The Melbourne International Comedy Festival's most prestigious annual award, the Barry Award, has been awarded to Dr Brown for 'Befrdfgth'.
The Barry Award, named after Barry Humphries, the first patron of the Festival, recognises 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.
Also in contention for the 2012 Barry Award were the five other nominees: Dave Gorman – 'Dave Gorman's Powerpoint Presentation', Wil Anderson – 'Wilarious', Felicity Ward – 'Felicity Ward in the Hedgehog Dilemma', Paul Foot – 'Still Life', Tim Key – 'Masterslut'.
Dr Brown will join the company of past Barry Award winners including Russell Kane (2011), Sammy J and Heath McIvor (2010), The Pajama Men (2009) Kristen Schaal and Nina Conti (tied winners of 2008), Daniel Kitson (2007), Demetri Martin (2006), Keating! The Opera (2005), Maria Bamford (2004), Mike Wilmot (2003), Ross Noble (2002), Brian Munich & Friends (2001) and The Mighty Boosh (2000).
The panel of 10 judges range from industry professionals to media, with Festival Director Susan Provan chairing the panel, but not casting a vote for the Barry Award. The judges came to a consensus this evening.
"Voting was closer than ever this year and shortlists were packed with amazing shows. Judges found making a choice extremely difficult. Dr Brown is an exciting winner, reaffirming Melbourne's appetite for the unexpected," said Susan Provan.
To be eligible for this prestigious award, a show must have had at least 10 performances as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the particular year.
::The Melbourne Airport Best Newcomer Award:: For the best newcomer at the Festival - the winner jets off to either experience the Brighton Comedy Festival or the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the UK.
2012 Winner: Tied result - Matt Okine for 'Being Black & Chicken & S#%t' and Ronny Chieng for 'The Ron Way'
::The Piece of Wood:: The beloved (and much bitten) comics' choice award selected by past winners and presented to a peer literally for "doing good stuff 'n' that".
2012 Winner: Bob Franklin & Steven Gates for 'Stubborn Monkey Disorder'
::The Golden Gibbo:: In memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson and awarded to a local, independent show that pursues the artist's idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure.
2012 Winner: Lessons with Luis for 'Luis presents: Kidney Kingdom'
::The Bulmer's People's Choice Award:: Inaugural award voted by the people - the funniest people's choice show in the festival.
2012 Winner: Wil Anderson for 'Wilarious'
Special award for amazing kids' show went to Dr Brown & Stuart Bowden for 'Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown: The Kids' Show'.