Melbourne International Comedy Festival acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live. We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' spirit, imagination and rich history of storytelling and humour that is an inspiration to all Australians.

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Awards

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

2019 AWARD WINNERS

2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show Winner: James Acaster – Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999
2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show Nominees: 
Cassie Workman – Giantess
Tom Allen – Absolutely
Nath Valvo – I'm Happy For You
Anne Edmonds – What's Wrong With You?
Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well

2019 Golden Gibbo Winner: Josh Ladgrove & Neal Portenza – Neal Portenza is Joshua Ladgrove
2019 Golden Gibbo Nominees: 
Oliver Coleman – Poolside
Lauren Bok – Rock Out With Your Bok Out
Margot Tanjutco – Vanity Fair Enough
Patrick Collins – Mime Consultant
Game Boys – Game Boys Cinematic Universe

2019 Best Newcomer Winner: Blake Freeman – There's Something There
2019 Best Newcomer Nominees: 
Oliver Coleman – Poolside
Nina Oyama – Needs a Lift
Dan Rath – Bubble Bath

2019 Pinder Prize Winners (joint): Steph Tisdell – The Pyramid; and Sam Taunton – Straight From The Shoulder
2019 Piece of Wood Award Winner: Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well
2019 Directors' Choice Award Winner: Aaron Chen – piss off (just kidding)
2019 People's Choice Award Winner: Urzila Carlson – Loser

2019 RAW Comedy Winner: Fady Kassab (NSW)
2019 Class Clowns Winner: Patti Fawcett (VIC)
2019 Deadly Funny Winner: Fabian Woods (WA)

2019 Funny Tonne Winner: John Souness


PREVIOUS AWARD WINNERS

Most Outstanding Show Award

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

PAST WINNERS:

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 doing their first Festival show.

PAST WINNERS:

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: Michael 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.

PAST WINNERS:

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. Selected 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.

PAST WINNERS:

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 other visiting Festival Directors, to a fabulous show that somehow missed out on any other prize.

PAST WINNERS:

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.

PAST WINNERS:

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 performers to tour internationally to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

PAST WINNERS:

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.

PAST WINNERS:

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 open mic comedy competition running nationally every year between Janaury and April.

PAST WINNERS:

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: Michael 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.

PAST WINNERS:

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, this national comedy competition unearths the freshest and funniest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent from across the country.

PAST WINNERS:

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 possible across the 26 days of events and post engaging and enthusiastic daily reviews. The person who saw the most Festival shows and wrote the most reviews is crowned winner of this annual comedy marathon.

PAST WINNERS:

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