Amy Poehler Takes On Jim Carrey: Who Will Win Best Comedic Performance?

Anna Faris, Steve Carell and James Franco all want the last laugh at the MTV Movie Awards, Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

MTV Movie Awards categories come and go. We once gave out a Golden Popcorn statue for Best Sandwich. But one category that’s been around since the beginning and deserves to stay forever is Best Comedic Performance. After all the Best Kisses have been bestowed and the Best Fights have been waged, it’s the folks who made us laugh the hardest that might be remembered longest.

From pregnant baby mamas to clueless sorority house mothers, from stoned-out pot dealers to high-strung yes men to hapless secret agents, the 2009 Movie Awards offer quite a collection of side-splitting, guffaw-inducing nominees. Since this is one of the only categories to have neither [movie id="369195"]“Twilight”[/movie] nor [movie id="364450"]“Slumdog Millionaire”[/movie] dominating its ranks, it’s tempting to say this is an open field in which any of our jokesters might prevail, or that it’d be cruel to choose among this merriment, so everyone should win. But who are we kidding? The Movie Awards are made for winners, and when we’ve laughed our last laugh, it’s time to pick our favorites from all these wisecracking entertainers.

Who’s the Favorite?
Aficionados of Movie Awards history should know never to bet against [movieperson id="10030"]Jim Carrey[/movieperson]. He’s the all-time Golden Popcorn champ, having taken home 10 wins for appearances in films like “Dumb and Dumber,” “Liar Liar” and “The Truman Show.” And he has won in the Best Comedic Performance category no fewer than four times. The guy’s a legend, and his appearances at the show are notoriously colorful. And his role as Negative-Nelly-turned-brazen-optimist Carl in [movie id="358529"]“Yes Man”[/movie] is no exception. When you check out a clip of Red Bull-wired Carl returning from a couple of raves to flirt a mile-a-minute with Zooey Deschanel’s character, you can’t help but think voters will once again be saying “yes” to this man.

Who’s the Underdog?
[movieperson id="238943"]Amy Poehler[/movieperson] has been having a pretty good run lately. Her appearances as Hillary Clinton on “Saturday Night Live” during the presidential campaign were instant classics, and the debut of her own NBC comedy, “Parks and Recreation,” announced to the world that Poehler had arrived. A win for her turn as an infantile surrogate mother opposite pal Tina Fey in [movie id="324620"]“Baby Mama”[/movie] seems like a richly deserved honor for a career on the rise. From peeing in a sink because she can’t figure out the toilet’s child safety lock (which is also nominated for Best WTF Moment) to throwing a hilarious fit over swallowing an oversize vitamin, Poehler’s scenes in “Mama” were fertile territory for laughs and, perhaps, for awards.

Inside Scoop
» [movie id="307802"]“Get Smart”[/movie] nominee [movieperson id="9677"]Steve Carell[/movieperson] has won in this category before for “The 40-Year Old Virgin.” Carell’s “Get Smart” love interest is Anne Hathaway, who is 20 years his junior. The age discrepancy is explained away by saying Hathaway’s character had undergone radical reconstructive plastic surgery to assume a new identity.

» The working title of [movieperson id="242920"]Anna Faris’[/movieperson] [movie id="363551"]“The House Bunny”[/movie] was actually “I Know What Boys Like.” While the title eventually changed, co-star and “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee had already recorded a cover of the Waitresses’ “I Know What Boys Like” for the film.

» During last year’s Movie Awards, [movie id="330674"]“Pineapple Express”[/movie] nominee [movieperson id="264077"]James Franco[/movieperson], along with co-star Seth Rogen, pulled out a possibly fake bag of weed during the live broadcast and proceeded to light a joint. The camera cut away, but the moment remains one of the most memorable in the show’s history.

Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year’s ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It’s up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.

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