Colberts, Edwards to be lauded at Comedy fest


NEW YORK - Stephen Colbert and Blake Edwards will be honored at this year's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, organizers said Wednesday in making latest programming announcements.

Colbert will receive the festival's first-ever Person of the Year Award, while director, screenwriter and producer Edwards will be honored in the USCAF Filmmaker Tribute.

In the latest sign that digital media is a growing focus of comedy festivals, the HBO-organized annual fixture's Film Program will also feature the Funny Picture Show, an online initiative for comedic short film content, organizers said.

"It showcases comedic shorts from around the world and encourages viewers to participate in The Screening Room, a section of the site to rate, review and truly be responsible for what gets programd," USCAF said in a statement. Prizes for filmmakers will include meetings with HBO Films and USCAF film programming executives. Submissions can be made at beginning now through March 1.

The Person of the Year Award is a tongue-in-cheek honor for a comedian, artist or character who USCAF feels is "the most important contributor to life in America in the past year, having exhibited such great accomplishment that they have affected or made history," festival organizers said in a statement.

"I am humbled to be part of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival's tireless efforts to bring joy to the wealthy," Colbert joked in a statement.

The USCAF Filmmaker Tribute will trace Edwards' work from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "10" to "S.O.B." and the "Pink Panther" film series.

Among the previously announced programming lineup, USCAF will honor Don Rickles with the inaugural USCAF Pinnacle Award and present headliner performances by George Carlin, Steven Wright and Katt Williams (HR 1/10).

USCAF takes place Feb. 28-March 4.