NEW YORK, March 21, 2012 – “The Comedy Awards,” the annual event dedicated to honoring and celebrating the world of comedy, announced today that Robin Williams will be honored as the recipient of the prestigious “Stand-Up Icon” award. This honor is bestowed each year to a modern icon, an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to stand-up comedy and whose impact and innovations have changed the landscape and inspired future generations of entertainers. Williams will be honored for the unparalleled scope of his imagination, his repertoire of indelible characters, and his outstanding work as a stand-up comedian. Eddie Murphy was the inaugural recipient and he was presented with the honor by Tracy Morgan during last year’s show.
“Robin Williams is a comedic force of nature whose intensity and explosive free-associating style as a stand-up comedian made him a superstar,” said Casey Patterson, Executive Producer, “The Comedy Awards” and EVP, Event Production, Viacom Entertainment Group. “Academy Award-winner, beloved TV star and passionate activist, Robin used stand-up comedy to literally change the world with ‘Comic Relief.’ Robin Williams is more than an ICON… he is one of the most important comedic voices of our time. We’re thrilled, and just a little bit scared, to be honoring Robin at ‘The Comedy Awards’ this year.”
The “Stand-Up Icon” award will be presented during the taping of the event at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday, April 28 and the show will premiere on COMEDY CENTRAL on Sunday, May 6. “The Comedy Awards” will also air on COMEDY CENTRAL’s international channels across Europe, New Zealand, India, Israel and Africa.
An Academy Award-winning actor and multiple Grammy-winning performer unparalleled in the scope of his imagination, Robin Williams began his career as a stand-up comedian, delighting audiences across the country with the beginnings of what would become his renowned repertoire of indelible characters. Throughout his legendary career as a star of stage and screen, Williams has returned to his stand-up roots, most recently with his critically-acclaimed, sold-out, “Weapons of Self Destruction” comedy tour during which Williams performed 90 shows in 65 cities in front of 300,000 fans across the U.S., as well as London and Canada.
Well known for his free-associative monologues and for pointing out life’s absurdities through his astute social and political observations, Williams’ previous comedy tour was in 2002. After a 16-year absence from the stand-up scene, he hit the road and toured America with a critically acclaimed one-man show that became the highest-grossing comedy tour ever and culminated in a final performance filmed by HBO and broadcast live from New York on July 14, 2002. The special, entitled “Robin Williams: Live On Broadway,” was nominated for five Emmy Awards.
Offstage, Williams takes great joy in supporting causes too numerous to identify, covering the spectrum from health care and human rights, to education, environmental protection, and the arts. He has toured the Middle East with the USO a total of five times, including visits to Iraq and Afghanistan, to help raise morale among the troops and is, perhaps, best known philanthropically for his affiliation with “Comic Relief,” which was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization to help America’s homeless. To date, the overall efforts of the “Comic Relief” organization have raised over $50 Million.
A full list of previously announced nominees for the 2012 “The Comedy Awards” and more information about the show and its prestigious Board of Directors can be found at www.thecomedyawards.com. “Modern Family,” Bridesmaids,” “30 Rock,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” and Louis C.K. lead the nominations and fans can vote for “Breakout Performer of the Year.” Click here to view a highlight reel from last year’s show. Follow “The Comedy Awards” on Twitter @TheComedyAwards
“The Comedy Awards” has once again joined forces with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) to endow The American Comedy Fund. Without a union or other protection, many comedians face unique challenges to succeed and survive. The Fund provides much-needed financial assistance, health benefits and other resources for comedians across the country during times of need, crisis or transition. The American Comedy Fund is administered by EIF in collaboration with the Motion Picture & Television Fund and The Actors Fund.
Don Mischer, Casey Patterson, EVP, Event Production, Viacom Entertainment Group and Charlie Haykel are the Executive Producers. Juliane Hare is Producer. Beth McCarthy Miller, the Peabody and DGA Award-winning and Emmy-nominated Director, will once again direct “The Comedy Awards.” “The American Comedy Awards” was created by George Schlatter.
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