May 21, 2012

The 2012 NZ International Comedy Festival  

As Marcel Lucont crowd surfed his way out of the SKYCITY theatre last night, entertaining the crowd – it was local stars Guy Williams and Rhys Darby who took home the big awards of the night at the Festivals closing event ‘Last Laughs’ hosted, this year, by Te Radar.

The Billy T nominees; Rose Matafeo, Tom Furniss, Tevita Manukia, TJ McDonald and, of course, Guy Williams had all presented strong shows which made competition tight, with it being said that the judge’s deliberation had been the longest on record. But it was Guy Williams who came out on top, not only sporting the iconic yellow towel but receiving $2500 prize money and a guest appearance on TV3 hit show 7 Days. The Billy T’s were formed back in 1997 by the New Zealand Comedy Trust, in the honour of one of our greatest comedians, the late Billy T James. The award is to not only recognise outstanding potential but to help foster and encourage New Zealand comedic talent.

It was then onto the second announcement of the night – the winner of the prized golden gumboot known as The FRED Award, named in honour of ex-pat comedy icon John Clarke’s legendary Kiwi character Fred Dagg. Those in the running for 2012 were Rhys Darby, Boy With Tape On His Face and Brendhan Lovegrove. With each comic performing sell out shows within the Festival it could have gone any of three ways. However, it was Rhys Darby who took to the stage and got to hold the golden gumboot high. With the Award recognising and celebrating outstanding achievements in comedy at home with seeking to export New Zealand Comedy abroad, it couldn’t have gone to a better recipient as Rhys is about to tour his Festival show ‘This Way To Spaceship’ across the UK later in the year.

Here’s the full list of winner from last night’s “Last Laugh” ceremony:

Billy T Award – Guy Williams
THE FRED Award – Rhys Darby
Best International – Idiots of Ants
Best Newcomer Auckland – Brendon Green
Best Newcomer Wellington – Hayley Sproull
Best Marketing – TJ McDonald  

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