First published on 17 May 2012. Updated on 24 May 2012.
The fifth Time Out Sydney Comedy Awards were held on Saturday May 12 at the Factory Theatre. It was a veritable who’s-who of awesome comedy, with several previous winners in attendance including Ross Noble, Glenn Wool and Dead Cat Bounce, as well as Clare Hooper, Dan Ilic, UK troupe Idiots of Ants, Dave Bloustein, Cale Bain, Seizure Kaiser, Dane Hiser and many more.
Hosted by Time Out Sydney veteran (and occasional stand up) Andrew P Street, who uncharacteristically knew better than to try to be funny in front of a room of hilarious people, this was the fifth year that Time Out celebrated the best funny-word-telling arts both in the annual Sydney Comedy Festival and in Sydney generally.
Several of the winners were conveniently on hand to accept their awards, which made things a lot less awkward and allowed them to make uncomfortable speeches, including at least one that insulted the entire room. See if you can guess which it was!*
Because we like to mix things up, the 2012 awards took the form of laminated certificates evoking the splendour and majesty of year 5 swimming carnivals the world over. Watching Time Out's tireless art team deliberately create work using fonts like Comic Sans and Curls was both professionally heartbreaking and undeniably hilarious.
The public voting was spirited and included many exciting data spikes allowing us to work out exactly when comics sent out their Twitter and Facebook blasts, with the winner of the Best Comedy Room being decided by the slimmest of slim margins. But there can only be one winner for each category, otherwise people would have gotten terribly bored during the ceremony.
The winners were as follows:
PUBLIC VOTING CATEGORIES
Best of the Comedy Festival - International: Daniel Kitson for Where Once was Wonder
Best of the Comedy Festival - Local: Felicity Ward for The Hedgehog Dilemma
Best Sydney comedian: Luke Heggie
Best Sydney comedy night: Happy Endings, El Rocco Room
The winner of the Best of the Comedy Festival: Critics Choice was voted by the Time Out Sydney team, and involved much swapping of emails and arguments that ended in variations of “…well, I thought they were hilarious!” In the end, though, there was a clear winner – and that winner was Lou Sanz for Neverending Storage
Sydney Comedy Festival Best Newcomer Award is awarded to a performer or group who present a body of work as a stand-alone show in the Sydney Comedy Festival program for the first time. The artist or group will be considered new in the industry and festival circuit having not performed a solo show in a festival outside of the season within which nomination for the award is made, and is judged by a panel of industry professionals.
They also get a sweet prize: a BenQ projector and $2000 cash from the Sydney Comedy Festival. And that fortunate winner in 2012? Rhys Nicholson.
Congratulations to everyone even remotely involved in the awards, and let’s do it all again next year.
*Yeah, it was Rhys.