Fourteen of the nation’s best schoolyard comedy acts took to the Melbourne Town Hall main stage with their best five-minutes of material, competing in the Class Clowns National Grand Final, for their chance to be crowned the funniest teen in the country.
Fifteen-year-old Oakhill College (NSW) student Daniel Reeve has been announced as the winner of the national Class Clowns Grand Final held at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – winning over the judges with his musical comedy performance.
Having conquered heats and state finals across Australia, these teenage stand-ups, sketch, parody and musical comedy maestros performed in front of a panel of industry experts. Daniel walks away with a prize of $1500 for himself, a $1000 workshop package for his school, plus the coveted Class Clowns trophy. This year’s runners up were: Bryn Inglis, Bayside Christian College (VIC); and Vincent Meyrick, St Johns Grammar (SA).
To be commended are the other 11 Class Clowns finalists for making it through to the final stage of the competition: Alana Steward (VCA Secondary School, VIC), Anzel Van-Niekerk (Kalbarri District High School, WA), Bhavika Sharma (Elizabeth College, TAS), Callum Fisher (Magnetic Island, QLD), Demetri Spyropoulos (Ivanhoe Grammar School, VIC), Jaxon Mitchell and Jamie Roberts (Good Shepherd Lutheran College, NT), Kate Wilkins (Danebank Anglican School for Girls, NSW), Lana Pigeon (Alfred Deakin High School, ACT), Mireille-Francoise Renzaho (Northmead Creative & Performing Arts High School, NSW), Sirak Keeghan (University High School, VIC), and Soloman Lancini (The Gap State High School, QLD).
On the judging panel for the 22nd anniversary of Class Clowns Grand Final were Catherine Andrews, MICF Associate Director Bridget Bantick, and Australian comedians Ivan Aristeguieta, and Rhys Nicholson. The high caliber teenage comedy was hosted by 2016 Class Clowns Winner Lauren Duong and Australia’s comedy darling Mel Buttle while featuring performances from two Melbourne Comedy Festival favourites Aunty Donna and Josie Long (UK).
“It’s truly one of my favourite events in the Festival,” said Class Clowns producer Wes Snelling. “Giving teenagers the opportunity to jump up on stage, some for the very first time, to perform their craft of making people laugh. And more importantly, Class Clowns is a forum to meet like-minded funny people from across Australia.”
“The bond and friendships that form out of Class Clowns couldn’t be more evident this year. Witnessing the camaraderie and mutual respect of each young comic’s voice is so exciting for the future of the comedy industry and audiences who enjoy.”
Class Clowns lends itself to be more than just a competition; it’s a gateway into comedy for hundreds of young people. Participants from years 9 – 12 are given access to professional comedians as mentors, taking part in workshops and performing in front of live audience at a local, state and national level.
Class Clowns alumni include: Tom Ballard (triple j, Reality Check ABC1 and 2016 Barry Award nominee), Josh Thomas (Please Like Me ABC2), Neel Kolhatkar (YouTube sensation), and Joel Creasey (I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here).
For more information about Class Clowns, visit: www.classclowns.com.au. The 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival ends this Sunday 23 April. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Daniel Reeve, 2017 Class Clowns Winner – photo by Jim Lee