2011 Grand Final
On August 31 at the Malthouse Theatre, 12 of the nation’s sharpest school-aged comic acts battled it out at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Class Clowns National Grand Final for their chance to be crowned the most hilarious teen act in the country.
The resounding winner was South Australian comedian Tom Matthews, who walked away with the Class Clowns trophy, a novelty human-sized cheque, $1000 in cash plus another $1000 for his school, St Johns’ Grammar in Adelaide.
Judges for the day included comedians Cal Wilson, Lawrence Mooney, Peter Helliar and Executive Producer at Southern Star Entertainment Anthony Watt. After much deliberation, it was Matthews that won the judges over.
Runner Up was awarded to Elaine Watkins from Vermont Secondary College in Victoria, with third place going to Velvet Winter from Robina State High School in Queensland.
Judge Cal Wilson said of the Final, “I am exhilarated by the standard today, just really excited by the talent. It was a treat to be able to come and see it.”
Emcee Harley Breen said of winner Tom Matthews, “I think he was fantastic. He genuinely gave me a belly laugh from the side of the stage. An unfairly talented youth.”
Class Clowns is a national secondary school comedy competition and workshop programme run by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Class Clowns holds workshops and performances in every capital city and also across regional areas of Australia. Mentored by professional festival comedians the performers have been encouraged with comedic advice from the likes of Dave Callan, Sam Simmons, Sammy J, Josh Earl and many more of Australia’s finest comedians. This nation wide search culminates in bringing the funniest school aged acts to Melbourne for the spectacular National Grand Final.
Since its inception in 1996, Class Clowns has been developing the art of comedy amongst the nation’s teenage comics from Darwin to Hobart, Perth to Launceston and in over 20 centres in between. The competition is supported by teachers’ notes and online resources, as well as year-round developmental and professional workshops.
Class Clowns alumni include Tom Ballard (Triple J), Josh Thomas (Talkin’ Bout My Generation) and Danny McGinlay.