David Letterman received the highest honour at the first annual US Comedy Awards on Saturday night (26.03.11).

The 63-year-old talk show host picked up the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at the ceremony at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

Although David received the biggest accolade of the night, his series 'The Late Show With David Letterman' lost out to 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart' in the Best Late Night Comedy Series category.

Other winners included Alec Baldwin, who picked up the gong for Best Comedy Actor in TV for his performances in '30 Rock' and Tina Fey who was named Best Comedy Actress in Film for her role in 'Date Night'.

'Shrek' star Eddie Murphy took home one of the top honours of the night when he was named Comedy Icon for his stand-up and movie career which has spanned over three decades.

TV show 'Modern Family' picked up two prizes, for Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Directing in TV, while '30 Rock' was recognised for Best Comedy Writing in TV

'Saturday Night Live' star Kristen Wiig was the winner in the Best Comedy Actress in TV category for her hilarious skits - which include her famous Miley Cyrus impersonation - and Zach Galifianakis was named Comedy Actor in Film for 'Dinner for Schmucks'.

The winners were selected by a body of invited members of the comedy community, including Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers and Chris Rock.

TV network Comedy Central hosted the event and it will be broadcast on April 10.

US Comedy Awards 2011 full list of winners:

Comedy Series: 'Modern Family'

Comedy Actor TV: Alec Baldwin, '30 Rock'

Comedy Actress TV: Kristen Wiig, 'Saturday Night Live'

Comedy Actor Film: Zach Galifianakis, 'Dinner for Schmucks'

Comedy Actress Film: Tina Fey, 'Date Night'

Late Night Comedy Series: 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'

Sketch Comedy/Alternative Comedy Series: 'Children's Hospital

Stand-up Special: Louis C.K.: Hilarious'

Comedy Film: 'The Other Guys'

Animated Comedy Film: 'Toy Story 3'

Animated Comedy Series: 'South Park'

Comedy Writing TV: '30 Rock'

Comedy Screenplay: 'Hot Tub Time Machine'

Comedy Directing TV: 'Modern Family'

Comedy Director Film: Edgar Wright, 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'

Breakthrough Performer: Daniel Tosh

Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence: 'David Letterman'

Comedy Icon: Eddie Murphy