Illeana Douglas To Receive Pioneer in Comedy Award at First Annual Palm Springs International Comedy Festival

Illeana Douglas will receive the ‘Pioneer in Comedy Award,’ at the first annual Palm Springs International Comedy Festival’s awards gala, honoring the actress/producer/author for her trailblazing work in the first ever branded celebrity Web series ‘Easy to Assemble’ (ETA).

The award-winning series that opened doors for all the streaming shows to follow features a cornucopia of stars, including Jeff Goldblum, Kate Micucci, Jane Lynch, Tim Meadows, Justine Bateman, and many others.  ETA also spawned a successful spin-off web series titled Sparhusen starring Keanu Reeves.  

“Listen, Illeana Douglas is a true entertainment pioneer! Illeana actually started in stand up and sketch comedy, so she definitely has a long history of comedy roots along with all the comedic work she has done in film and television,” comments festival director Paul Cruz. “She wrote, produced, starred in and at times directed THE most successful ever branded web series ‘Easy to Assemble,” sponsored by IKEA. Before anyone was doing it, Illeana was and with big name talent, all on her own!”

The Emmy-nominated actress comments, “ I am thrilled and honored to accept this award. Of all the roles I have played, being the writer, producer, and showrunner behind Easy To Assemble has been the most rewarding. When we started, the Web series format was brand new.  IKEA stepped in to fully finance and support my creative vision. The branded Web series was born and Easy to Assemble became a real life story of triumph both artistically, economically, and professionally.”

The festival will feature a star-studded, black tie awards dinner gala, scheduled for November 10th, honoring the best comedic celebrity talents in stand-up, film and television and held in the grand ballroom of the trendy Hotel Zoso and Spa, located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs International Comedy Festival was created to discover great comedic talent from around the world, with the purpose to promote them to the entertainment industry and the public, as well as to showcase the works of seasoned professionals and celebrities of comedy. The festival provides a showcase for the best comedians, sketch artists, shorts, features, TV pilots, Web series and animation from around the globe, with a screenplay competition awarding the best feature, shorts, and TV pilots. The competition features15 categories and 28 awards with submissions judged by top entertainment industry professionals.

Granddaughter of two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas, and a classic film lover and historian, Douglas is a frequent host on Turner Classic Movies. For three years she hosted the spotlight series Trailblazing Women.

Look for Illeana on Turner Classic Movies beginning October 4 when she will co-host with comedy legend Carol Burnett the network’s new series, Funny Ladies, a special month of programming celebrating hilarious performances from Lucille Ball, Doris Day and Phyllis Diller to Goldie Hawn, Gilda Radner and Lilly Tomlin. She also hosts her podcast  I Blame Dennis Hopper, interviewing celebrities about classic film. 

Entertainment Weekly named her memoir, I Blame Dennis Hopper: Stories From A Life Lived in and Out of the Movies “One of the best books of 2016.” The follow up a memoir, which she is currently writing, is titled Remember… This Never Happened! : More Stories From a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies. She also hosts her podcast  I Blame Dennis Hopper, interviewing celebrities about classic film.

Douglas has produced a number of films and documentaries including Life Without Dick, Chez Upshaw, and Kingdom Come. She recently produced and co-starred in The Skinny for Refinery29. She is currently directing the comedy feature, Love Is Funny, based on her original screenplay. 

Some of her memorable film roles include Cape FearTo Die For, Grace of My Heart, Picture Perfect, Message In a Bottle, Stir of Echoes, Happy Texas and Ghost World.  She received an Emmy nomination as Angela on Six Feet Under and has appeared on scores of TV comedies including The Larry Sanders Show, Action, Ugly Betty, The Simpsons, and Modern Family. 

Additional honorees, celebrity judges, and guests to be announced soon including the Stanley Kramer Award recipient for ‘Best Feature Film Comedy.’ Last week, it was announced that comedian Kathy Griffin will be presented with the “Comedian of the Year” Award. For tickets, click here.

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