Lewis Schaffer has won the Cunning Stunt award for the best publicity stunt at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The American comic scooped the title, awarded in memory of Malcolm Hardee for issuing a press release saying he was sponsoring the Edinburgh Comedy Awards – formerly ther Perriers – for £99.
The List magazine believed him, and reported that the awards would now be called The Lewies in his honour.
At the same ceremony, German vaudevillian Otto Kuhnle won the Malcolm Hardee Award for best comic originality.
John Fleming, producer of the awards, which have no cash value, said: ‘We chose Lewis Schaffer for his extraordinary publicity. It worked on many levels and he managed to work it into the script of his show this year.
‘What impressed me was when he was forced to issue a retraction for the false press release he managed to include full details of his own show twice, which is the zenith of publicity stunts. So by apologising he managed to increase his publicity as well.’
And in keeping with the mischievous nature of the awards, Schaffer sent out another bogus press release several hours before the award's announcement, claiming that he had won both of the ‘Malcolm Hardy awards’ – although no one seemed to fall for this one.
Of Kuhnle's win, award co-organiser Kate Copstick said: 'Lederhosen and leaf-blowing machines are not the normal route to Edinburgh comedy awards, but the Malcolm Hardee Awards are there to recognise truly original and sometimes bizarre comic genius.'