Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence

“The Comedy Awards,” a multi-network, multi-platform, annual event dedicated to honoring and celebrating the world of comedy, has unveiled the “Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence.” 

This prestigious award will be presented annually in honor of the legendary comedian and talk show host to an individual who embodies the comedic excellence of the renowned and beloved comedic powerhouse.

“Johnny Carson is one of the biggest legends not only in comedy, but all of entertainment,” said Casey Patterson, executive producer and executive vice president event production, MTV Networks Entertainment Group. 

“Having this award as part of our show sets the precedent of the premiere film, television and comedic talent that ‘The Comedy Awards’ will honor each year and is fitting with Johnny’s legacy and love of the comedy community.”

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Johnny Carson, whose career earned him the title the “King of Late Night,” was the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” for nearly thirty years.  After serving in the Navy during World War II, Carson got his start in entertainment at a local news station in his home state of Nebraska.

He then moved to Los Angeles and worked as an announcer at KNXT-TV where he quickly got his own show, “Carson’s Cellar,” a comedic take on the day’s news. Carson was then hired as a comedy writer by Red Skelton and filled in for him on live television when Skelton was injured in rehearsals. 

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He moved on to “The Johnny Carson Show” on CBS, hosted the ABC quiz show “Who Do You Trust?” with Ed McMahon and became the host of “The Tonight Show” in 1962.

The inaugural Johnny Carson Award will be presented to an individual whose groundbreaking body of work, like Johnny Carson’s, has made an extraordinary contribution to the art of comedy, whose impact and innovations have changed the comedy landscape and inspired future generations of entertainers. The recipient’s work reflects Carson’s generous pioneering spirit and love of laughter.

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The “Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence” will be presented during “The Comedy Awards” telecast on April 10. The first recipient of this award will be named in the coming weeks.

The announcement was made by Comedy Central Monday, March 7.

Comedy Central, an all-comedy network, is owned by Comedy Partners, a wholly owned division of Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks.

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