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.
No stranger to skewering the self-importance of Hollywood, Ben Stiller showed up as an Oscar presenter Sunday night in a parody of Joaquin Phoenix’s recent and bizarre guest spot on The Late Show with Dave Letterman — in all his bushy-bearded, granny-sunglassed, mumbling glory.
Appearing with Stiller was Natalie Portman who feigned annoyance at Ben’s antics, at one point exclaiming, “This is ridiculous– you’re chewing gum at the Oscars!” Following which, Stiller removed the gum and stuck it to the lectern. She then prompted him for “his turn” — which he read in stilted awkwardness, to the glee of attendees.
A partial transcript, for those who missed it, with video following:
With the new year upon us, Hollywood is gearing up for the awards season. At last night’s 14th Annual Critics Choice Awards, triple-threat writer/director/actor Ben Stiller picked up the Best Comedy for his latest hit, Tropic Thunder.
In the first award of the night, Josh Brolin and Kate Beckinsale presented the win over other comedy nominees Burn After Reading, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Role Models and Vicky Christina Barcelona.
Stiller, accepting on behalf of the cast and crew, said,
“Thank you. Thank you, critics. That’s a phrase I don’t know if I thought I would ever utter. It feels good, though. It’s really an honor to have been recognized with all the movies that were nominated. And I’m just going to speak for all these guys– Justin Theroux, Stuart Cornfeld, Eric McLeod, producing partners, writing partners, Etan Cohen. It was a fully collaborative process, so this award is shared with the amazing cast who just showed up everyday and took chances and blew me away; an amazing film-making crew, that I just feel like I work with the best people ever. We were supported by a great studio, Dreamworks; Stacey Snider, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Adam Goodman, Rob Moore at Paramount. And all of our husbands, wives, children, parents. Lastly, I just want to say, there are a lot of awards out there, but this one really I think has the most meaning. And I’m not just saying that because it’s the only award our movie was nominated for [laughter] Ok, maybe that had something to do with it, but that makes it even more special. Thank you, very, very much. Thank you.”
Watch the presentation at VH1’s site. The Best Comedy award comes at about the 8:10 mark.