The inaugural Humor Mill Comedy Awards, founded by visionary and Executive Producer Frank Holder, celebrated comedic legends, rising stars and social influencers during Black History Month at the Directors Guild of America. “I established the Humor Mill Comedy Awards as a way to honor and celebrate the diverse, dynamic world of urban comedy,” said Holder, who also credited his wife for encouraging him to keep going. “Recognizing the hard work and influence of comedians in shaping mainstream culture, the show will educate audiences on the history and future of comedy.”
Detroit Comedian Tony T. Roberts kicked off the flow of laughter with Host and Executive Producer Chris Spencer taking the helm to set the tone for a hilarious night of no-holds bar comedic performances. “Welcome to the Humor Mill Awards, or most of you may call it, How did Frank Holder get my new email awards?” said Spencer who is known for the scripted comedy, Real Husbands of Hollywood. “Many of you walked in here and saw comedians who you thought were dead. They didn’t die, just their careers.” In response to the audience’s shocked reaction, Chris said, “Hey, this isn’t the sensitive awards.”
The presenters included Stan Lathan, Tiffany Haddish, Brian J. White, Alex Thomas, Jasmine Burke, Dorien Wilson and Miquel Nunez. Paying tribute to Black comics, the audience was reminded of trailblazers who paved the way for the next generation of comedic talent including Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham, Moms Mabley, Stepin Fetchit, Freddie Prinze and Pat Morita.
Veteran television writer and producer Ralph Farquhar, along with the legendary comedian and actor George Wallace were the night’s honorees. Award-winning Director and TV Producer Stan Latham paid tribute to Icon honoree Farquhar by sharing the story of their long-time friendship, becoming producing partners, and their journey to entertainment success.
“I’m so glad there’s a show that’s honoring all these comedians that have gone unnoticed all these years,” says Ralph Farquhar. “Black comedians are the backbone of the industry and that’s the truth. I’m glad I was thought of to receive the first Icon Award.”
“It’s a true blessing and an absolute honor to be recognized by my community and receive this award from my people,” said Wallace who has performed more than 100 shows in Las Vegas. “I also want to thank the board members of the Humor Mill and the AARP members in the audience.” His Las Vegas residency lasted longer than most entertainers and earning him the nickname “Mr. New Las Vegas.”
The Humor Mill Comedy Awards paid a heartwarming special tribute to comics we lost in 2022. “Comedy has always held a special place in my heart, and to me, it’s a medium that is designed to celebrate those we’ve lost who have dedicated their lives to bringing laughter and joy to people all around the world while spotlighting the talented comedians who are still here,” said Holder.
The Humor Mill Comedy Awards Winners:
- BEST SITCOM – REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD
- BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS IN TV/FILM – KIM FIELDS
- BEST COMEDIC ACTOR IN TV/FILM – DC YOUNG FLY
- FUNNIEST FILM OF THE YEAR – DAY SHIFT
- SKETCH OF THE YEAR – JUHAHN JONES
- BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS – DAPHNIQUE SPRINGS
- COMEDIAN OF THE YEAR – EARTHQUAKE
- COMEDY SPECIAL OF THE YEAR – DAVID ARNOLD (posthumously)
- BEST COMEDIC BRAND ADVERTISING – OLD SPICE – DEON COLE, GABRIELLE DENNIS
(For a full list of winners, click here)
For more information on the Humor Mill Awards and air date, visit www.humormilltv.com or connect on social media @humor_mill on Instagram, @thehumormill on Twitter and @HumorMill on Facebook.