BetteBack: Bette Midler leads winners at American Comedy Award

Bette Midler leads winners at American Comedy Award
Wed., May 20, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Bette Midler led American Comedy Awards winners Tuesday night w i t h f u n n i e s t – o f – t h e – y e ar trophies for her performance in Ihe movie “Ruthless People” and on her album “Mud Will Be Flung Tonight.”

The caustic Mi d l er also won the trophy as the year’s f u n n i e st f e m a le p e rformer, w i th Woody Allen
picked as the year’s funniest male comic. Allen was also the best comic in the male motion picture category for “Hannah and Her Sisters,” and Allen and Midler were both selected to be among eight comics who won n o n – c o m p e t i t i ve l i f e t i me achievement trophies.

OTHER WINNERS during the two-hour show, shown on ABC-TV and billed as the first awards show to honor all forms of comedy, were Johnny Carson, Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.

“This is a joke, right?” White said as she accepted the trophy for funniest female in a television series in her role on NBCTV’s “Golden Girls.”

Carson, who did not attend the ceremonies at the Hollywood Palladium, won the television series comic award for his NBCTV “Tonight Show” hosting duties.

Woody Harrelson, the bartender on the NBC’s “Cheers,” won the funniest newcomer award, Tomlin the female standup comic trophy and Williams the male stand-up comic award.

WILLIAMS ALSO WON the trophy for favorite television star in a special for “An Evening at the Met” on HBO.

There were three non-competitive awards.

A special Lifetime Creative Achievement award was given to writer-producer N o r m an Lear, the creative force behind
the 70s television hit, “All in the Family.”

L i f e t i me a c h i e v eme nt trophies we re presented to Midler, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Tomlin, Sid Caesar, Steve Allen, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Jonathan Winters.

GOLDBERG AND MIDLER dominated the nominations with four each, including funniest female performer of the year. The other nominees in that category were Burnett, Tomlin and White.

Williams and Allen led the male categories with three each, sharing nominations for funniest male performer of the year. The other nominees for that award were Jay Leno, David Letterman and Eddie Murphy.

The most obvious omission in the nominations was Bill Cosby, who asked to be excluded because “he won’t compete for
awards,” Schlatter said.

Nominations were solicited in letters to about 1,600 performers, p r o d u c e r s, directors, writers, talent hookers and entertainment industry exe cutives.

A SIMILAR A W A R D S program was staged in the late 1970s by the American Academy of Humor, with which comedian
Alan King was associated. After two shows, the program was discontinued.

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