Split decision

Comics share top Melbourne prize

Nina Conti and Kristen Schaal have shared the top prize at the Melbourne comedy festival – after judges failed to decide on an overall winner.

It is the first time the Barry has been split in its 12-year history.

British ventriloquist Conti, who won for her show Complete And Utter Conti, said: ‘I’m amazed to have won.’

And Schaal, best known as obsessive fan Mel in the Flight Of The Conchords TV series said: ‘Thank you for embracing our insanity. You guys have been the best audience.’

Other nominees in the female-dominated shortlist were Josie Long, Fiona O’Loughlin, Sammy J and Justin Hamilton.

Other prizes given out at the penultimate night of the festival were:

Best newcomer: Fear Of A Brown Planet (Review)
Directors’ Choice: Sam Simmons: Where Can I Win A Bear Around Here? (Review)
Piece Of Wood Award (for comics’ comic, decided by previous winners): Tom Gleeson
The Age Critics’ Award: Sammy J In The Forest Of Dreams
The Golden Gribbo (for artistic endeavour): Suitcase Royale

Previous winners of the Barry, named in honour of Barry Humphries, have included Daniel Kitson, Ross Noble and The Mighty Boosh.

Published: 12 Apr 2008

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