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Each year, we recognise the best and brightest shows and comedians with a series of awards presented in the final week of the Festival. 


2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show Winner: Gillian Cosgriff  – Actually, Good
2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show Nominees:
Jordan Gray  – Is It A Bird?
Guy Williams  – Comedy Plus Time Equals Tragedy
Hannah Camilleri  – Lollybag
Laura Davis – Well Don't Just Stand There Dancing
Leo Reich  – Literally Who Cares?!
Liz Kingsman  – One Woman Show
Rosie Jones  – Triple Threat
Tom Ballard  – It Is I
Emma Holland  – Save The Orangutans

2023 Golden Gibbo Winner: Gillian Cosgriff – Actually, Good
2023 Golden Gibbo Nominees:
Andy Balloch – Am I The Drama?
Liam Sparrow-Gange – The Magical Tram of Thought
Con Coutis – Con vs Con vs Con
Woah, Alyssa! 5

2023 Best Newcomer Winner: Aiden Willcox & Isaac Haigh – Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom
2023 Best Newcomer Nominees:
Andrew Hamilton – Jokes About The Time I Went To Prison
Bron Lewis – Probably
Freddie McManus – Freddie McManus Is Stoppable
He Huang – Bad Bitch
Ray O'Leary – Everything Funny All The Time Always
Sashi Perera – Endings

2023 Piece of Wood Award Winner: Dan Rath – All Quiet Carriage Along The Inner Western Line
2023 Directors' Choice Award Winner: Takashi Wakasugi (JPN) – Japanese Worry
2023 People's Choice Award Winner: Urzila Carlson (NZ/Sth Africa) – Just No!
2023 Pinder Prize: Hannah Camilleri – Lollybag

2023 RAW Comedy Joint Winners: Henry Yan (VIC)
2023 Class Clowns Winner: Kate Kindleysides (QLD)
2023 Deadly Funny Winner: Shahnee Hunter (Djabugay, Ewamian, Mbabaram & Butchulla, QLD)

2023 Funny Tonne Winner: Caitlin Burns


Most Outstanding Show Award

Launched in 1998 as the Stella Award for Most Outstanding Show, renamed Barry Award for Most Outstanding Show in 2000 and renamed in 2019 as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show.


2023: Gillian Cosgriff  – Actually, Good
2022: Rhys Nicholson – Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!
2021: Geraldine Hickey – What A Suprise
2019: James Acaster – Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999
2018: Sam Campbell – The Trough
2017: Hannah Gadsby – Nanette
2016: Zoë Coombs Marr – Trigger Warning
2015: Sam Simmons – Spaghetti For Breakfast
2014: Denise Scott – Mother Bare
2013: Rich Hall
2012: Dr Brown – Befrdfgth
2011: Russell Kane – Smokescreens and Castles
2010: Sammy J and Randy – Ricketts Lane
2009: The Pajama Men – Versus Vs Versus
2008 – Joint Winners: Nina Conti – Complete and Utter Conti; and Kristen Schaal – As you have probably never seen her before
2007: Daniel Kitson – it's the fireworks talking
2006: Demetri Martin – Dr Earnest Parrot presents Demetri Martin
2005: The Drowsy Drivers – Keating! The Opera
2004: Maria Bamford
2003: Mike Wilmot
2002: Ross Noble
2001: Brian Munich – Brian Munich & Friends
2000: The Boosh – Arctic Boosh
1999: Sue Ann Post – G Strings and Jockstraps
1998: Linda Haggar and Fahey Younger – Miss Itchy's Creme De Menthe Breakfast Show

Best Newcomer Award

Awarded to a solo performer or group of performers from Australia of New Zealand doing their first Festival show.


