Sat. Aug 8th, 2020

The Best of the Worst: Unique Award Shows and Honors

When the average person thinks about awards, they imagine being honored for their incredible talent, or a lifetime of work and effort. This may often be the case, but sometimes awards are given instead for spectacular failures and blunders. Around the world, there are many awards that exist just to have a laugh or in response to the oftentimes overly serious award shows out there. 

While everyone knows about high-class awards from events like the MTV Video Music Awards, the Emmys, or the NAACP Image Awards, there are award events for just about every major group or activity out there.

If you look around, you’ll find more unique awards, honoring different walks of life. There are spoof award shows like the Razzies for cinematic underachievers. Even Las Vegas has award ceremonies to honor the best from the world of competitive poker and the related industry. This is a look at some of the lesser-known awards in the world. 

The Golden Raspberry Awards

Affectionately known as the Razzies, this award ceremony is a tongue-in-cheek mockery of all the famous and beloved award shows for film. This parody event honors all of the worst moments in film throughout the year. Whether it’s bad performances, or a terrible film overall, the Razzies are here to immortalize those involved.

The annual award show takes place in Hollywood, not far from prestigious events like the Oscars and the Golden Globes, adding even more humor to the scenario. Overall, the atmosphere of the event is intentionally cheap and tacky to match the comical awards. This award show was established to encourage high level directors and actors to own up to their shortcomings and strive for better in the future. However, the Razzies are in jest, and made to have a laugh and not intentionally hurt anyone. 

Even more outrageous, is the fact that several people have received Razzie nominations for being the worst in their film while simultaneously receiving acclaim awards from other award shows for being the best. Many actors and actresses are very gracious about the tongue-in-cheek award, and Sandra Bullock, Tom Green and Halle Berry have all shown up in person to receive their award with a smile and a joke. 

The Ig Nobel Prize

Almost everyone is aware of the immensely prestigious and high honor award, the Nobel Prize. Nobel Prizes are given out in six categories every year to reward contributions to science, medicine, and peace, among other subjects. Less famous however, is the satirical Ig Nobel Prize. This parody award is not given for scientific genius or advancements, but instead for ludicrous and oftentimes very humorous proposed inventions or research. 

Some of the absolute wackiest inventions have been honored at this award show. One of the most infamous examples is the creator of the “bra that doubles as a gas mask.” While this award show might on the surface look like a spoof to joke about the oftentimes dull scientific field, the creators ensure that it’s actually to encourage unique study and to think outside the box.

There are many examples where the research or inventions awarded here have actually gone on to be used in real-world applications. One particular study proved that mosquitoes are as attracted to limburger cheese as they are to humans. While this sounds silly in itself, the research was used in Africa to help design mosquito traps in the fight against the spread of Malaria. 

Foot in Mouth Award

In a world where we have free speech, we oftentimes are forced to listen to politicians and celebrities make absurd or just plain confusing remarks. In response to this, came the Foot in Mouth Award. Started in the United Kingdom in 1993, the award is given every year to a famous person for a particularly baffling comment. Notable receivers of the award include Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Russell Brand and the most recent recipient, Elon Musk. 

Darwin Awards

Bringing a little humor to some otherwise morbid occasions, the Darwin Awards honor those that have died in some spectacular ways. Named after the renowned biologist Charles Darwin, the award chronicles the antics of people that have passed throughout the year, oftentimes in comedic or karmic ways. For instance, in 2019, when a lion poacher snuck into a national park with evil intentions, he was subsequently trampled by an elephant in a much-justified manner. Though he may have met an untimely end, he will forever be honored with a Darwin Award.

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