The 19th Annual Webby Awards Honor The Internet’s Greatest Trailblazers
New York, May 18, 2015.
The Webby Awards celebrated the year’s biggest Internet visionaries transforming the digital landscape with a star-studded ceremony tonight at Cipriani Wall Street. This year’s esteemed Webby Winners, Special Achievement Honorees, and Presenters included musician Dave Grohl, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt stars Ellie Kemper and Tituss Burgess, comedian Chelsea Peretti, Broadway veteran Leslie Odom Jr., Silicon Valley star Zach Woods, WIRED co-founders Jane Metcalfe and Louis Rossetto, VICE co-founder and CEO Shane Smith, and CNN anchor Brian Stelter.
First-time Webby Awards host Hannibal Buress likened himself to “Oprah handing out the Webbys.” The critically acclaimed actor and comedian kept this year’s Webby Winners in line, ensuring everyone followed the trademark five-word limit for acceptance speeches.
The 19th Annual Webby Awards show culminated with a moving tribute and standing ovation for Pat Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, who was introduced by musician Dave Grohl. Quinn’s emotional five-word acceptance speech urged the Internet community to continue raising awareness for the fight against ALS, declaring: “Every August until a cure.”
“Tonight we celebrated the creative accomplishments of some of the most talented digital innovators and luminaries that lit up the Internet this year,” said David-Michel Davies, Executive Director of The Webby Awards. “It is a rare opportunity to honor side-splitting comedic performances, addictive apps, transformative social movements, and everything in between on a single stage.”
Highlights from this year’s Webby Awards include:
CNN’s Brian Stelter presented a moving tribute to late New York Times media columnist David Carr, sharing personal anecdotes from their time working together in the newsroom. Stelter quoted Carr’s 2005 column, chronicling the ways the Internet has transformed our lives. As Carr wrote, “the Web has become a sandbox where anarchy and commerce have business in common.“ Stelter offered his own five-word tribute: “David, thank you for the spice.”
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon presented to Monument Valley, the addictive game made famous by the hit Netflix series. Accepting their first Webby Award, Monument Valley tipped their hat to President Francis J. Underwood: “Even the President plays games.”
Leslie Odum Jr., star of the hit Broadway show Hamilton, presented the Webby Award for Best Actor to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess who used his five-word acceptance speech to send a special message to the creator of 30 Rock: “Happy f***ing birthday Tina Fey.” Burgess’ co-star Ellie Kemper took home the Webby Award for Best Actress and exclaimed, “So Excited! Live streaming my pants!”
Comedian Chelsea Peretti accepted the Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Comedic Performance and declared, “The Internet must be stopped.”
Introducing Tinder, the Webby Breakout of the Year, Webby host Hannibal Buress said “Tinder proved that the most important quality in another person is not their personality, it’s their proximity.” In their five-word speech accepting the honor, Tinder said “Thank you for swiping right.”
Young Turks host and co-founder Cenk Uygur addressed the controversial battle over net neutrality, stating, “It’s the first time the good guys have won in a long time,” while presenting the Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement to WIRED co-founders Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, who remarked, “Remember. It’s all just prelude.”
VICE co-founder and CEO Shane Smith presented the award for HBOGO to Silicon Valley star Zach Woods, who said: “Look at that spotlight guy.”
Founder and CEO of the IfWeRanTheWorld/MakeLoveNotPorn Cindy Gallop presented the Webby Agency of the Year Award to Leo Burnett Toronto, which took home 11 Webby Awards, the most ever awarded to a single campaign in one year, for their inspirational #LikeAGirl ad. They accepted the award encouraging fellow winners to, “Create change, like a girl.”
The Webby Awards bid farewell to clickbait with Clickbait in Memoriam, mocking classic clickbait headlines including: “17 Facts You Won’t Believe Are True” (#basicbait), “You’ll Be Shocked By What Starbucks Puts in Your Pumpkin Spice Latte” (#diabetesbait) and “What Ira Glass Explains in One Minute Will Change Your Life Forever” (#NPRbait).
For the first time, the Webby Awards featured the stories behind the “Webby Fifty,” a select group of Internet visionaries including Vine Co-Founder Rus Yusupov, Cool Hunting Founder and Editor-in-Chief Josh Rubin and Evan Orensten, Refinery29 Co-Founder and Creative Director Piera Gelardi, and Harry’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jeff Raider.
Other Notable 5-Word speeches include:
HuffPost Live: “Sold stock. Pre-Verizon. F***”
Vice: “We won 11 of these.”
Metropolitan Museum of Art: “B**ch better have my Monet.”
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: “Earth. It’s in your hands.”
Tumblr: “Thank you, my fellow teenagers.”
Mashable: “Mashable: Inspire, Inform, Entertain. Thanks!”
Buzzfeed: “Just want to say: thanks Obama”
DoSomething.org: “Millenials do good s*&!. Duh.”
World’s Toughest Job (Mullen): “Thank you and your mamas.”