2023: Aiden Willcox & Isaac Haigh – Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom
2022: Frankie McNair – Relax Your Knees
2021: Charlie Zangel (Lewin) – Cockatiel
2019: Blake Freeman – There's Something There
2018: Danielle Walker – Bush Rat
2017 – Joint Winners: Aaron Chen – The Infinite Faces of Chenny Baby; and Angus Gordon – Sad Boy Comedy Hour
2016: Tom Walker – Beep Boop
2015: Corey White – The Cane Toad Effect
2014: Stella Young – Tales From The Crip
2013: Luke McGregor – My Soulmate Is Out Of My League
2012 – Joint Winners: Ronny Chieng – The Ron Way; and Matt Okine – Being Black & Chicken & S#%t
2011: Cassie Workman – Humans Are Beautiful
2010: Claudia O'Doherty – Monsters of the Deep 3D
2009: Tom Ballard – Is What He Is
2008: Nazeem Hussain & Aamer Rahman – Fear Of A Brown Planet
2007: Josh Thomas – Please Like Me
2006: Sammy J – Sammy J's 55 Minute National Tour
2005: Christina Adams – To Miss With Love
2004: The Kransky Sisters – We Don't Have Husbands & Eddie Perfect - Angry Eddie
2003: Flight of the Conchords
2002 – Joint Winners: Jim Russell, Marty Sheargold & Aidan Fennessy – The Trade; and The Drowsy Drivers – Northcote Country Soul
2001 – Joint Winners: Fiona O'Loughlin – Fiona and Her Sister (and some guy); and Cal Wilson – Hello Kitty
2000 – Joint Winners: Gerard McCulloch – An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a Documentary; and Emma Bathgate – The Dilapidated Diva

The Golden Gibbo

In memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson, who passed away in 2004, the Golden Gibbo is awarded to a local, independent show that bucks trends and pursues the artist's idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure.


2023: Gillian Cosgriff – Actually, Good
2022: Alex Hines – To Schapelle And Back
2021: Nat Harris & Hannah Camilleri – Pét-Nat + Han ah Chocolat
2019: Josh Ladgrove & Neal Portenza – Neal Portenza is Joshua Ladgrove
2018: Cam Venn – Charles Horse Lays an Egg
2017: Granny Bingo – A Visit With Nan In A Caravan
2016: Zoë Coombs Marr – Trigger Warning
2015: Laura Davis – Ghost Machine
2014: Fancy Boy – Variety Show
2013: Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock
2012: Lessons with Luis – By Myself
2011: Geraldine Quinn – You're The Voice: Songs For The Ordinary By An Anthemaniac
2010: Sam Simmons and David Quirk – The Incident
2009: The List Operators
2008: The Suitcase Royale – The Ghosts of Ricketts Hill
2007: The Glass Boat
2006: Greg Bird – Cliffy is Relaxed and Comfortable
2005: The Drowsy Drivers – Keating! The Opera
2004 – Joint Winners: Jeremy & Jo Randerson – Carry on Randerson; and Eddie Perfect – Angry Eddie

The Piece of Wood Award

The comics' choice gong is a beloved (and much bitten) piece of wood. Determined by an ever-growing committee of comedians (as each year's winner is entitled to join the voting process), it is awarded to comics for 'doing good stuff n' that'.


2023: Dan Rath – All Quiet Carriage Along The Inner Western Line
2022: Tina Del Twist – Caravan in the Sky
2021: Greg Karsen – This Might Be Hell
2019: Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well
2018: Heath Franklin – Bogan Jesus
2017: Luke Heggie – Rough Diamanté
2016: Chris Wainhouse – The ANTICHRIS
2015: Anne Edmonds – You Know What I’m Like
2014: Sarah Kendall – Touchdown
2013: David Quirk – Shaking Hands With Danger
2012: Bob Franklin & Steven Gates – Stubborn Monkey Disorder  
2011: Harley Breen – I Heart Bunnings: Stories About My Brothers
2010: Sam Simmons – Fail
2009: Lawrence Mooney – Make The Girls Laugh
2008: Tom Gleeson – Tom-A-Thon
2007: Andy Zaltzman
2006: Damian Callinan & Fiona O'Loughlin
2005: Tony Law
2004: Andrew McClelland
2003: Justin Hamilton
2002: Michael Chamberlin & Charlie Pickering
2001: Rich Fulcher
2000: Stewart Lee
1999: Simon Munnery
1998: Linda Haggar and Fahey Younger

The Directors' Choice Award

The Directors' Choice is awarded by the Comedy Festival Director, in consultation with visiting international Festival Directors and venue programmers, to a fabulous show that somehow missed out on other prize.


