Exploring The Comedy, Spoken Word Field Nominees

Go inside the nominations in the Best Comedy Album and Best Spoken Word Album categories for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards
  • Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
    Kathy Griffin
  • Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
    Patton Oswalt
  • Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.com
    Tina Fey
  • Photo: D Dipasupil/WireImage.com
    Betty White
  • Photo: Dan MacMedan/WireImage.com
    "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.com
    The Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg
  • Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
    Val Kilmer
January 25, 2012 -- 12:49 pm PST

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

You've seen the list of nominees, now take a closer look at the artists nominated in the Comedy and Spoken Word Fields for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

The Best Comedy Album category brings together recorded concert performances of three of the sharpest and funniest stand-up comedians working today: Louis C.K., Kathy Griffin and Patton Oswalt. The competition is rounded out by a pair of nominees who prove that comedy and music do mix: "Weird Al" Yankovic and "Saturday Night Live" favorites the Lonely Island. The Best Spoken Word Album category includes recordings of poetry and storytelling as well as audio books, and the nominees this year cover an impressively wide stylistic range, from Tina Fey's Bossypants to Val Kilmer & Cast's The Mark Of Zorro.

Best Comedy Album

"Weird Al" Yankovic
is arguably the reigning comedy champ, with three GRAMMY wins already to his credit, including one in this category for Poodle Hat in 2003. Alpacolypse features a parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," "Perform This Way." Louis C.K. has been a talent on the rise, starring in a successful TV show, "Louie," and launching countless viral clips of his stand-up work. Hilarious captures him at his brilliant, raunchy best. Patton Oswalt has branched out from his stand-up roots to a blossoming career as a film actor and voice-over talent, but Finest Hour shows he can still deliver the funny onstage. Oswalt was previously nominated in this category for My Weakness Is Strong in 2009. The Lonely Island earned their first nomination in the Comedy Field, following a nod in 2009 for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "I'm On A Boat," featuring T-Pain, among others. If the number and quality of guest collaborators has value, Lonely Island may be hard to beat — Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Akon, and Justin Timberlake, among others, are featured on Turtleneck & Chain. Kathy Griffin turns up again with the accompanying album to one of her wildly successful Bravo TV specials, Kathy Griffin: 50 & Not Pregnant. This marks an impressive fourth consecutive nomination in this category for Griffin.

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)

Tina Fey is obviously a woman of many talents, which is further evidenced by her narration of her best-selling memoir, Bossypants. Fey has Emmy and Golden Globe Awards to her credit, but this is her first GRAMMY nomination. Similarly, actor/comedian Betty White has won seven Emmy Awards in her storied career. But, at 90, she is looking forward to her first GRAMMY Awards as a nominee for If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't), her best-selling collection of humorous musings and observations. In a more dramatic vein, the classic Hamlet (William Shakespeare) is in the running, courtesy of the audiobook recording by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The cast includes actor Dan Donohue in the title role. Actor Val Kilmer lent his voice talents to a different kind of classic in the full-cast audio book dramatization of The Mark Of Zorro. The drama was adapted and dramatized for audio by Yuri Rasovsky. The field is rounded out fabulously by Fab Fan Memories — The Beatles Bond. Narrated by George Harrison's sister Louise, the project culls funny, dramatic and deeply moving memories of the Beatles from celebrities and everyday fans, and was conceived and produced by the members of a popular Beatles tribute band, the WannaBeatles.

Who will take home the award in the Comedy and Spoken Word Fields? Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12, taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles and airing live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

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