Comedy Awards salute Don Rickles, Robin Williams and Louis C.K.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Comedian Robin Williams accepts an award onstage at The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Theo Wargo
Comedian Robin Williams accepts an award at The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012, in New York.

(CBS/AP) The second annual Comedy Awards, which aired Sunday on Comedy Central, celebrated the art of comedy, saluting achievements in standup, TV, films and digital.

Taped April 28 at New York's Hammerstein Auditorium, the gala featured a star-studded list of guests and honorees, including Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Adam Scott and Jim Carrey.

Robin Williams received the Standup Icon Award. Don Rickles was honored with the Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence, presented by Jon Stewart and Robert De Niro.

"Rango" was the best animated comedy film. French actor (and Oscar winner) Jean Dujardin was named best film actor for "The Artist."

NBC's "Parks and Recreation" won best comedy series, and its star, Amy Poehler, was named best actress, while FX's "Louie" was the best sketch/alternative comedy series. Best club comic: Hannibal Buress.

Most of the two dozen categories were judged by 1500 working members of the comedy community, choosing from nominees selected by a board of directors comprising such names as Carol Burnett, James Burrows, Stephen Colbert, Budd Friedman, Conan O'Brien, Joan Rivers, George Schlatter and Lily Tomlin.

Others were chosen by viewers.

The two-hour telecast began with a bang as Chris Rock announced the year's best comedy special, among whose five nominees, he joked, "Three are funny. One used to be funny. And one was NEVER funny!"

Taking the award was the online standup special "Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater."

The sentimental highlight of the evening was seeing Don Rickles gratefully receive his trophy.

In rambling remarks that alternated between tender recollections of performers he reveres (notably Johnny Carson) intercut with his trademark insults, Rickles, who turns 86 on Tuesday, clinched his title as (in the words of Stewart) "the patron saint of comedy."

"I see many in the audience," he said tenderly, then hurls a zinger: "I realize tonight, I'm the biggest name here."

See the winners here.