Certain Oscar debates keep coming up, year after year. Should there be a category for stuntmen, for example? Should there be a category for comedies? Well… maybe. Judd Apatow has strong feelings on the matter, though. At least for comedies. The director of The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up – and producer of this year's surprise Oscar contender Bridesmaids – thinks the time has come to give comedies their due, if only because they never will under the current system.
"If comedy is not included, ever, it's been like five times in a zillion years that it's won Best Picture, then it doesn't seem like it's screwing up 'Schindler's List' for 'Hangover' to have its own category," Apatow told a Los Angeles Times forum (via Huffington Post). The director clarified his argument via his Twitter account: "Since comedies are rarely up for Oscars it does make sense to have a comedy category. It would just add more fun categories."
It would, but the real debate lies in whether the Academy should give out awards based on genre, which is a big can of worms to open. If "Best Comedy" gets its own category, why not "Best Horror?" Actually, why not "Best Horror?" These are all valid potential awards, but the Oscars could risk being turned into the Grammy's, where every conceivable category is awarded, making each one a lot less meaningful. The real problem, obviously, is that comedies are still ghettoized in the film industry, particularly during the awards season, because the skill needed to make people laugh is often undervalued in favor of movies that try – and often fail – to be socially relevant.
As for Apatow's stipulation that comedies have won Best Picture "five times in a zillion years," we'll dispute that. The ratio is off, sure, but Shakespeare in Love, Annie Hall, My Fair Lady (also a musical, but it counts), The Apartment, Going My Way, You Can't Take It With You, It Happened One Night, and arguably a few others. So that's seven. Seven times in a zillion years. That's…
Wow, yeah… That sucks. What do you think? Do the Oscars need an award for comedy, or would it be an unnecessary addition to an awards show that just needs to reevaluate the awards it already has?
CraveOnline will be back with more Oscar news after we put Bridesmaids down on this ballot. That's what you want, isn't it Judd?