Backstage at the Comedy Awards: Eddie Murphy on 'wrong turns' like 'Pluto Nash'; Louis C.K. on his 'sh--y' night


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Hey Rob Corddry, what do you think about having comedians honor comedians?

“They should do that! I think that’s a great idea,” the former Daily Show correspondent told EW at the Comedy Awards. “Just get a bunch of comedians together in black tie.” Okay, somebody’s either being really snarky or hasn’t been paying attention, since Comedy Central’s first annual awards were just that — with Corddry himself picking up the Golden Microphone for Best Sketch Comedy/Alternative Comedy Series (Childrens’ Hospital).

EW caught up with a number of the winners and presenters backstage at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and, needless to say, others were more direct regarding how they felt about the evening. Like Louis C.K., who elaborated on his acceptance speech for Best Stand-Up Special (Louis C.K.: Hilarious), in which he declared the gala to be “the s—-iest night of my life.” “You know, I’m just exaggerating,” C.K. clarified. “But, yeah, pretty s—-y.”

Well, maybe for him. But C.K. did acknowledge that he liked being able to accept the award “because I get to thank the people who work on my show behind the scenes. The people who work on a show, who you don’t see on camera, are the biggest beneficiaries of an award show like this.” Still, he reiterated that “it’s weird to qualify who’s the better comedian or artist of any kind.”

It’s easy to see how C.K. might object to that. He takes his art so seriously — and finds it so demanding — that he trains for stand-up by taking boxing lessons from none other than Micky Ward, the Beantown pugilist played by Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter. “It’s funny when you know somebody in real life, who’s just an ordinary guy, and then Mark Wahlberg is playing him,” C.K. says. Is stand-up as difficult as boxing? “Not even close. Stand-up you have to do every night. In boxing, you train the whole year for one fight. But it’s the same level of stress I think.”

The Gregory Brothers, Internet wunderkinds and maestros of Best Viral Original winner Auto-Tune the News had an awkward moment when they took to the mic in the pressroom, and… nobody had a question for them. At which point, your intrepid reporter asked them what they thought about fellow viral video sensation Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Evan Gregory weighed in: “Big fan. Tonight we’re going to be partyin’ partyin’.” Would he take a stab at Auto-Tuning “Friday”? To which he chuckled, “But that would just be ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black…”

On a more wistful note, Craig Robinson talked about one of the biggest stories in comedy this year: what it was like on set the last day Steve Carell shot an episode of The Office. “So emotional. People were just crying left and right. It was like that for the last couple of weeks. We had one scene where he was supposed to cry every time… he cried every single time, but still nailed the comedy of it.”

Who does Robinson nominate as the new boss of Dunder Mifflin Scranton? “Well, you know, so far it’s going to be Will Ferrell. That’s pretty damn awesome. He’s on another level.” When I asked him if Ferrell would stick around for more than just his previously announced four episodes, Robinson sheepishly twisted his head, threw his hands up into a shrug and hinted, Dennis the Menace-style, “I don’t know!” Later, Will Ferrell himself told EW at the Comedy Awards that he would be joining the cast “full-time,” though other sources close to Ferrell and at NBC strongly caution against such a blockbuster prospect.

Like many of his fellow partners in comedy, Robinson took time to reflect on his own inspirations. For him, there’s no one greater than Richard Pryor. “There was just such a truth in everything he said,” Robinson said. Chloë Moretz, star of Kick-Ass and Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film Hugo Cabret, had a more a contemporary pick in mind for her favorite comedian. “I love Kathy Griffin. I hope I meet her someday!” she squeaked.

But while accepting his Career Icon Award during the telecast, Eddie Murphy concurred with Robinson on Pryor. He also named Charlie Chaplin, Bill Cosby, and George Carlin as three of his other greatest influences. Backstage he elaborated, “I feel like those are the most brilliant comic minds ever. You can draw a line from them to anyone who’s trying to do comedy — or just be funny — today, including me.”

