The Barry Award, named after Barry Humphries, the first patron of the Festival, recognizes the Comedy Festival's Most Outstanding Festival Show, specifically aiming to seek out those performers who are enhancing the art form of comedy and acknowledging their vision.

The judges for the 15th Annual Barry Awards - who include industry professionals and media came to a consensus on the shortlist late last night.

The 2012 Barry Award contenders are as follows (in no particular order):
· Dave Gorman - Dave Gorman's Powerpoint Presentation
· Wil Anderson - Wilarious
· Dr Brown - Befrdfgth
· Felicity Ward - Felicity Ward in the Hedgehog Dilemma
· Paul Foot - Still Life
· Tim Key - Masterslut

"Once again the fearless Barry judging panel has come up with an amazingly eclectic Barry Nomination list, reflecting the sophisticated and adventurous taste of Melbourne comedy audiences. It is very satisfying to see such a range of nationalities and comedic styles represented in the nominations for an award that has a truly global comedy-world reach." Festival Director Susan Provan said.

To be eligible for the Barry Award, a show must have had at least 10 performances as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the particular year.

Past Barry Award winners have included: Russell Kane (2011), Sammy J and Randy (2010), The Pajama Men (2009) Kristen Schaal and Nina Conti (2008), Daniel Kitson (2007), Demetri Martin (2006), Keating! The Opera (2005), Maria Bamford (2004), Mike Wilmot (2003), Ross Noble (2002), Brian Munich & Friends (2001), The Mighty Boosh (2000).

The Barry Award will be presented on Saturday 21 April at the Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom, in what is traditionally the last night of the Festival Club. Other awards be presented on this night include The Melbourne Airport Best Newcomer Award, The Directors' Choice Award, The Piece of Wood (comics choice award), The Golden Gibbo and Bulmers People's Choice Award.

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