Image: Stephen Colbert
Jason Decrow  /  AP
“Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!” is what the satirically self-referential host of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” declared while holding up his Webby trophy — which looks like a Slinky on steroids or something left over from your Ikea couch assembly.
Helen Popkin
updated 6/11/2008 7:19:57 PM ET 2008-06-11T23:19:57

Here in New York City, we bid a fond farewell to Internet Week, a seven-day plus celebration of panel discussions, cocktail mixers and the 12th annual Webby Awards ceremony honoring the best and brightest of the World Wide Web, as deemed by the The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

“The who now what what?” you ask. At least, that’s what you ask if you’re half the population of Planet Earth. If you’re the other half, you already know that the “Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that includes members such as musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening… ” etc. because you’ve won at least one Webby and have the official Webby Awards program.

With, like, 50 skidillion categories, your Web site would have to be pretty lousy for you to not get one. OK, there are only 119 award categories, but that number feels like 50 skidillion as Webbys host /and “Saturday Night Live” head writer Seth Myers calls up honorees in endless awards “clusters” for categories such as “Marketplace” and “Services,” each delivering their own version of the infamous Webby five-word acceptance speech. Meanwhile, all anybody really wants to see is Webby “Person of the Year” Stephen Colbert.

“Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!” is what the satirically self-referential host of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” declared while holding up the representative Webby trophy — which looks like a Slinky on steroids or something left over from your Ikea couch assembly. Still, there were a couple of things you sort of missed out on if you either didn’t win or didn’t want to pony up the nearly $300 winners are required to pay to attend the Webbys. These include:

Some lady has a bone to pick with Stephen Colbert.  It’s safe to say, couture designers aren’t banging down the doors of Webby winners, begging them to wear their fashions on the red carpet. Still, most attendees did their best to look fashionably formal. One winner however, used the event to boldly wear a white, red and black ensemble to accent her white t-shirt with the phrase “Colbert is dead to me” on the front, and on the back “Save the Internet.”

Will Femia
Webby "Lifetime Achievement" winner David Byrne looks like your befuddled dad.
This, of course, is a play on Colbert’s “Dead to me” enemy list. A visit to reveals a petition protesting his Webby win, stating “We're a for-profit group formed to prove that Stephen Colbert is a fraud who deserves no recognition. Sadly, some of the world's most highly respected institutions have already fallen victim to the Colbert dupe.”

You know, spoofing a satire is rarely effective comedy. Speaking of ruining hilarity…

When “the Onion” is explained, it ceases to be funny.  Jam-packed along the Webby’s minuscule red carpet rolled out in front of Cipriani on Wall Street, much of the attending media took their hellishly hot moment to ask each and every attendee to explain the Internet.  Such was the case with the representatives of fake news site “The Onion.”

Will Femia
Chris Karwowski (left) and Megan Ganz (right) are forced to explain away the funny from fake news site "The Onion."
Repeatedly, Chris Karwowski and Megan Ganz  (stunning, in the hands-down best dress of the evening, a black strapless number with the flawless lines of an Ava Gardner get-up) were asked to delineate the process of creating topical humor during the election season and cite examples of past stuff and current until it all ran together like a middle school book report in which the student is just trying to fill out the required 1,200 words. To quote a Woody Allen axiom, “If it bends, it’s funny.” sure likes to talk. “Lifetime Achievement” Webby winner David Byrne wandered down the carpet like a befuddled dad in mismatched weekend wear (yellow pants, white blazer, orange shirt) and didn’t talk to anyone. Meanwhile, “Artist of the Year” happily expounded on the power of the Internet to anyone with a microphone or a tape recorder.

Will Femia
Black Eyed Peas founder is happy to explain the Internet to sweaty Netiquette columnist Helen A.S. Popkin.
Taking the prize for his Barack Obama video, in which he remixed portions of the candidate's speeches into music, the Black Eyed Peas founder ignored his harried publicist trying to push him down the line, repeatedly telling the tale of how, according to, his record company prevented him from releasing the song on a record because it would seem like a political endorsement from his record company. That’s why he turned to YouTube. He also wanted everyone to know about his favorite Web site,

It was, in fact, not hot enough for Arianna Huffington. Waiting in the horrid humidity of the New York City heat wave, “Is it hot enough for ya?” seemed the obvious question, and so Netiquette posited it to every Webby winner  who came down the line. From to, Webby winners agreed. The weather was brutal. 

Will Femia
No in fact, it is not too hot for Web pundit Arianna Huffington.
According to Webby host Seth Myers “When I got up this morning, I wanted nothing more than to put on a dark suit and hang around Wall Street.” (A line he later used in his opening monologue.

For multiple Webby winner Arianna Huffington of political site, Huffington Post, it could’ve been hotter. “You know I’m Greek darling, so this is natural for me,” she said.

The LOLCatz guy and his wife don’t even own a cat!  Yes, it’s true, Ben Huh, the genius behind, doesn’t even own a cat. It seems he and his wife Emily are allergic to felines.

Will Femia
Ben Huh (, and wife Emily fruitlessly attempt to explain to the Internet ignorant how they've revolutionized grammar.

This would’ve been Netiquette’s big red carpet scoop had the Huhs’ not told the exact same fact to the New York magazine reporter next in line.

However, they do own an 11-year-old  poodle mix named Nemo that they emphasized is a rescue dog. This and the fact that despite the heat, Ben wore his trademark plushy cheeseburger novelty hat the entire evening, makes the Huhs super cool in Netiquette’s book.

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