At the central hub of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Melbourne Town Hall, thirteen of the nation’s comically talented teens took to the Main Hall stage with their funniest five-minutes of material, competing in the Class Clowns National Grand Final for their chance to be crowned the most hilarious teen act in the country.
Having conquered the state finals, these teenage LOL-leaders performed their perfected tricks and comedy skits in front of a panel of industry experts. The winner for 2015 was 14-year-old Will McKenna from Eltham College (VIC) who wowed judges with his relatable stand up style, cleverly covering topics from a bursting bladder on a bus to family anecdotes.
Will walks away with the Class Clowns trophy, a novelty human-sized cheque for $1500 plus another $1000 workshop package for their school.
The runner up title was awarded to Ethan Cavanagh, with special mentions awarded to Harley Davidson and Caleb Lindner.
Judges for the day included Catherine Andrews, Nathan Lloyd (Casting Director, Mullinars), Susan Provan (Festival Director), and Joel Creasey (Comedian and Presenter).
The excellent day of high calibre teenage comedy was drawn together by pop-music comedy duo Die Roten Punkte and featured performances by YouTube sensation Djuki Mala (Chooky Dancers) and Andy Saunders (WhiteBLACKatcha) whilst the judges made their grueling decision.
Class Clowns producer Wes Snelling said after the competition, ”what is so exciting about this year is the diverse range of comedy styles and topics our young people are exploring to make people laugh. Our future is definitely in safe hands if our aspiring comedians have anything to do with it.”
2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Australia’s biggest comedy competition for teens, and one that has been providing a gateway into the art of comedy for hundreds of young people. Since January this year, fresh-faced funnies from around the country in years 9-12 and aged 14-18 years old, have been given the chance to figure out how to take their sense of humour from the schoolyard to the stage, taking part in workshops and performing in front of live audiences at a local, state, and today – national level.
Will McKenna could find himself on a journey like that of alumni Josh Thomas (Please Like Me ABC2), Tom Ballard (triple j, Reality Check ABC1), Neel Kolhatkar (YouTube sensation) and Joel Creasey, who have all scaled the Class Clown ranks.