2023: Takashi Wakasugi (JPN) – Japanese Worry
2022 – Joint Winners: Wil Anderson – Wilogical, and Bronwyn Kuss – Any Goss?
2021: Melanie Bracewell (NZ) – The Rumours Are True
2019: Aaron Chen – piss off (just kidding)
2018: Michelle Brasier & Laura Frew – Double Denim Adventure Show
2017: Demi Lardner – Look What You Made Me Do
2016 – Joint Winners: True Aussie Patriots – Live; and Zanzoop – Feeble Minds
2015: Matt Okine – The Other Guy
2014: Ronny Chieng – Chieng Reaction
2013: Mel Buttle – How Embarrassment
2012 Joint Winners: Dr Brown & Stuart Bowden – Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown: The Kids’ Show; and Rod Quantock – Third Annual Mystery Comedy Walking Tour
2011: Denise Scott – Regrets
2010: Hannah Gadsby – The Cliff Young Shuffle
2009: The Bedroom Philosopher – Songs From The 86 Tram
2008: Sam Simmons
2007: Justin Hamilton
2006: Men of Steel & Nick Sun – Blood on the Yolks in the Key of Owls
2005: Tim Minchin – Darkside

The People's Choice Award

Launched in 2010 as the Bulmers People's Choice Award, the People’s Choice Award recognises the most popular show of the Festival as determined by audiences via ticket sales.


2023: Urzila Carlson (NZ/Sth Africa) – Just No!
2022: Urzila Carlson (NZ/Sth Africa) – It’s Personal
2021: Daniel Sloss (SCO) – Hubris
2019: Urzila Carlson – Loser
2018: Lano & Woodley – Fly
2017 – Joint Winners: Wil Anderson – Critically Wil, Denise Scott & Judith Lucy – Disappointments
2016: Carl Barron – Drinking With A Fork
2015: Wil Anderson – Free Wil
2014: Wil Anderson – Wiluminati
2013: Arj Barker – Go Time
2012: Wil Anderson – Wilarious  
2011: Wil Anderson – Man vs. Wil
2010: Wil Anderson – Wilful Misconduct

Pinder Prize

The Pinder Prize honours Festival co-founder John Pinder, one of Australian comedy’s most influential producers and biggest fans. The Award supports a performer to travel to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and present a show at Assembly Theatres where John presented many Australian artists.


2023: Hannah Camilleri – Lollybag
2022: Danielle Walker – Nostalgia
2019 – Joint Winners: Steph Tisdell – The Pyramid; and Sam Taunton – Straight From The Shoulder
2018: Demi Lardner – I Love Skeleton
2017: Damien Power – Utopia: Now in 3D!
2016: Tom Ballard – The World Keeps Happening

The Critics' Award

The Critics' Award was the reviewers' gong, in its later years known as The Age Critics' Choice Award for the best local act. This Award was presented between 2001 and 2010.


2010: Asher Treleaven – Secret Door
2009: Celia Pacquola – Am I Strange?
2008: Sammy J – In The Forest of Dreams
2007: Lawerence Leung – Learns to Breakdance
2006: Judith Lucy – I Failed
2005: The Drowsy Drivers – Keating! The Opera
2004: The Kransky Sisters – We Don't Have Husbands
2003 – Joint Winners: Paul McDermott, Cameron Bruce & Mick Moriarty – GUD UGH; and Denise Scott, Judith Lucy & Lynda Gibson – Comedy Is Still Not Pretty
2002: Ross Noble
2001: Brian Munich – Brian Munich & Friends

RAW Comedy

RAW Comedy is Australia's biggest and most prestigious national open mic comedy competition. Heats take place all over Australia from January every year and culminate in the National Grand Final in Melbourne in April.


