Move over, drama. Comedy is officially a respectable pursuit now. This comes after centuries of dramatic performances in movies and TV getting all of the accolades, while comedy was forced to live on the streets and beg for scrap accolades that the serious people didn’t want. But no more! This is because the American Film Institute has decided to bestow its prestigious Life Achievement Award on a guy who is mostly known for making jokes: Steve Martin. This is according to Deadline, which points out that this is the second time in the last few years that the Institute has given its annual award to a comedy guy, with Mel Brooks taking home a statue/commemorative plaque/whatever last year.
Martin will be presented with the award at a ceremony next June that will air on TNT. Deadline says the Mel Brooks event “resulted not only in a hilarious and memorable evening,” but that it also “got higher ratings and brought the AFI special its first Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special.” Jane Fonda received the Life Achievement Award last year, and while Deadline makes no mention of her evening being hilarious or memorable, the fact that AFI—which is also known for such hits as “Miss Murder” and “Girl’s Not Grey”—is giving it to another comedy person seems to indicate that it wasn’t especially hilarious. Of course, we don’t want to sell Steve Martin short, as its entirely possible AFI is ignoring his comedy career entirely and just wants to hear him talk about art for a while. We think that would go over pretty well.