Tom Bergeron Accepts Sam Rubin Award at Critics Choice Real TV Awards

The Critics Choice Real TV Awards bestowed a special honor on Tom Bergeron during the 2024 ceremony at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

The Critics Choice Association (CCA) first announced on June 10 that Bergeron, 69, would receive its brand-new Sam Rubin Award, an honor named for the late entertainment journalist Sam Rubin. Five days later, Bergeron stepped up during the Saturday, June 15 ceremony to officially receive the award after a touching speech by actor and TV host Alfonso Ribeiro.

Before introducing Bergeron, who hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos before Ribeiro, the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star noted that people throughout the Hollywood community had been "shocked and heartbroken" when Rubin died unexpectedly last month. The former KTLA morning show host was well-known on the red carpet, as demonstrated by a video montage that Ribeiro paused to show during Saturday's ceremony.

In addition to his work, Rubin was also dedicated to philanthropy, Ribeiro noted.

“To honor the legacy, generosity and kindness of Sam’s spirit, the Critics Choice Association has created the Sam Rubin Award," the Dancing with the Stars host explained. "It seeks to honor those who understand, as Sam did, that the greatest value of celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good works for others.”

While Bergeron has "distinguished himself" through his work in the entertainment industry, he "is also a benefactor, an advocate for numerous philanthropic causes, like the March of Dimes, and especially the Motion Picture & Television Fund," Ribeiro continued. "I am thrilled to present the inaugural Sam Rubin Award to the man whose footsteps I’ve been fortunate to follow and couldn’t be more proud to honor with this incredible award. My friend and mentor, a man I would follow anywhere.”

Tom Bergeron at the Critics Choice Real TV Awards held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on June 15, 2024, in Los Angeles, Calif.<p>Variety/Getty Images</p>
Tom Bergeron at the Critics Choice Real TV Awards held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on June 15, 2024, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Variety/Getty Images

Bergeron, who hosted Dancing with the Stars before Ribeiro, then took the stage and shared his own thoughts on Rubin's legacy as a reporter in Hollywood. He acknowledged that talking about Rubin "in the past tense" still felt "really raw and wrong," and that it also felt "strange" to not see Rubin working the red carpet at that day's ceremony.

"The outpouring of tributes to him as the shock hit went from the A list all through the alphabet—deservedly so," Bergeron said. "There was a generosity of spirit that Sam embodied, and as Alfonso alluded to, not only on camera but behind the scenes in all the causes he supported.”

Bergeron concluded his Sam Rubin Award acceptance speech by telling the audience that the best way to honor Rubin's memory “is to tap into our own generosity of spirit.”

The station at which Rubin worked since 1991 announced his “sudden and shocking” death on May 10. While the journalist’s cause of death at age 64 was not immediately announced, KTLA later reported that he had passed away after suffering a heart attack.

Next: Tom Bergeron Reveals He Wasn't Surprised by His Sudden Dancing with the Stars Firing