Billy T and Fred Award Winners Just Announced, Closing Out the 2023 NZ International Comedy Festival!
After three jam-packed weeks of the best comedians from Aotearoa and around the world, the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo ended the 2023 Festival tonight by honouring the outstanding talent in this year’s programme at Last Laughs! with the New Zealand Comedy Trust awards: The 2023 Fred Award for the Best New Zealand Show in the Festival and the 2023 Billy T Award.
This unforgettable showcase of incredible and hilarious homegrown talent was hosted by none other than 2022 Topp Prize winner Chris Parker, with performances from Brendon Green, Guy Montgomery and Jamaine Ross - all nominated this year for the prestigious Fred Award, plus the 2023 Billy T Award nominees Maria Williams, Janaye Henry, Abby Howells, Jack Ansett and Gabby Anderson. The evening also included a headline performance from 2023 ONZM recipient and comedy legend, Michèle A'Court.
Abby Howells won the 2023 Billy T Award
Started in 1997 and inspired by comedy legend Billy T James, the Billy T Award celebrates the growth of fresh talent in the Aotearoa comedy industry. Each year it is awarded to an outstanding emerging performer with a commitment to their comedy career. Abby Howells took home the prestigious Yellow Towel for the Billy T Award, a $5,000 cash grant from New Zealand Comedy Trust. The award was presented on stage at SkyCity Theatre by 2021 Billy T Award winner Brynley Stent.
Guy Montgomery won the 2023 Fred Award
Named in honour of much-loved comedy icon John Clarke’s legendary Kiwi character Fred Dagg, The Fred Award recognises the Comedy Festival's Best Show by a New Zealand comedian. Guy Montgomery was named the 2023 Fred Award winner, receiving the iconic Golden Gumboot and a prize package including; a cash grant of $5,000 from the New Zealand Comedy Trust. 2021 Fred Award winner Eli Mathewson proudly congratulated the new Fred recipient.
Other award winners this year include:
Best Newcomer (Auckland): Kura Turuwhenua for Hōhā Guy
Best Newcomer (Wellington): Orin Ruaine-Prattley for I'm Busy
Director’s Choice Award: Liv Parker for Werewolves, Vampires, and Harry Styles
Best Debut: Anthony Crum and Bailey Poching for Hot Filthy Garbage
Last Laughs! was staged at SkyCity Theatre and will air Thursday 1 June on THREE as part of their month of comedy.