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?