It really is a shame too. There have been countless excellent performances dishonored by the Academy that has insisted on ignoring and snubbing them. Taking a look at the history of the Best Actor Oscar will reveal this anti-funny bone. In recent years, Italian Roberto Beignini won in 1998 for Life is beautiful but it was a comedy set in concentration camps. the previous year jack Nicholas won for “As Good As It Gets” but before that you’d have to go back to 1977 when Richard Dreyfus took the honor for his incredible turn in Neil Simon’s “The GoodBye Girl” (1977). Ironically enough, he beat out Woody Allen for his role in “Annie Hall” which incidentally won the Best Picture Oscar that year which is another extremely rare event at the Oscars!
Speaking of Best Pictures that were comedies, it’s been a decade since the last winner was considered a comedy. That was 1998 for “Shakespeare in Love” which was more of a romantic period piece with comedic moments. Forest Gump won in 1994. Driving Miss Daisy and Rain Man won and were funny but were they truly comedies? I’d say Woody’s “Annie Hall” is really the only TRUE comedy that has won the Best Picture Oscar in the last 30 days.
As for snubs, here are some of the ones that come to mind for me. Jim Carrey has done work a few times that deserved at least a nomination but for whatever reason he has always been given the cold shoulder. It’s a crime that Steve Martin has never been honored. Robin Williams has been snubbed many times but fortunately he’s been acknowledged for his “Serious” roles such as “Good Will Hunting” which he won for Best Supporting Actor and nominated for “The Fisher King”, “Dead Poet’s Society” and “Good Morning, Vietnam”. Tom Hanks was nominated for his great job in “Big” but lost. Dustin Hoffman was nominated for his awesome work in “Tootsie” but deservedly lost to “Gandhi” so that was forgivable. The list of snubs is endless.
Anyway, I like the way the Golden Globes sets aside two different categories for Comedy and Drama. The Oscars could do the same thing or just stop all the anti-comedy bias and start honoring these brilliant actors. If they do, then there will be no doubt that Jack Black will be giving the best acceptance speech EVER!
Speaking of Jack and the Oscars, here’s one of the funniest bits ever on the show. Jack Black and Will Ferrell address this anti-comedy bias by the members of the Academy in song! Embedding disabled yet again for some reason. Here’s the link