At the “Las Culturistas” Culture Awards on Saturday night, the winner of the Cate Blanchett Award for Good Acting was … Cate Blanchett.
Ms. Blanchett had sent in an acceptance video in which she fell dramatically to her knees in a swirl of confetti. It played on a screen at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center to cheers and laughter from the crowd.
Ms. Blanchett was in on the joke of the evening: Beneath their sequins and sense of self-importance, award shows are kind of funny.
At least Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers, the comedians and hosts of the podcast “Las Culturistas,” think so. They celebrated and spoofed the festivities at their second annual Culture Awards, a comedy show dressed up in the stiff tuxedo of an award show.
There were more than 100 trophies to hand out, including in the categories Most Amazing Impact in Film (winner: M3GAN) and Best Skill to Have (winner: “a sense of play,” which triumphed over “changing a tire”).
A crowd of 2,600 people attended the free event despite a sprinkling of rain. Wearing neon claw clips and Kendall Roy T-shirts, the attendees swayed along to the song “Padam Padam” by Kylie Minogue. Naomi McPherson, one-third of the band MUNA, said the audience had “more gay people than I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Comedians, including D’Arcy Carden, Patti Harrison, Sarah Sherman and Ego Nwodim, helped the hosts reconstruct every trick in the award show playbook, from envelope fumbling to feigning surprise upon being announced as a winner.
“For those of you that don’t know what’s in store for tonight, the vibe is going to be megachurch but harmless,” Mr. Yang said in the opening monologue he delivered with Mr. Rogers. Moments later, he swapped his Marni suit for a bedsheet to perform a choreographed rendition of “Breathe” by Faith Hill.
In an interview, the pair said the parody came from a place of love. Mr. Yang, 32, and Mr. Rogers, 33, were both 7 when they watched “Titanic” dominate the 1998 Oscars. “The glam factor and the accessibility for three hours to all these huge stars in one room was very exciting at the time,” Mr. Rogers said.
The two met as freshmen at New York University and both ventured into comedy; Mr. Yang joined “Saturday Night Live,” and Mr. Rogers performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade. As their careers took off, they discovered that award shows were not as glamorous as they had once appeared.
“Being there is a little dissociative,” said Mr. Yang, who has been nominated for three Emmys for his work on “S.N.L.” “There is something titillating and alluring about it, but something disconcerting at the same time.”
Threatening to introduce a new award show became a running gag on “Las Culturistas,” the pop culture podcast the two have hosted since 2016. Lincoln Center approached them about doing a live show last year, and soon, they were onstage last June, being booed for awarding Best Seltzer Flavor to Lemon Spindrift.
Mr. Yang and Mr. Rogers finalized this year’s categories on a delayed flight out of Orlando, Fla., where the pair had been visiting Disney World. They chose the winners, but encouraged fans of the podcast — or “publicists,” as they call them — to mount campaigns for their favorite nominees. One drafted a “For Your Consideration” poster for shrimp, a nominee for Most Vulnerable Prey.
Many fans arrived on Saturday with the competitive energy of an Oscars watch party. Zach Aaronson, 33, who works in theater marketing and lives in Hell’s Kitchen, said he was rooting for “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” the finale of the musical “Hairspray,” to win in the category of Biggest Number. He cheered when the song was announced as the winner, beating nominees that included the number 99 and a zillion.
“This is so stupid and silly and gay,” he said. “And that’s what makes it brilliant.”
Two prominent Arianas — Grande and Madix — sent in acceptance videos. So did Andy Cohen, who beat Mr. Yang in the category Best Gay Guy — Famous (other categories recognized gay men whose levels of renown are “normal” and “somewhere in between”).
The event was “somehow even sillier than real award shows,” said Hannah Caldwell, 28, a Manhattan resident who was attending for the second time.
Mr. Yang pointed out that it had been a tumultuous stretch for award shows. The Tony Awards were unscripted because of the Writers Guild of America strike, and the Oscars went without a host from 2019 to 2021. “I feel like we’re in a moment where the form is being questioned and is changing,” he said.
But if the Culture Awards mocked the pageantry of award shows, they also paid tribute to the mushiness at their core. Toward the end of the evening, a video montage included Marion Cotillard’s acceptance speech in 2008 for the best actress Oscar for her performance in “La Vie en Rose.” (She beat none other than Cate Blanchett.)
Several members of the crowd knew every word of Ms. Cotillard’s breathless, over-the-top monologue. “Thank you life, thank you love,” they mouthed along with her.