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The Brooks Awards: Sam Brooks hands out his very serious Comedy Fest gongs

There’s the Billy T Award, there’s the Fred Award… and now there’s Spinoff Comedy co-editor Sam Brooks’ completely biased Comedy Festival awards.

I saw 40 shows in the festival. That’s just over one third of all the shows, which seems like simultaneously too many shows and nowhere near enough.

Best Show That Should’ve Been At Vector Arena: Two Hearts.

Best Repeated Joke: Laura Daniel’s high kick in Two Hearts.

Best Toilets: Q. I honestly would rather use them than the bathrooms in my own house. A+ guys.

Best ‘You Had To Be There’ Moment: Tim Batt rapping in a rubbish bag during Dope Joke Party.

(Runner-Up: Hamish Parkinson’s pants splitting in Fuq Bois. I was not there, but you might’ve been!)

Coolest Venue That Should Be Open All Year For This Kind of Thing Award: Backbeat Bar. I only managed to see Melanie Bracewell’s show at Backbeat, but it’s a gorgeous venue that feels really fun to hang out in. It’s also really awesome to see comedy breaking out from the 3-metres-squared that is the Classic/Basement/Q triptych and up towards K’Rd.

Best Programming Award: The Basement, not just for programming some of the best and most consistent shows of the festival, but for knowing their audience well. So much crossover between shows, so many people doing three shows a night.

Best Show By A Straight White Man Award: Nic Sampson: Jewel Heist.

Worst Time Slot Award: 5:30. I feel for anybody doing their show at this hour, people are rushing from work, nobody is drunk enough, and nobody is feeling loose enough to laugh. Maybe retire it?

(Runner-Up: 10PM on a Friday or Saturday night, which is apparently when members of the ‘I Was Raised By Wolves Without Manners’ Club come out to see comedy together.)

Best Unofficial Pre-Show Venue Award: Metrolanes. You can get a bottle of wine in a bucket of lukewarm water for $29, you guys. They do karaage chicken! It’s a bowling alley. What a world we live in.

Worst Audience Member Award: The guy behind me at James Roque’s show who kept chuckling awkwardly whenever sex was mentioned.

(Runner-Ups: The guy at Guy Montgomery’s show who decided to exit the venue by walking BEHIND the comedian, the guy who vaped throughout Guy Montgomery’s entire show.)

Best Inside Joke Award: Chris Parker playing Guy Montgomery at Last Laughs, which felt much like Charlize Theron’s transformation into Aileen Wuornos for Monster.

Angella Dravid / Justine Smith.

I Fell In Love With Her Award: Three-Way Tie: Tessa Waters, Justine Smith, Angella Dravid.

I Fell In Love With Him Award: Ed Gamble.

He Will Absolutely Be On The Cover of ‘Girlfriend’ or ‘Cleo’ Or Whatever The Millennial Equivalent Of That Is Within A Year Award: Paul Williams.

Why Weren’t They in Auckland Award: Tony Woods, after absolutely killing it at the gala, only did a few lineup shows before jaunting off to Wellington. Mr and Mrs Alexander, who I saw in Wellington and they were great, and they’re coming up here in October with their show Dunstan Creek Seance.

Why Weren’t They in Wellington Award: Lots of people! But the one I kept hearing massive FOMO about was Two Hearts.

Can They Do A Show Next Year Please Award: Michele A’Court, who I have a talent crush on.

This Show Made Me Cry And Feel A Lot of Things Award: Justine Smith: An Hour Roughly. I’m happy I paid for a ticket to this show because otherwise I would’ve had to review it and it would’ve been a bunch of adjectives and superlatives. I could watch Justine Smith talk about anything for an hour, but there’s a warmth and vulnerability to her in this hour that absolutely killed me.

Please Put This Guy In Schools So He Can Fix Our Messed Up Culture Award: James Nokise.

Show I Missed That I Know I Would’ve Loved But It Was Week Three and I Was About To Burn This Place To The Ground Award: Fuq Bois.

Show I Wish I Could’ve Seen Every Night: Tie: Tessa Waters: Over Promises and Two Hearts.

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