The 16th Annual Webby Awards
May 2012. New York City, Hammerstein Ballroom
The Webby Awards, honoring excellence online, is famed for allowing winners just five words to deliver their acceptance speech. After a fantastic opening monologue, host Patton Oswalt explained that much can be accomplished in just 5 words, and he referenced "One small step for man" during the 16th Annual Webby Awards at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on May 21, 2012. The unique rule has led to some uproarious and poignant moments over the years, and 2012 was no exception.
Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Awards for his work online, Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his five words as an ode to New York, stating “Make it here, then anywhere”. Holocaust survivor Tibor Sands accepted the Cultural Institution Webby for the “Remember Me Project” on behalf of Blue State Digital. The octognerian took the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd, held his trophy proudly and told the viewers “Thanks for remembering me”.The quirkiest acceptance of the evening came from singer/actress Bjork, who was honored as Artist of the Year, and accepted by saying “A…E….I….O….U!”.Comedian Louis C.K., accepting his Person of the Year Award was not to be outdone, telling the audience, “When I die…….bye-bye”. Spectacular live concert performances by Passion Pit and The Key of Awesome, as well as appearances by Spike Lee and New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin brought tremendous energy to the room, but for the first time, the highlight of the Webby Awards may well have been a video.Justin Long and John Hodgman (of “I’m a Mac. I’m a PC” fame) introduced two-time Oscar Winner Richard Dreyfuss to the stage, where he explained that Steve Jobs had personally chosen him to do the voiceover work for the first-ever Apple commercial. After some words of high-praise for the Apple co-founder, Mr. Dreyfuss then introduced a video tribute to Steve Jobs, conceived by Empire producer Adam Kahan and shot almost entirely in iPhones, which included some of the greatest luminaries on the planet delivering just five words each about the late technology titan. President Clinton kicked off the video by saying “We thank you Steve Jobs”, and was followed by George Lucas (“For Making Technology into art”), Bono (“For saving lives with (RED)”), Buzz Aldrin (“For exploring beyond our reach”), Jimmy Fallon (“he made turtlenecks sexy again”), and even President Obama (“thank you for thinking different”). 2012 marked the eighth consecutive year that Empire has produced The Webby Awards. Incredible new partners this time around including Creative Directors Andrew Fried and Thomas Kail, scenic designer David Korins Design, Director Gary Natoli, and many more. Major League Baseball Advanced Media once again did an outstanding job handling the livestream of the event.
Empire is proud to serve as producer for the most innovative industry's most innovative recognition event.