Nominations announced for the 19th annual Barry Award

Barry Humphries 2Australian comedy legend Barry Humphries has announced the nominations for the 19th annual Barry Award – named in his honour – as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The Barry Award is one of the world’s most prestigious comedy awards. Launched in 1998 as the Stella Award (and won by Miss Itchy) before being renamed in 2000 to pay tribute to the Festival’s founding patron Barry Humphries, the Barry Award recognises the Most Outstanding Comedy Festival show.

With just one week left of the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the judges for the Barry Award – who include industry professionals and media – came to a consensus on the shortlist late last night. The 2016 Barry Award nominees are:

• Anne Edmonds – That’s Eddotainment

• Damien Power – Sell Mum Into Slavery

• David O’Doherty – We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At David O’Doherty (IRL)

• Luisa Omielan – Am I RIght Ladies?! (UK)

• Rhys Nicholson – Bona Fide

• Tom Ballard – The World Keeps Happening and Boundless Plains to Share

• Zoe Coombs Marr – Trigger Warning

“The Barry Award nominees for 2016 capture perfectly the clever, eclectic and truly funny range of work represented in the Festival,” says Melbourne Comedy Festival Director, Susan Provan. “We are thrilled and honoured this year to welcome our absolute comedy hero Mr Barry Humphries to announce the nominations for the awards named in his honour.”

To be eligible for the Barry Award, a show must have had at least 10 performances during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the particular year. The 2016 Barry Award winner will join a long list of illustrious comedians including:

Sam Simmons (2015), Denise Scott (2014), Rich Hall (2013), Dr Brown (2012), Russell Kane (2011), Sammy J and Randy (2010), The Pajama Men (2009), Nina Conti (2008), Daniel Kitson (2007), Mike Wilmot (2003) and Ross Noble (2002).

The Barry Award will be presented at the 19th Annual Comedy Festival Awards on the final Saturday of the Festival. A night where performers and punters stand side by side and look back and celebrate comedic talents, moments of unforgettable hilarity and non-stop laughter, fans and industry heavyweights will gather at the Festival Club to celebrate the greatest comedy shows in 2016.

Also announced, were the nominees for the Best Newcomer Award:

• Demi Lardner – Life Mechanic

• Guy Montgomery – Guy Montcomedy (NZ)

• Rose Matafeo – Finally Dead (NZ)

• Tom Walker – Beep Boop

And the nominees for the Golden Gibbo Award, named in honour of the late Lynda Gibson for best independent production are:

• Asher Treleaven & Gypsy Wood – Peter & Bambi Heaven – The Magic Inside

Lessons with Luis

• Tommy Dassalo – Little Golden Dassalo

• Zoe Coombs Marr – Trigger Warning

Other awards to be presented on the night include: The Directors’ Choice Award, The Piece of Wood (comic’s choice award), The People’s Choice Award and, for the first time, The Pinder Prize – honouring Festival co-founder John Pinder. The recipient’s show will be presented as part of the Assembly Theatre program at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe.

The 19th Annual Comedy Awards will be take place on Saturday 16 April at Max Watt’s from 11.00pm. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Barry Humphries