and/or the award they're accepting?

This covers TV and film. Which is a little suspect -- if you were really interested in rewarding the best comedy being made, wouldn't you at least include stand-up albums and probably live tours, podcasts and even radio? Comedy Central won't, because Comedy Central isn't really interested in promoting those things. This, like all awards shows, is much less about determining quality than it is about star-gazing and promotion. We're not hearing many people trying to argue that Anne Hathaway turned in one of the five funniest female performances in a movie last year, but, you know, she's Anne Hathaway.

The whole thing has a very tossed-together feel at the moment. There's the as-yet-to-be-determined viewer-selected category and the you-tell-us viral video category. Not that this should surprise anyone, but the nominees are, down the line, just the most obvious contenders in any given category. The full list of nominees is below.

We also feel a real opportunity was missed here by making all the categories straight-faced. What would have been wrong with a "best dick joke" category or something? Make the focus much smaller and less reverent and the whole thing could have turned into an awesome send-up of the other awards shows. Instead, this thing risks being just another overlong back pat no one actually makes it all the way through.

Page down to see all the nominees in each category.

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COMEDY SERIES "30 Rock" "Eastbound & Down" "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" "Modern Family" "The Office"

COMEDY ACTOR -- TV Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" Ty Burrell, "Modern Family" Steve Carell, "The Office" Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock" Danny McBride, "Eastbound & Down"

COMEDY ACTRESS -- TV Tina Fey, "30 Rock" Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock" Jane Lynch, "Glee" Betty White, "Hot in Cleveland" Kristen Wiig, "Saturday Night Live"

COMEDY ACTOR -- FILM Russell Brand, "Get Him to the Greek" Will Ferrell, "The Other Guys" Zach Galifianakis, "Dinner for Schmucks" Paul Giamatti, "Barney's Version" Jonah Hill, "Cyrus"

COMEDY ACTRESS -- FILM Tina Fey, "Date Night" Anne Hathaway, "Love & Other Drugs" Helen Mirren, "Red" Chloë Moretz, "Kick-Ass" Emma Stone, "Easy A"

LATE NIGHT COMEDY SERIES "The Colbert Report" "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" "Late Show with David Letterman"

SKETCH COMEDY/ALTERNATIVE COMEDY SERIES "Childrens Hospital" "Funny or Die Presents" "Saturday Night Live" "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" "Tosh.0"

STAND-UP SPECIAL "Aziz Ansari: Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening" "Bill Maher...But I'm Not Wrong" "Louis C.K.: Hilarious" "Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2" "Whitney Cummings: Money Shot"

COMEDY FILM "Cyrus" "Easy A" "Get Him to the Greek" "Kick-Ass" "The Other Guys"

ANIMATED COMEDY FILM "Despicable Me" "Megamind" "Shrek Forever After" "Toy Story 3"

ANIMATED COMEDY SERIES "American Dad!" "Archer" "Family Guy" "The Simpsons" "South Park"

COMEDY WRITING -- TV "30 Rock" "Louie" "Modern Family" "The Office" "The Simpsons"

COMEDY SCREENPLAY "Cyrus" "Easy A" "Hot Tub Time Machine" "Kick-Ass" "Tiny Furniture"

COMEDY DIRECTING -- TV "30 Rock" "Community" "Modern Family" "The Office" "Saturday Night Live"

COMEDY DIRECTOR -- FILM Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass, "Cyrus" Will Gluck, "Easy A" Adam McKay, "The Other Guys" Matthew Vaughn, "Kick-Ass" Edgar Wright, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"

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