On April 10, 2016, Melissa McCarthy crowd surfed to the stage at the MTV Movie Awards.
And it was 100% appropriate. Because Sunday night was totally her night to shine.
McCarthy accepted MTV’s Comedic Genius Award, and it was the first time a woman received the honor.
After she was lifted onto the stage, clumsily dropped her golden popcorn statue — “that wasn’t part of the bit” — and poked fun at last year’s award recipient Kevin Hart (whom she called “The Rock’s assistant”), McCarthy totally nailed her acceptance speech.
(Is anyone surprised?)
Here’s what she had to say on being a trailblazer (emphasis mine):
“I may be the first woman to win this award, but I am … certainly, certainly not the first one to deserve it. I don’t know — I think I’m a walking human patchwork of all the remarkable, funny women who I have loved and studied over the years, and I am only here because Carol Burnett, Jane Curtin, Phyllis Diller, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Diane Keaton, Tracey Ullman, Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, and my mom … who taught me not to fear being the butt of the joke, taught me not to worry about being likable or perfect, and to lovingly go for the kill.”
April has pretty much been the Month of McCarthy so far. A few days ago, news broke that she is returning to her role in Netflix’s revival of “Gilmore Girls” after all (her co-stars, and the Internet in general, are over the moon about it). And this past weekend, her new film, “The Boss,” dethroned “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” at the box office to take the top spot.
Her historic win at the MTV Movie Awards is just the icing on the cake of an already pretty sweet month.
McCarthy really nailed it with her acceptance speech too. Because although countless funny women have come before her, not all of them have been justly recognized for their success.
The age-old “women aren’t funny“ notion is an obnoxious stereotype with staying power. Women in comedy have been fighting it for decades, maneuvering their way through an oftentimes sexist industry with double standards as far as the eye can see.
But comedians like McCarthy, Amy Schumer, Leslie Jones, Mindy Kaling, and so many others have been shaking things up in recent years through their feminist messaging and their blockbuster success. American moviegoers are increasingly open to the idea that women are funny after all (who would have thought?) and these changing attitudes are evident at the box office.
Here’s to hoping a woman winning a comedy award won’t be all that newsworthy in the years to come…
…and also that McCarthy will never accept an award any other way than how she did last night.