If it were up to Ben Stiller, the Oscars would have a better sense of humor.
Addressing the lack of official respect accorded his fellow funnymen over the years, the Tropic Thunder star is letting the folks behind the Academy Awards know he feels about the suggestion of adding a comedy category to Hollywood's Big Night.
Here's what he had to say.
"In terms of the Oscars, it's just too bad that comedies don't get recognized," Stiller told the Hollywood Reporter ahead of last night's 19th annual Brittania Awards.
The comic actor attended the gala dinner where he was feted with the Charlie Chaplin Award for Excellence in Comedy, an honor doled out by the Los Angeles branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
When asked about the lack of a similar accolade from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, Stiller acknowledged the need for one.
"It just seems like there's this huge hole there where there's no recognition for people who over the years—and this is for years and years, you know—have been doing such great work," he said.
While he hesitated to suggest that adding a new category was the answer (the way the Golden Globes have had a Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy category since 1952), he hoped Oscar organizers would at least give a little more consideration to singling out an art form which for too long has gone underappreciated.
"It's great for comedies that the Globes exist in that way—that there's more of an opening to see them get recognized," he added. "Though I don't know if everybody feels like the musical and comedy category always should go together, I think it's better than not having any recognition whatsoever for these people who really deserve it."
A spokeswoman for the Academy was unavailable for comment.
But the thespian, himself the spawn of legendary comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anna Meara, wasn't the only one not laughing about the lack of recognition.
Two weeks ago Knocked Up and 40-Year-old Virgin writer-director Judd Apatow, suggested it's about time for a change, similar to what the Academy did for feature-length 'toons when it added a Best Animated Film category 10 years ago.
"Since comedies are rarely up for Oscars, it does make sense to have a comedy category," he tweeted. "It's been like five times in a zillion years that [a comedy has] won best picture."
He later added: "As long as we are changing rules and not feeling that history is sacred why not be open to a type of movie the audiences seem to like."
Here's hoping the funny get their due.