2023: Henry Yan (VIC)
2022 – Joint Winners: Alexandra Hudson (NSW) and Bron Lewis (QLD)
2021: Prue Blake (VIC)
2019: Fady Kassab (NSW)
2018: Bec Melrose (NSW)
2017: Zack Dyer (QLD)
2016: Danielle Walker (VIC)
2015: Angus Gordon (QLD)
2014: Matt Stewart (VIC)
2013: Demi Lardner (SA)
2012: Lessons with Luis (VIC)
2011: Dayne Rathbone (ACT)
2010: Luke Heggie (NSW)
2009: Cassie Workman (WA)
2008: Neil Sinclair (VIC)
2007: Jonathan Schuster (VIC)
2006: Hannah Gadsby (TAS)
2005: Josh Thomas (QLD)
2004: Nick Sun (NSW)
2003 – Joint Winners: Nelly Thomas (VIC); and Steve Sheehan (SA)
2002: Dave Elvins (NSW)
2001: Emily O'Loughlin (SA)
2000: Drew Rokos (VIC)
1999: Chris Wainhouse (QLD)
1998: Chris Franklin (NSW)
1997: Subby Valentine (NSW) 
1996: Anthony Manchetti (VIC)

Class Clowns

Each year hundreds of secondary school students from Years 9-12 participate in the Class Clowns competition – the Festival’s nation-wide search for Australia’s funniest teen.


2023: Kate Kindleysides (QLD)
2022: Erin Almeida (VIC)
2021: Dhruv Rhao (SA)
2019: Patti Fawcett (VIC)
2018: Awkward – Liam Adam, Carlin Carruth & Kyle Bennett (QLD)
2017: Daniel Reeve (NSW)
2016: Lauren Duong (ACT)
2015: William McKenna (VIC)
2014: Gregor Tarrant (VIC)
2013: James Warren (TAS)
2012: Aaron Chen (NSW)
2011: Tom Matthews (SA)
2010: Matthew Ford (QLD)
2009: Neel Kolhatkar (NSW)
2008: Aaron Nobes (SA)
2007: H2Woe – Jake Machin and James Seamark (VIC)
2006: Adam Knox
2005 – Joint Winners: Imann Hadchiti; and Tobey Duncan
2004: Stephen Brooks
2003: Short Suited – Tully Hansen & Evan Dowling (TAS)
2002: Jeremy Dooley & Mario Cicitta (VIC)
2001: Paul Saunders (VIC)
2000: The Fat Chicks Bite Back (VIC)
1999: Martin Atta (VIC)
1998: Gareth Moloney (VIC)
1996: Ebony-Jo Gamble (VIC)

Deadly Funny

Cheeky and loud, black and proud, the Deadly Funny national comedy competition unearths the freshest and funniest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent from across the country.


2023: Shahnee Hunter (Djabugay, Ewamian, Mbabaram & Butchulla, QLD)
2022: Janty Blair (QLD)
2021: Jahmarley Dawson (QLD)
2019: Fabian Woods (WA)
2018: Leon Filewood (TI)
2017: Ghenoa Gela (NSW)
2016: Jalen Sutcliffe (QLD)
2015: Nina Kirby (VIC)
2014: Stephanie Tisdell (QLD)
2011: Tristan Savage (QLD)
2010: Denise McGuinness (VIC)
2009: Shiralee Hood (WA)
2008: Kevin Kropinyeri (SA)
2007: Mia Stanford

Funny Tonne

Since 2005, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has challenged die-hard fans of funny to see as many shows as they can across the 26 days of events and then write and post engaging daily reviews. The competition challenges both stamina and writing prowess. The person who saw the most Festival shows and wrote the most reviews is crowned winner of this annual comedy marathon.


2023: Caitlin Burns
2022: Tessa Stickland
2021: Bren Carruthers
2019: John Souness
2018: Alasdair Bryant
2017: William Erskine - 154 shows
2016: Jeremy MacPherson - 164 shows
2015: Sarah Trevarthen - 178 shows
2014: Chris Menezies - 158 shows
2013: Nick Taras - 147 Shows