It may seem like just about anyone can be an Internet sensation these days but only a select few can say they've won a Webby award for it.
Certifying Internet fame, The 15th Annual Webby Awards took place Monday night in New York City hosted by Lisa Kudrow, who won two awards herself for the "Web Therapy" series.
The Webbys have been described as the “Oscars of the Internet,” celebrating excellence online for websites, interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps.
Kudrow was her comedic self describing the award recipients as “many of whom you might recognize from when you beat them up in high school.”
Big name Internet stars included Adrian Grenier, for his new environmental lifestyle website SHFT, the now famous viral “Bed Intruder” video star Antoine Dobson, and Jake and Amir from CollegeHumor.com.
The night flew by as all the acceptance speeches were requested to be held to five words or less—keeping with the creative and fun theme of the night.
Grenier’s five words played off of his new website, “The SHFTS hit the fan.”
Not everyone played by the rules, including the host. Kudrow, awkwardly accepting her awards from the announcer’s voice and promoting Web Therapy, said “First on web, now on Showtime, and Lily Tomlin too.”
Kudrow jokingly pointed out the five longest words in the English language saying that if someone did want to milk their time on stage for as long as possible, try pronouncing these.
Also breaking the time limit, were the creators of Funny or Die, Chris Henchy and Adam McKay who began their speech by saying, “before we give our five word speech…” excusing their other founder Will Ferrell for not being there because “he gets all of his material from us.” Ferrell’s face then appeared on the big screen proclaiming that it was his “Dream to deliver a Webby speech,” but that he hates feeling “boxed in,” so he wrote a haiku of sorts “Thanks for this award, I will put it in my house next to my many instructional poetry textbooks. Thank you.”
Their long-run on stage was excusable, as the Funny or Die site did win the most awards this year with eight Webbys that included the Webby for best humor site and a People's Voice award for Jim Carrey's performance as Ronald Reagan in the site's star-packed "Presidential Reunion" video. One of the most popular web series on the site is "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," which won him four awards for best Web personality/host, best comedy short and best online variety show. The no-show star also won best comedy individual short or episode for an episode with Steve Carell and for best online variety show, which earned him not only a Webby but also a voter-chosen People's Voice Award.
In addition to those mentions, Justin Bieber took the People's Voice award for best comedy video for his April Fool's takeover of FunnyOrDie.com as "Bieber or Die." The site's home page was remade with clips featuring Bieber in famous viral videos.
Introducing the app sensation "Angry Birds" for best game for both the Webby and the People's Voice award, Kudrow described the app as “the most addictive game since Tetris and by Tetris I mean crystal meth.”
Norah Jones performed “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down,” but what really got the audience rocking was Antoine Dobson’s remixed rap of “Bed Intruder” with The Gregory Brother’s, singing “hide your kid’s, hide your wife.” The Gregory Brother’s along with Dobson won for
Aiming to please the tech crowd, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine, Anna Wintour accepted the People’s Voice award in the fashion category from Daniel Radcliff saying, “Sometimes, geeks can be chic.”
Conan O'Brien was a no-show but played a flute on the big screen in acceptance of his award for best celebrity or fan website for TeamCoco.com.
Webby Person of the Year ironically went to Watson, the IBM robot that won Jeopardy this year.
Other notable five word speeches came from Dan Savage of the “It Gets Better” project, which was created to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone, said “Tracy Morgan can suck my…” in response to Morgan’s recent controversial anti-gay remarks at a comedy club.
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem for Artist of the Year saying “Thanks, this is deeply weird.”
The uber-popular discount site, Groupon, CEO Andrew Mason explaining, “It’s short for group coupon.”
Martin Cooper, inventor of the mobile phone, asked “Can you hear me now?” while holding a “Zach Morris” style phone. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Webby’s are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a group of 750 Web experts as well as other Internet professionals, to celebrate the best websites with awards in dynamic categories.