Danny Devito has been a TV icon in our hearts forever, but now the Broadcast Television Journalists Association has made it official. Yesterday, the BTJA awarded Devito the first Critics’ Choice Television Icon Award. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” co-star Rob McElhenney presented the award to DeVito during the luncheon, which was hosted by Cat Deeley of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The actor certainly deserves a lifetime achievement award for television. He spent five years rubbing everyone the wrong was as the loveable Louie de Palma on the classic comedy “Taxi,” where he consistently stole scenes from Judd Hirsch, Andy Kaufman, and Christopher Lloyd. Accordingly, he won an Emmy the role. Then, after a years-long hiatus, the 66-year old actor made a comic comeback as bar owner Frank Reynolds on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
While these two roles clearly put Devito in the icon category, surely the BTJA also took into consideration his roles as Roy the Stripper on “Friends,” his turn as the District Attorney in “Reno 911!: Miami” and his bit part on “Starsky and Hutch.” Undoubtedly it is these roles that put Devito over the top in the icon category over such television luminaries as Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, Andy Griffith or Mary Tyler Moore. The BTJA’s decision to award the accolade to Devito over say, Betty White or even Carol Burnett is nothing short of brilliant and makes me, for one, trust the BTJA’s taste and opinion immensely.
“We are thrilled that Danny DeVito is our first Critics’ Choice Television Icon because, as the first recipient, he will define it for the future,” said Joey Berlin, acting president of the BTJA in The Hollywood Reporter. “We are recognizing Danny for his contributions both in front of and behind the camera, but also off camera. With Danny, we are able to pay homage to the past as well as celebrate the present, as his career has been remarkable for its continued relevance, from “Taxi” to “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.”
The honor is well deserved for a man of his skill, talent, and willingness to wear skinny jeans in public:
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons user Gage Skidmore. Thanks!