« Jay Leno Proposes 'Comedy Stimulus Plan' | Main | West Coast Casting Highlights - 3/11/09 »

ECNY Awards Recap

Ecny 2008_jon friedman

Some of NYC's hottest sketch, improv, and stand-up comics gathered at Comix last night, March 9, to honor each other and themselves at the 2008 ECNY Awards, "celebrating the comedic performing arts in NYC."

"We're honoring comedy, which is totally subjective," host Jon Friedman said early in the night, "and determining winners." Friedman noted that while ECNY was once an acronym for "Emerging Comics of New York," the name now means nothing. Except, he suggested, "Everyone cares, no? Yes..."

The annual awards show honored groups and individuals in fourteen different categories, from Best Male and Female Standup Comedians and Best Improv Group to Best Technician, Outstanding Achievement in Flyer or Postcard Design, and Best Performance in a Commercial or Episode of Law & Order. Nominees and winners were determined by a combination of public online voting and a small "industry committee."

Like the Oscars, past winners in various category presented this year's nominees and winners. Also like the Oscars, each of the nominated Musical Comedy Acts performed live. Unlike the Oscars, host Jon Friedman didn't sing or dance. And oh yeah, instead of a golden globe or a little bald man, winners received an award in the shape of a horse's ass.

Ecny 2008_andrew wk

From NYC sketch groups Elephant Larry and Harvard Sailing Team to musical comedians Shayna Ferm and Reggie Watts, from the dynamic comedy duo of Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal to more nationally-recognized names like comedian Eugene Mirman and rocker Andrew W.K., Comix comedy club was full of some of the most exciting performers in the NYC comedy scene.

Not all of them were eager to pat each other on the back, though -- at least not without delivering some bitingly funny words first.

Before announcing the year's Best Host, past ECNY winner Mirman said, "A lot of people say awards shows don't matter, but they do. So any of you who lose tonight should probably just quit." (Later in the night, Mirman got the chance to present another award when his $2 bid won an impromptu auction for the honor.)

Ecny awards 2008_matt mccarthy

Upon winning the first-ever ECNY Award for "Best Performance in a Commercial or Episode of Law and Order" (a category that included no Law and Order performances) for his work in a series of Verizon Fios TV commercials, Matt McCarthy bounded to the stage in excitement.

"This is totally unnecessary," McCarthy said, smiling under his thick red beard and wavy red mane. "Every time I go on an audition, they ask me if I'd shave. And I say, 'No, probably not.' And for this commerical audition -- my friend just just reminded me -- I looked at the script and immediately just went, 'Eh, not for this.' And that's how you book [an acting gig], people -- contempt!"

A roomful of comedians can be both the most intimidating and most supportive group of people you've ever seen in one place. As much as they poked fun and pretended to hate each other for winning (or losing) when each announcement was made, the shared excitement of being part of an ever-growing comedic community was infectious. As the drinks kept flowing and the room got louder, everyone felt like a participant.

Photos: Host Jon Friedman (top); Emerging Comic Award presenter Andrew WK (middle); Matt McCarthy wins Best Performance in a Commercial. All photos courtesy of The Apiary.

See the complete list of nominees below (winners in bold):

Best Host
Leo Allen – Whiplash
Sara Benincasa – Family Hour, Ultimate Gossip Girl Sumit
Gabe Liedman, Jenny Slate, and Max Silvestri – Big Terrific
Seth Herzog - Sweet
Eliza Skinner/Shockwave – The BEATdown

Best Sketch Comedy Group
Elephant Larry
Pangea 3000

Best Improv Group
Death By Roo Roo

Best Musical Comedy Act (Solo or Group)
Adira Amram
Baby Wants Candy
Shayna Ferm
I Eat Pandas
Reggie Watts

Best Female Standup Comedian
Michelle Buteau
Claudia Cogan
Michelle Collins
Jackie Monahan
Giulia Rozzi

Best Male Standup Comedian
Hannibal Burress
Pete Holmes
Joe Mande
Matt McCarthy
Kumail Nanjiani

Best Website
The Comics Comic - thecomicscomic.com
Drink at Work - drinkatwork.com/
Improv Everywhere - improveverywhere.com/
Improv is Good For You - improvisgoodforyou.com/
Jake and Amir - jakeandamir.com/
UCB Comedy - ucbcomedy.com

Best One Person Show
Kurt Braunohler – Kurt Braunohler's One Man Show: A Meditation on Dum Dums and B-holes
Chris Gethard - Chris Gethard's Magic Box of Stories
Kumail Nanjiani – Unpronouncable
Lennon Parham – She Tried to Be Normal
Charlie Sanders – Minnesota Muslim

Best Performance in a Commercial or Episode of Law and Order
Brett Gelman – NY Lottery (Little Bit O' Luck)
John Gemberling – Boost Mobile
Matt McCarthy – Verizon
Matt Oberg – Ritz Crackers
Ptolemy Slocum – NY Lotto

Best Short Comedic Film
"Governor Palin Vlogs" -- Sara Benincasa & Diana Saez
"Green Screen" -- Eugene Cordero
"It's Just Business" -- BOF
"The Phelps Minute" - Rob Lathan
"Val Verde" - Elephant Larry

Best Technician
Pat Baer
Jon Gutierrez
Carol Hartsell
Richard Jones
Jasper Ream

Best Variety Show
Big Terrific
The Dave Hill Explosion
High School Talent Show
The Rejection Show

Outstanding Achievement in Flyer or Postcard Design
Steve Dressler -- High School Talent Show
Dyna Moe -- Gavin Speiller Needs Your Approval
Anya Garrett -- Jar Full of Roaches
Keith Huang & Ariel Estrada -- Kevin Allison's 'F*** Up'
Stefan Lawrence -- Sketchfest NYC

Emerging Comic Award
Sara Benincasa
Joselyn Hughes
Mark Normand
Lennon Parham
Sean Patton
Brooke Van Poppelen

ECNY Lifetime Achievement Award
Writing Staff of Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Watch two videos from the show below...

Nick Kroll presents the ECNY nominees for Best One-Person Show:

Stuckey and Murray video intro for the ECNY Best Musical Comedy nominees:

-- Daniel Lehman

Dig This


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference ECNY Awards Recap:


The comments to this entry are closed.