Grammy committee once again proves they don't give a shit about comedy

By | December 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm | 12 comments | News, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

GrammysAh, yes. It’s that time of year again when the mainstream entertainment industry reminds us just how much they don’t give a shit about the world of stand-up comedy by doling out Grammy nominations to some of the least deserving — but wildly popular — artists.

It’s also the time of the year when we ask: Why does the Grammy committee try so hard to loop hole so many comedy releases into their nom list when there are so many other stand-up albums to choose from?

Here’s what we’re talking about:

Last year, the Grammy folks gave us a glimmer of hope when they nominated Patton Oswalt’s stellar album My Weakness is Strong. But in the end, bad decisions prevailed as Stephen Colbert — who, don’t get us wrong, we love! — snagged the Grammy for an “album” that was released in November of 2008 (apparently making it eligible for the 2009 awards, which aired in Jan. 2010); it was basically audio taken from his Christmas special that aired on Comedy Central and was later available on DVD. It amounted to less than 26 minutes of digital tracks available only on iTunes.

Also up for the Grammy last year was George Lopez; his album Tall, Dark & Chicano. This thing was barely commercially released at the time of its nomination. You couldn’t get it on iTunes, Amazon or in stores on CD. The only way to purchase the album, as far as we could tell, was to buy a special edition vinyl copy from Rooftop Comedy’s store.

And let us not forget Flight of the Conchords’ big win in at the 2008 Grammys for their 23-minute EP — not an album! — The Distant Future.

Ok, so let’s talk about this year’s nominations, which came out last night. Here they are:

  • Margaret Cho: Cho Dependent
  • Flight of the Conchords: I Told You I Was Freaky
  • Kathy Griffin: Kathy Griffin Does the Bible Belt
  • Lewis Black: Stark Raving Black
  • Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction

Alright. Let’s start with our old friends, the Conchords. Their album, I Told You I Was Freaky, was released in October of 2009; I guess that makes it eligible for the 2010 awards. Nice.

Kathy Griffin’s release is simply audio taken from her Bravo television special; it’s sold as one giant, censored, hastily uploaded 45-minute track on iTunes; and it doesn’t even come up as a result when you search for the album on Amazon. Also, there’s no mention of the album on her official site (as of this writing, anyway).

We’re happy Cho was nominated this year for her musical comedy album (even though it’s not a stand-up album) and, really, we don’t have a problem with Black and Williams getting nods, except their names seem to pop up on the Grammy list every time they release something. We’re just frustrated that with at least 100 stand-up comedy albums released this year, this is the best the Grammy folks could come up with.

They’ve once again found a way to shoehorn a few albums on the list and then simply honor the same people they always honor– further encouraging the entertainment-consuming public to believe that there is really no one putting comedy albums out, which, is so much the opposite of what’s really happening.

The Grammys award show will air Feb. 13 on CBS at 8 pm EST.

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • Jamie Whichonespink

    the grammy’s are all about music—not rap-not hip hop-not comedy–none of these are real music–pink floyd-now that’s music

  • Jamie Whichonespink

    the grammy’s are all about music—not rap-not hip hop-not comedy–none of these are real music–pink floyd-now that’s music

  • Jamie Whichonespink

    the grammy’s are all about music—not rap-not hip hop-not comedy–none of these are real music–pink floyd-now that’s music

  • Jamie Whichonespink

    the grammy’s are all about music—not rap-not hip hop-not comedy–none of these are real music–pink floyd-now that’s music

  • Jamie Whichonespink

    the grammy’s are all about music—not rap-not hip hop-not comedy–none of these are real music–pink floyd-now that’s music

  • http://www.chaseroper.com Chase Roper

    I agree with Dan whole heatedly. Buress knocked if out of the park this year.

    I know that “the grammy’s don’t matter” and we’re all too hip to care and everything, but for me, it would validate an art form that I love to watch/listen/ and participate in. Rap didn’t use to have a category. I just want the same thing for Stand-up that Rap has. I mean, with less illegitimate children. Same number of bitches though.

  • http://www.standuprecords.com Dan Schlissel

    For Kinane and Buress to not even make the list is a criminal oversight of an aging organization with little vision for the new. Good thing name recognition is all that matters, huh?

  • Almost Me Not Me

    In a perfect world, the nominees would be as follows:

    - “Bigger and Blackerer,” David Cross
    - “Death of the Party,” Kyle Kinane
    - “Hypocritical Oaf,” Doug Benson
    - “Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening,” Aziz Ansari
    - “My Name is Hannibal,” Hannibal Buress

    and Buress would rightfully take home the award.

  • http://youtube.com/Lawsoncomedy Lawson

    I love Lewis, but his latest release isn’t even that good. Not even in my top 15 comedy albums this year. It’s probably my least favorite album of his (but that’s because I love him, don’t get me wrong). Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho aren’t my cup of tea, and Robin Williams I’ve never really been a fan of.

    Everyone loves Flight of the Conchords. Enough of them already.

    Fuck the Grammy’s. Why don’t they have a “stand up comedy” award and a “musical comedy” award for fuck’s sake?

  • http://ChadRiden.com/ Chad Riden

    Chuck D said it best: “Who gives a fuck about a god damn Grammy?”

  • Jake

    Out of this list, I believe Lewis Black had the best album. While Williams probably has the biggest name and most hype, and his cd was a major anticipation item, I feel it did not live up to itself. Kathy Griffin is only nominated because of political reasons, with her having such a large gay audience. I’m not saying that her audience demo is bad, but her comedy doesn’t constitute anything of real merit. Flight of the Concords, well, their cd well, was alright. Nothing too special though. And personally I am not a Margret Cho fan in the least. But that’s personal preference.

    Luckily for me, Black’s 2002 Comedy Central Presents special is what got me into stand-up as a freshman in high school, and to this day he remains my favorite comedian. So I admit bias. But given the other nominations, bias or not, I honestly think he deserves to take this one home this year.

  • http://www.chaseroper.com Chase Roper

    I don’t mean to sound crass or nonprofessional, but hey Grammy’s, Fuck you guys.

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