Suzanne Hanover/Universal Studios

Why isn't there a Best Comedy category for Oscars? Haven't important Hollywood A-listers lobbied for one?
—Lula, Seattle, via the inbox

You speak of Judd Apatow and Ben Stiller, both of whom have held forth on this very, very not funny injustice. The Academy was too busy being the arbiters of importance to answer your question.

But that won't stop us. I have your answer...

There are three reasons why comedies are in the Oscar ghetto and probably always will be.

The first: The Oscars tried it once, sort of. Something must have gone wrong. Specifically, the Oscars used to have a category called Best Comedy Direction. Charlie Chaplin was one of the few winners before the category died in 1928.

The second: Adding comedies just might lead to a downward slope slipperier than Al Pacino's hair.

"Of course, the issue of horror and sci-fi and all the rest being ghettoized then pops up," analyst Jeff Mills recently noted.

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Why not a category for romance or war picture or western while we're at it? And if we do go down that route, where does a movie like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II fit in? Is it drama? Fantasy? Is there a category for that? Does that mean it can't also get a nomination for Best Picture? You see the slippery slope here.

The third: The Oscars are already too frickin' long. Like, on average, more than three hours long. Last year's Oscars blathered on for 3 hours 15 minutes! And that wasn't even the longest broadcast on record! In 2002, we sat through more than four hours of Oscars, which was hell enough without having to watch Beautiful Mind lord over us as picture of the year.

Do we really want to tack on even more time just to throw a—well-deserved, mind you—Oscar for Bridesmaids?

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