A few days ago, Judd Apatow tweeted this message out to his 365,000+ followers: “Since comedies are rarely up for Oscars it does make sense to have a comedy category. It would just add more fun categories.”
It set off a bit of lively discussion, which then followed him to a Los Angeles Times screening event for Bridesmaids, where he was asked to expand on his tweet.
“There should be a comedy category at the Oscars, because—why not?” Apatow explained, adding, “It’s been like five times in a zillion years they [a comedy] won for best picture, then it doesn’t seem like it’s screwing up Schindler’s List for Hangover to have its own category. I mean, it didn’t mess up the animation people to do it [an animation category was added in 2001]. And then we can kind of get rid of the Key Grip category. I love the Key Grips; they do a fantastic job. But in hour four, I’d rather watch Zach Galifianakis come up than my friend Curtis.”
When Nicole Sperling of the Times asked Apatow if he felt there was a bias against comedies within the Academy, he responded honestly.
“Comedy is easy to do. Seriousness is hard,” Apatow said sarcastically. “I so wish we can not have jokes in these movies. I would have so much less to do if all it was, was characters in conflict— and never go, ‘how come we’re not getting the laughs?’ That’s what takes up all the time. I think Lawrence of Arabia was really easy to make— because there were no laughs. Was it hard? I don’t think so.”
So, Laughspinners: What’s your take on this? Should there be a comedy category at the Oscars? Sound off in the comments section.