2019 Melbourne International Comedy Award Winners



The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for the best show: James Acaster (UK) Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999

Anne Edmonds- What’s Wrong With You? 
Cassie Workman – Giantess
Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well
Nath Valvo – I’m Happy For You
Tom Allen (UK) – Absolutely 

Blake Freeman

The Best Newcomer: Blake Freeman – There’s Something There 

Dan Rath – Bubble Bath
Nina Oyama – Needs a Lift
Oliver Coleman – Poolside

Joshua Ladgrove

The Golden Gibbo Award (for an artistic independent production): Neal Portenza & Joshua Ladgrove –Neal Portenza is Joshua Ladgrove

Nominees for The Golden Gibbo Award:
Game Boys – Game Boys Cinematic Universe
Lauren Bok – Rock Out With Your Bok Out 
Margot Tanjutco – Vanity Fair Enough

Urzila Carlson

Oliver Coleman – Poolside
Patrick Collins – Mime Consultant / Patrick Collins And the Magic Shoe

People’s Choice Award: Urzila Carlson Loser 

This award signifies that Urzila Carlson sold the most tickets at this year’s Festival.

Aaron Chen

The Directors’ Choice Award: Aaron Chen – Piss Off (Just Kidding) 

Presented by Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director Susan Provan

The Pinder Prize: Sam Taunton – Straight From The Shoulder & Steph Tisdell – The Pyramid

This Award funds their trips to the Edinburgh Fringe
to perform at Assembly Festival. It was presented by Demi Lardner

Geraldine Hickey

Piece of Wood Award (Peer Award from other comedians):  Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well

Presented by Greg Fleet who created the Award and Heath Franklin last year’s winner.

Funny Tonne Winner: John Souness

Deadly Funny National Grand Final winner: Fabian Woods

Fady Kassab

RAW Comedy Grand Final Winner: Fady Kassab (NSW)  
Fady has won a trip to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival to compete in So You Think You’re Funny?.
RAW Runners-Up: Suraj Kolarkar (QLD) and Laura Hutchinson (WA)

Class Clowns National Grand Final Winners Patti Fawcett (Bendigo South East College, VIC)
Class Clowns Runners-Up:
Whose My Parents? (Ben Depoma, Cyrus James-Hankin, Soren Pryor) from St Theresa’s Catholic College Abergowrie, QLD, and Nic Doring (Alexandria Park Community High School NSW)

James Acaster – Reset

By Elyce Phillips James Acaster

With a string of award nominations to his name, James Acaster has spent the last few years building himself up as one of the young greats of the UK stand-up scene. He returns to MICF with Reset, a solidly funny new hour of absurdity, meandering reflection and self-loathing.

In Reset, Acaster explores the idea of having your time over again. Unless you’re utterly insufferable, chances are you have a fair few things you’d like to do differently, and Acaster too has his share of regrets. It’s a topic where a lesser talent could be become bogged down in negativity, however, the material is handled deftly.

Acaster is a master of deadpan silliness, delivering bizarre stories with a facade of complete honesty that almost has you believing his flights of fancy. A lengthy piece about his work at a dodgy honey company was particularly wonderful. The tall tales bring a fresh edge to Acaster’s stand-up – the delivery is familiar but the content is not.

Unfortunately on the night I attended, the show got derailed by heckling. Acaster dealt with the offending parties admirably – in fact he perhaps got some of the biggest laughs of the night by putting the interrupters in their place – but the timing of it upset the flow of the final moments of the show.  A story that was building up to a grand finale fizzled somewhat, disrupted at multiple points. Acaster was visibly annoyed, and fair enough. It put a dampener on the show, however, this is one to chalk up to a Tightarse Tuesday crowd and drunkenness, and is no reflection on Acaster’s material.

Acaster further establishes himself as a powerhouse of stand-up with Reset. It’s a strong, well-structured show that deserves a good audience.

James Acaster – Reset is on at Melbourne Town Hall until April 17