New Comedy Awards to Honor Johnny Carson

Network’s inaugural “Comedy Awards” to present award in legendary talk show host’s honor

Comedy Central announced on Monday that as part of its inaugural Comedy Awards next month it will honor Johnny Carson by presenting an award in his name.

The “Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence” will be presented to “an individual who embodies the comedic excellence of the renowned and beloved comedic powerhouse.”

The network is positioning the Comedy Awards as an Oscars-like honor for comedy — not just Comedy Central talent — and an icon like Carson will help in its elevatation.

"We're trying not to make this the 'Comedy Central Awards,'" Comedy Central president Doug Herzog told TheWrap in January.

The first annual event will be taped at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on March 26 and will air April 10, 2011 on Comedy Central and MTV-owned channels Spike TV, TV Land, VH1 and Nick At Nite.