EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
Listen to mary J.
- no more drama at Oscars
What the Shuk?
This past week saw London host the Canadian
Comedy Awards and unlike 90 per cent of the events London hosts,
everything went smoothly. All in all, a job well done.
Of course, the "awards" themselves
were mostly an excuse for a bunch of comedians to get together
and entertain audiences, which is cool. Trying to actually pick
what is funny and what is not is like apples and oranges. Some
people might appreciate the wit of an Albert Brooks, while others
might belly-laugh at Adam Sandler.
The very idea of an award show for comedy
made me wonder why there was no such thing as the Drama Awards.
Oh wait, that's the Academy Awards.
The Oscars have a long and shameful history
of more or less ignoring comic performances. Legendary comedians
like Buster Keaton, Bob Hope and Steve Martin don't even have
a nomination between them, let alone a win. Comedians only get
recognized by the Academy when they take on a dramatic role,
like Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. The great Charlie
Chaplin never won an Oscar for acting, directing or writing
his acclaimed comedies, though he did get one for (of all things)
writing a musical score.
Look at the list of Best Picture winners.
There are few "real" comedies, since about as close
as Oscar gets is with witty romances (Annie Hall) or light-hearted
As anyone who has acted at any level (high
school drama class, baby!) will tell you, it's much harder to
do comedy than drama. Some people just do not have the natural
ability to be funny, even if they're reading great lines. This
is not to denigrate dramatic acting, since someone like Sean
Penn is obviously talented, but almost anyone can achieve the
basic level of furrowing their brows and looking grim. It's
like Joey's style of acting on Friends, where the best way to
look distressed is to try to solve long division problems in
Ideally, the Oscars could adopt the format
of the Emmys or the Golden Globes, where they have separate
categories for drama and comedy. Trying to choose which acting
performance is "best" is usually a subjective call
anyway, but that is still no reason why an entire genre is continually
snubbed from consideration.
It's frustrating to see dramatic actors take
the same old cliched roles as invalids or troubled loners (cough,
cough, Gladiator... cough, cough) and have Oscars rained upon
them, whereas comic performances only get the proverbial golden