At the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Ben Stiller will be getting the Generation Award — MTV’s “lifetime achievement” recognition.
“I am honored to be getting the Generation Award,” Stiller said. “I was given my first show at MTV and also canceled for the first time.”
Stiller has had a long and storied history with MTV: in 1990, he hosted the proto-version of The Ben Stiller Show, which ran for a dozen episodes on the network, and later evolved into the better-known version on FOX, going on to launch the careers of a generation of creative performers (including the show’s co-creator and writer Judd Apatow.)
Since then, Stiller has continued the tradition of sketch comedy, regularly appearing in spoofs during various award shows on MTV and its Viacom-owned sister networks VH1 and Nickelodeon, notably launching the character of Derek Zoolander for VH1’s Fashion Awards show in 1996 and 1997.
A decade ago, fresh off the success of Something About Mary, Ben hosted the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA).
At last year’s awards show, Tropic Thunder co-stars Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. joined in the fun for a hilarious faux-behind-the-scenes making of a viral video.
In keeping with MTV’s demographic, this year’s Generation Award will be presented by 21-year old Zac Ephron, who was hardly out of diapers when Stiller first appeared on television.
Previous winners of the Generation Award have included Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey and Mike Myer.
The 2009 Movie Awards will be hosted by Andy Samberg and airs live on May 31.
MTV spoke with Stiller and his co-stars during the premiere for Night at the Museum, and received some amusing opinions on the honor: