On August 24th some of the greatest comedians in the world today assembled uptown in Harlem, New York at the Alhambra Ballroom to partake in the inaugural LOL Comedy Honors. The award show is the first awards ceremony ever to honor comedians.
Being a “black tie affair” and boasting a start studded lineup which included Adele Givens, Masrha Warfield, Joe and Guy Torry, Paul Mooney, Lunell, Bill Bellamy, D.L. Hughley, Cocoa Brown, Juhahn Jones, Lil Rel Howery and more, it was easy to see how the event not only sold out but had to turn away upwards of 300 people.
Cocoa Brown, on the night of the event, explained how these awards shed light on the unsung comedians,
When asked how the Honors came about, Bill Bellamy joked that “we got phone calls from everyone about it, we were told to show up and we realized oh those are all my friends.” Joe Torry even got in on the action saying,“you know how this really happened? A long, long, time ago we got this vision in our eye and it said I don’t know if anything else in life is going to work out for you so tell the jokes that’s in your head. Then 10, 15, 20 years later, and maybe 30 for somebody, we end up somewhere where they want to honor us.”
“This is for those comedians who have been on the grind, been in those trenches, and honing their craft who just haven’t had that spotlight on them for five minutes yet. A lot of them have been making a name for themselves and need to be acknowledged and recognized for that.”
In addition to those being honored the award show paid tribute to the Queens of Comedy (Sommore, Mo’Nique, Laura Hayes, Adele Givens), Charlie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Dick Gregory, Red Foxx, and more.In both the pre-event press conference and on the red carpet, Guy Torry detailed the committee who brought the event together and what it means to be apart of the event:
“I got a call from Marsha Taylor wanting to be on the committee for the comedy awards and it’s like every other genere, art, style of award shows and she thought that comedy was kind of neglected…We have a lot of great comedians who have been doing [this] for years and never really got their just due. So this award show is honoring those who have paved the way and kept the door open for young comics and the new comics who are coming up like the social media guys. It’s a great honor to be a part of this committee.”
Among those being honored were:
- Paul Mooney: The Honor for Creative Excellence
- George Wallace: The Living Legend Honor
- D.L. Hughley: Voice of a Generation Honor
- Marsha Warfield: The Comedy Queen Pioneer Honor
- John Laster: The Ray Murphy Memorial Honor
- Lil Rel Howery: The Bernie Mac King of Comedy of the Year
- Luenell: The Moms Mabley Legacy Honor
- Joe Torry: The Robin Harris Legend Honor
- Juhahn Jones: The Social Media Comic Influencer of the Year Honor
- Terry Hodges: The Charlie Murphy Road Warrior Honor
“This is the first bridge on how the young entertainers should do it from any style. We’re right now standing in that gap as we touched the gods before us…say something people can leave with and make the world better with it.
Social media star Juhahn Jones spoke at length about his experience coming into comedy and when he really became serious about it his IG followers,
“With social media you have to understand that it came with time. For example vine was an app, a lot of people exploded with vine because they were consistent. They weren’t necessarily entertainers first. Me, myself, I was always an actor, comedian and I came on the second wave because I was friends with the guys that was coming up. Even i shied upon it…til I got the call from King Bach saying i got a million followers come to my bowling party.”
On the red carpet, Jones couldn’t contain how excited he was to be in attendance, “this is truly a blessing. I’m thankful to be here and to take a part of everything and to meet everyone. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”With the energy that attendees and honores brought to the event, it may be safe in saying that this is only the beginning for the LOL Comedy Honors. With this being the first of its kind and providing so much laughter and joy we all can fully expect there to be more coming soon. When asked about what’s next for the Honors, Bill Bellamy said “to become a big thing where’s it’s on television and we have the best of the best and people are being honored for their true talent.