Kiwi comedian Mike Loder has been banned from performing in New Zealand's Comedy Festival next year for playing a prank on fellow comics.
Now he has complained that he ban is particularly unfair - as many of those who banned him are involved in similar wind-ups on TV.
But festival organisers say his pranks were more like fraud, as he posed as organisers of the country's comedy awards to dupe nominees into thinking they had won, and told them all to prepare speeches for the big day.
The email notifications came from a bogus Hotmail account Loder (pictured) set up to look genuine.
He told Chortle: "At best I hoped one of the nominees would call the festival office and give them a laugh. But it turns out the new breed are dim. After ten years of her own bad taste jokes the fest director decided to get coy".
But festival director Hilary McMillan replied: "It seems one man's joke is another mans forgery. The email was not sent in jest. Surely for it to be a practical joke it must be funny for those involved, at least once the gag has been disclosed.
"But Mike was not going to own up to sending it, and was quite prepared for both nominees in question to assume that they had won, right until the winner was announced. Also, he didn't send it to all the nominees, just to two that he had had 'issues' with in the past."
However Loder believes his actions were on a par with practical jokes performed by members of the festival board in their professional life.
Board member Michele A'Court wrote to all members of the New Zealand Comedy Guild expressing her anger at the prank.
But Loader added: "On the same day that this was sent A'Court also sent out an invitation to those very same members to audition for The Last Laugh. A new dirty tricks show that is currently making the victims cry."
However, A'Court says she forwards details of all auditions - one of the services the guild was set up to provide - without having any involvement in the production.
Another member of the board works for TV2, which commissioned the show, and a third works for TV3 - which has just bought the rights to air the Punked practical joke show.
Loader said he was furious that they banned a comic for playing a private practical joke on professional comics, while "profiting from a show that victimises civilians in public".
But, again, McMillan doesn't quite see it that way.
"Mike forged the festival name and my signature. Mike's emails were not funny, nor I do I believe were they everintended to be.
"The festival loves a joke as much as anyone else, and while Mike Loder is a funny comedian - he wasn't in this instance."
"But we will welcome him back in 2005 with open arms."