NEW YORK, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "The Comedy Awards," the first-ever 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."
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. 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. Carson became a beloved comedic icon and a welcome guest in the homes of Americans across the country.
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 Mr. Carson's generous pioneering spirit and love of laughter.
The "Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence" will be presented during "The Comedy Awards" telecast on April 10. The first recipient of this prestigious award will be named in the coming weeks.
COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 95 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by, and is a registered trademark of, Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of Viacom Inc.'s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL's Internet address is www.comedycentral.com. For up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs visit Press Central, COMEDY CENTRAL's press Web site at www.comedycentral.com/press.
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company's portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Shockwave, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, and GameTrailers.
SOURCE COMEDY CENTRAL Corporate Communications