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THE SECOND IN A 10-PART SERIES
By Grammy Whisperer Paul Grein
Our resident Grammy seer, Paul Grein, is previewing various "genre album" categories. Today, he takes a look at Best Comedy Album and Best Spoken Word Album. He began this assignment earlier this week with Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. If you missed the first installment, here’s a link.
 
Best Comedy Album
"Weird Al" Yankovic
is sure to be nominated for Mandatory Fun, which made headlines as the first comedy album to reach #1 since 1963. It was Yankovic’s biggest hit in a career that stretches back to 1979. He won in this category with 1984’s "Eat It" and 2003’s Poodle Hat.

Kathy Griffin
, who won earlier this year with Calm Down Gurrl, will probably be back in the running with her latest, Look at My Butt Crack. (Do you get the idea that she went with that title just to make the announcer at the pre-telecast awards squirm?)



Two other past winners in this category have a good chance of returning to the finals. Louis C.K., who won for 2011’s Hilarious, is eligible with Oh My God. Bill Cosby, who has won a record seven times in the category, could be back with …Far From Finished.

Sarah Silverman’s high profile could put her We Are Miracles in the finals. Patton Oswalt’s Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time and Jim Gaffigan’s Obsessed are also prime candidates. In the past five years, Oswalt has been nominated twice in this category; Gaffigan, once.

Also in the mix: Dennis Miller’s America 180, DL Hughley’s Clear, Tracy Morgan’s Bona Fide, David Spade’s My Fake Problems and Sinbad’s Make Me Wanna Holla.

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
This category is always a celebrity smack-down, where notables from politics and show-biz mix like they’re in the limo line at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Joan Rivers has an excellent chance of making the finals with Diary of a Mad Diva. The comedy icon, who died Sept. 4, was nominated for Best Comedy Recording for 1983’s What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?

 

Another sure bet is Elizabeth Warren’s A Fighting Chance. Barack Obama won twice in this category while he was a U.S. Senator. The Rev. Jesse Jackson won for 1988, the year of his second presidential run. Hillary Rodham Clinton won when she was First Lady. Grammy voters lean to the left politically and are apt to do what they can to boost Sen. Warren.

Former President Jimmy Carter won in this category with 2006’s Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis. He could be nominated again with A Call to Action.

Four of TV’s most high-profile women are in the running: Lena Dunham with Not That Kind of Girl, Chelsea Handler with Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, Oprah Winfrey with What I Know for Sure and Robin Roberts with Everybody’s Got Something (Robin Roberts With Veronica Chambers).

Edward Herrmann’s The Bully Pulpit (Doris Kearns Goodwin) could be boosted by the success of the recent PBS documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Herrmann provided the voice of FDR in that Ken Burns series.

Audio books by two best-selling authors are in the mix: Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath and Mitch Albom’s The First Phone Call From Heaven.

Janis Ian, who won in this category with 2012’s Society’s Child: My Autobiography, is eligible with The Singer and the Song: An Autobiography of the Spirit (Miriam Therese Winter). Two other musicians are eligible: Paul Stanley with Face the Music and Gloria Gaynor with We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song.

Other top contenders: Mary Matalin and James Carville’s Love & War, Bob Saget’s Dirty Daddy, Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (James Thurber), Diane Keaton’s Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, Bryan Cranston’s The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien), Anjelica Huston’s A Story Lately Told, John WatersCarsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, Al Sharpton’s The Rejected Stone, James Franco’s Actors Anonymous and Rob Lowe’s Love Life.
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