Debate of the Day: Should There Be a Best Comedy Oscar?

I’ll start off today’s debate with a quote from Judd Apatow of The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up fame:

“There should be a comedy category at the Oscars because why not? Comedy’s not included ever. It’s been like five times in a zillion years that [a comedy] has won Best Picture. It doesn’t seem like it’s screwing up ‘Schindler’s List’ for ‘The Hangover’ to have its own category.”

His argument is that since comedies are rarely, if ever, recognized at the Oscars, they should get their own category. It is true when you think about it, as comedies are rarely nominated, and when they are, they could easily be classified as light dramas like Forrest Gump, American Beauty and Shakespeare in Love. But we never see any “comedy” comedies win, or really even be nominated.

Still a comedy, just not an R-rated one.

But the problems with this are many. What’s to differentiate a comedy like The Hangover or Bridesmaids from one like Wall-E or Tangled? Those are both funny, but comparing apples and oranges even if one isn’t Schindler’s List. And comedy isn’t the only genre slighted by the Oscars. What’s the last horror film even nominated for an Oscar? Silence of the Lambs, and I bet you can’t think of any more. Should there be a Best Horror category too then?

And really, how often are comedies truly in the top five films of the year? I’d say it’s an incredibly rare occasion, and though say, Superbad or The 40 Year-Old Virgin might have been for me in those years, it’s hard to think of ones that actually should have WON an Oscar above every other movie that year. This year? As much as I liked Horrible Bosses and Bridesmaids, I doubt they’ll be in my top 5 when the year is through.

What do you think about his idea?

  • Morono

    There are no genres at the oscars, if you’re going to include one, you have to all the genres.

  • Iain

    Was away to mention horror when I read you mentioning it, and I think if anything deserves a category, it’s that.

  • Just means comedies and horror movies need to STEP IT UP! If they want to win, make a good damn comedy.

    I mean, last year UP was nominated quite a few times, because it was quality.

    Again, you don’t see a lot of military-like movies winning before, but the Hurt Locker seemed to sweep it last year.

  • Nick D Pags

    Why do people care so much about the Oscars anyway?

  • Comedies and horrors aren’t normally included at the oscars because the majority of films within those genres are god-awful! Pineapple Express would be a good candidate but when you compare any comedy or horror to a serious film they become second rate…they don’t stir emotions enough.

  • Gabriel

    Oscars are crap, I personally don’t care to award people who are overpaid anyways. When I watch a movie I want to have fun and comedies usually do that for me. Good enough for me with or without awards.

  • Sam

    Comedy is way too subjective. Best picture in general is the one the voter chooses simply based on the quality of the film. But comedies are usually deemed successful based on how much it made you laugh. And the simple fact is that everyone laughs at different things. For example, my all-time is Role Models, a movie that I guarantee a lot of people wouldn’t even have in their top ten. Where they may include The Hangover is their top ten, or maybe even favorite of all-time. But if I were ranking favorite comedies of all-time, The Hangover probably wouldn’t even break my top 40. For everyone that prefers the dry wit of a Woody Allen movie there’s someone else that can’t stand Woody Allen and would rather watch the latest Will Ferrel movie. Where as most other people can all agree that The Social Network is a fantastic film.

  • Will

    I understand the argument that if you include one genre, you should include the rest, but Comedies and Horror really are slighted at the Oscars. Maybe they should have awards for all the major genres as well as for Best Picture.

  • Patty

    Best Pictures can have their awards, comedies will always have the hundreds of millions of dollars they make at the box office.

  • steve p

    probably coudlve picked a better movie to support the argument. bridesmaids was nowhere near funny enough to win an oscar.

  • George

    Maybe this isn’t the best time to be making this argument, with Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill in theatres right now. That movie is a prime example of why comedies are not included in the Oscars.

  • K Dub

    For a Comedy to have it’s own catagory in the Oscars would be like opning a flood gate to other genres. From Comedy to Sci-Fi to Fanatsy to horror to animation, getting an Oscar would be alost like getting a Music Grammy award. And we all know that a Music Grammy isn’t all that special anymore. Look what happened at the Grammy’s when they first introduced the Hard Rock/Metal catagory in 1989, Jethro Tull won it over Metallica. Could you imagine “Twilight” beatting the “Muppets” and “Bridesmaid” in the comedy catagory?

  • Fatboy Chris

    Bridesmaids was highly overrated. Except Melissa McCarthy, she was actually funny.

  • MetFanMac

    Terrible idea. They already made a specific genre award, for animation, and that just stigmatizes it: “Oh, you’re not a REAL movie, you’re just animated!” And then it becomes an even bigger joke when movies like Up and Toy Story 3 get Best Picture nods, meaning the win in their “home” category is a foregone conclusion. It’s pointless and idiotic.

  • c-Row

    Starting an article on comedy Oscars with a picture of “Bridesmaids”? That movie was as funny as a colonoscopy and about as tasteful.