Murphy was truly the man of the hour, but he did admit the Icon Award made him feel a little old. Still, he’s open to new projects, including possibly Beverly Hills Cop IV. “Everything’s on the table. I would never say never to anything. Well… there are a few things I wouldn’t do. There will be no Pluto Nash sequel.” Speaking of that unfortunate foray into sci-fi, are there any other regrets he has about his career? “There’ve been a bunch of wrong turns in my career,” he said. “Too many to mention here. What a horrible way to end the evening after winning the Icon Award. And then there was Holy Man… ”

The Winners

Best Comedy Film: The Other Guys
Best Comedy Actor in Film: Zach Galifianakis (Dinner for Schmucks)
Best Comedy Actress in Film: Tina Fey (Date Night)
Best Animated Comedy Film: Toy Story 3
Best Comedy Series: Modern Family
Best Comedy Actor in Television: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Best Comedy Actress in Television: Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Best Late-Night Comedy Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Best Animated Comedy Series: South Park
Best Standup Special: Louis C.K.: Hilarious
Best Sketch Comedy/Alternative Comedy Series: Childrens’ Hospital
Breakthrough Performer: Daniel Tosh
Best Viral Original: Auto-Tune the News: Bed Intruder Song

Read more:
The Comedy Awards: Jon Stewart talks ‘vestigial’ ceremony, Anne Hathaway and James Franco’s Oscar-hosting gig
Could Will Ferrell join ‘The Office’ full time?

Comments (26 total) Add your comment
  • Bruce from Boston

    RED SOX WIN!!!!!!!!! RED SOX WIN!!!!!!!!!RED SOX WIN!!!!!!!!!YANKEES SUCK!!!!!!! WOOOOO FINALLY THE SEASON HAS BEGUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • mvylvr

      THIS HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS ARTICLE. Anyways the Orioles are in first place over both teams.

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      • Miriam

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    • Melanieq

      And THIS is the reason I hate Boston. And their fans. You people make Yankee fans look respectable.

      You spend just as much as money and act 10xs as bad.

      • Elizabeth

        Nothing can make Yankees fans look respectable…

        Hugs and Kisses,
        Everyone else in Baseball not NY or Boston

    • Bob

      Whoop-de-freakin-do. So the Yankees stumbled this weekend and lost 2 games to the Dead Sox. We’ll see where things stand at the end of September.

    • Michele

      You rule. Screw these other guys. BTW, Phillies top them all.

  • Mae

    seriously, kristen wiig?

    • deegeezee

      yup, seriously.

      • Kalick


  • Ana

    Best part of the show was Jon Stewart accepting his award…before Stephen Colbert said the best speech of the night.

  • TorontoTom

    All credibility lost when I read the name Kristen Wiig. She’s the worst thing on a bad show (SNL). Voters actually chose her over Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Edie Falco, Toni Colette, Modern Family actresses, etc?!? Really?

    • DL

      Most people I know (including myself) think Kristen Wiig is hilarious. Your opinion is just that: an opinion. Not fact.

      • Tony

        Actually, she’s pretty awful.

      • Ida Seenit

        I have to agree with the others Kristin Wiig is the most annoying comedic actresses out there? How about the woman who played Charlie Sheen’s maid, she has great zingers, or Wanda Sykes, or Wendy Raquel Robison, on ‘The Game” or do not black women qualify? This is the most ridiculous, Tina Fey, winning to is a joke as well. I have been watching 30 Rock for a long time and unfortunately I have not laughed at anything she said on the show, for at least a two years. Also, “Date Night” was such a disappointment! I find that Nurse Jackie is the best thing on the small screen. Eddie Falco and her friend are hilarious. The Comedy Awards are a joke, that’s not funny. But Eddie and David did deserve theirs because their funny!

    • Video Beagle

      I suspect, given the other names listed, the vote got split amongst them (especialy Tina Fey and Jane Lynch and Betty White), giving Wiig the forward point.

    • SAVE EM

      Kristen Wiig has such comedic/ dramatic range it is ridiculous. She deserved to win most definitely. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are close in 2nd/3rd. I believe she gets the nod due to the fact that her show is “LIVE” all of the time.

    • AltDave

      Kristen Wiig is very funny. Many of her SNL characters are not. There IS a difference.

  • Bob

    Wiig? Best on television? Who the bleep did the voting?

    • candacetx

      whoever she bleeped

  • Liz

    I love Tosh.0, and think Daniel tosh is awesome! glad to see him get some recognition, my fingers are crossed that this keeps his show from being canceled…now I’m off to do the cinnamon challenge

  • Dana

    Can we please, please, please have another Stand Up. I want him to make me laugh like Delirious and Raw!! I watched them this weekend and laughed all over again. Come on Eddie.. your fans need it!

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