It was practically a foregone conclusion that Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs) would win for best comedy album at the 2022 Grammy Awards.
The album from the acclaimed Netflix special Bo Burnham: Inside is the year’s biggest comedy hit. It topped Billboard’s Comedy Albums chart for 21 weeks and only this week dips to No. 2. The album peaked at No. 7 on the all-genre Billboard 200 — the highest ranking for a comedy album since Lil Dicky’s Professional Rapper debuted and peaked at No. 7 in August 2015. Burnham was nominated for six Emmys this year for his work on Bo Burnham: Inside, which premiered on May 30. He won three: outstanding music direction, outstanding directing for a variety special and outstanding writing for a variety special.
But the Recording Academy moved the album from best comedy album to best compilation soundtrack for visual media. That’s good news for other comedy album prospects. Albums by six high-profile comedy stars — Lewis Black, Louis C.K., Harry Shearer, Kevin Hart, Chelsea Handler and Amber Ruffin — are among the 132 albums that are vying for a nod in this category.
Black and C.K., both two-time winners in the category, are among the likely nominees. Black, who won for The Carnegie Hall Performance (2006) and Stark Raving Black (2010), is entered this year with Thanks for Risking Your Life. C.K., who won for Hilarious (2011) and Live at Madison Square Garden (2015), is entered for Sincerely Louis C.K.
C.K. is a six-time Emmy winner for comedy and variety writing. Black has received one Emmy nomination, for his 2007 special Lewis Black: Red, White & Screwed, which was nominated for outstanding variety, music or comedy special.
This will be a test of voters’ current attitudes about Louis C.K, who in 2017 admitted to several incidents of sexual misconduct, resulting in significant professional repercussions. C.K.’s most recent Grammy nomination was in 2015. His most recent Emmy nod was in 2017.
Shearer, who was nominated for best comedy album three years running (2007-09), is competing with The Many Moods of Donald Trump. Shearer won an Emmy seven years ago for his character voice-over work in The Simpsons.
The Many Moods of Donald Trump is vying to join a long line of albums that focus on a U.S. president to be nominated for best comedy album, following Vaughn Meader’s The First Family (1962), which parodied JFK; the Various Artists collection Welcome to the L.B.J. Ranch (1965) about Lyndon Johnson; Orson Welles’ The Begatting of the President (1970) about President Johnson and the 1968 election of Richard Nixon; and three that skewered Nixon: impressionist David Frye’s pre-Watergate I Am the President (1970), Frye’s Watergate-era Richard Nixon: A Fantasy (1973) and National Lampoon’s The Missing White House Tapes (1974).
Hart, who was nominated for What Now (2017), is seeking his second nod in the category with Zero F**ks Given. (This wouldn’t be the first album with the F-word in its title to receive a Grammy nod in this category. David Cross’ Shut Up, You F—ing Baby! was a 2004 nominee.) Hart has received an Emmy nod in each of the last two years.
Handler and Ruffin are vying to land their first Grammy nominations. Handler is competing with Evolution, and Ruffin with The Amber Ruffin Show – Music From the Original Series. (It’s unclear why Ruffin’s album wasn’t moved to best compilation soundtrack for visual media, along with Burnham’s album.)
Ruffin was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding writing for a variety series this year for The Amber Ruffin Show. She was nominated in that category in each of the four previous years for her work on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
Should Handler, Ruffin or any other female comic win on Grammy night (Jan. 31, 2022), it would mark the first time in Grammy history that women have won back-to-back awards in this category. Tiffany Haddish won in March for Black Mitzvah.
This year’s total of 132 albums vying for best comedy album is down from 173 last year.
Republic Records released Inside (The Songs) on its Imperial imprint. In addition to best compilation soundtrack for visual media, the album is vying for a nod as album of the year. The song “All Eyes on Me” is vying for nods for record of the year, song of the year, best pop solo performance and best song written for visual media, while Inside is vying for a nod as best music film.
The Grammys have presented one or more awards for comedy every year since the show originated in 1958. The Chipmunks’ “The Chipmunk Song,” a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, was the first comedy winner.
So what is the category meant to honor?
The current Grammy guidebook says: “This category recognizes excellence in comedy recordings, including spoken word stand-up comedy and musical/novelty recordings. New comedy performance albums, whether recorded in a studio or live, and whether recorded in an audio only format or as part of a video project, are eligible. Recordings that are compilations/excerpts from a current year radio or television program, or new recordings of comedy performance first aired on television within five years of the release date, are also eligible.
The guidebook specifies that the following are ineligible (none of these factors applies to Burnham’s album): “Recordings that are compilations/excerpts from non-current year broadcast radio or television programs, audio books (even if considered humorous), albums of sound effects, and albums of environmental recordings are not eligible in best comedy album and may be entered in other categories as appropriate.”
Link to the source article – https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/awards/9656461/2022-grammys-best-comedy-album-nomination-predictions/
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