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It’s time to give a new generation of comics a crack at the Grammys

Familiar faces Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt and Jim Gaffigan feature on this year’s shortlist – an award dominated by Netflix specials with nary an indie voice in sight

What do we expect of a shortlist for best comedy album at the Grammys? I’ve not, in the past, given the award much attention. The Edinburgh comedy award is more my world, and I’ll be running screaming back to it, great carnival of creativity that it is, after engaging with the comic sensibility of America’s Recording Academy which is, well, a mite conservative. This is an award only two of whose last 15 nominees have been women, and whose all-time champ, with a record seven wins, is Bill Cosby.

This year’s shortlist does not emanate shockwaves of the new. Repeat winners and nominees Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt and Jim Gaffigan feature, the latter for the fourth year in a row. Throw in Tiffany Haddish and Bill Burr, and you get a lineup with an average age of 53, which doesn’t exactly advertise the freshness of American comedy. The music record of the year shortlist, for comparison, features Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion, and the average age of its nominees is 28.

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