Illeana Douglas

Emmy-nominated actress Illeana Douglas will receive the ‘Pioneer in Comedy Award,’ at the first annual Palm Springs International Comedy Festival’s awards gala, scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2018. The award-winning actress/producer/author will be honored for her trailblazing work in the first ever branded celebrity Web series ‘Easy to Assemble’ that opened doors for all the streaming shows to follow.

“Listen, Illeana Douglas is a true entertainment pioneer! Illeana actually started in stand up and sketch comedy, so she definitely has a long history of comedy roots along with all the comedic work she has done in film and television,” comments festival director Paul Cruz. “She wrote, produced, starred in and at times directed THE most successful ever branded web series ‘Easy to Assemble,” sponsored by IKEA. Before anyone was doing it, Illeana was and with big name talent, all on her own!”

 Illeana adds, “ I am thrilled and honored to accept this award. Of all the roles I have played, being the writer, producer, and show runner behind Easy To Assemble has been the most rewarding. When we started, the Web series format was brand new.  IKEA stepped in to fully finance and support my creative vision. The branded Web series was born and Easy to Assemble became a real life story of triumph both artistically, economically, and professionally.”

The festival will feature a star studded, black tie awards dinner gala, honoring the best comedic celebrity talents in stand-up, film and television and held in the grand ballroom of the trendy Hotel Zoso and Spa, located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs International Comedy Festival was created to discover great comedic talent from around the world, with the purpose to promote them to the entertainment industry and the public, as well as to showcase the works of seasoned professionals and celebrities of comedy. The festival provides a showcase for the best comedians, sketch artists, shorts, features, TV pilots, Web series and animation from around the globe, with a screenplay competition awarding the best feature, shorts and TV pilots. The competition features 15 categories and 28 awards with submissions judged by top entertainment industry professionals.

Carol Burnett and Illeana Douglas Photo Courtesy TCM











Granddaughter of two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas, and a classic film lover and historian, Douglas is a frequent host on Turner Classic Movies. For three years she hosted the spotlight series Trailblazing Women. Beginning October 4, Illeana will co-host with comedy legend Carol Burnett TCM’s new series, Funny Ladies, a special month of programming celebrating hilarious performances from Lucille Ball, Doris Day and Phyllis Diller to Goldie Hawn, Gilda Radner and Lilly Tomlin. She also hosts her podcast  I Blame Dennis Hopper, interviewing celebrities about classic film.

Entertainment Weekly named her memoir, I Blame Dennis Hopper: Stories From A Life Lived in and Out of the Movies “One of the best books of 2016.” Her follow up memoir, which she is currently writing, is titled Remember… This Never Happened! : More Stories From a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies. 

Douglas wrote, produced, starred and frequently directed the first ever-branded Web series, Easy To Assemble (ETA). The award-winning series features a cornucopia of stars, including Jeff Goldblum, Kate Micucci, Jane Lynch, Tim Meadows, Justine Bateman, and many others.  ETA also spawned a successful spin-off web series called Sparhusen starring Keanu Reeves.  

Douglas has produced a number of films and documentaries including Life Without Dick, Chez Upshaw  and Kingdom Come. She recently produced and costarred in The Skinny for Refinery29. She is currently directing the comedy feature, Love Is Funny, based on her original screenplay. 

Some of her memorable film roles include Cape FearTo Die For, Grace of My Heart, Picture Perfect, Message In a Bottle, Stir of Echoes, Happy Texas and Ghost World.  She received an Emmy nomination as Angela on Six Feet Under,  and has appeared on scores of TV comedies including The Larry Sanders Show, Action, Ugly Betty, The Simpsons and Modern Family. 

Additional honorees, celebrity judges and guests to be announced soon including the Stanley Kramer Award recipient for ‘Best Feature Film Comedy.’ Last week, it was announced that comedian Kathy Griffin will be presented with the “Comedian of the Year” Award.  For tickets, click here.