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2020 NZ Comedy Guild Awards Handed Out

Despite the challenges of a Covid dominated year, there were plenty of laughs at the annual NZ Comedy Guild Awards that took place on Tuesday (8 December). New Zealand’s comedians gathered at The Classic in Auckland, and watched on a live stream in venues around the country, to celebrate a dramatic year for the local industry.

“2020 was an incredibly difficult time for live performance in New Zealand, but the level of resilience in the comedy industry has been phenomenal” says NZ Comedy Guild Chair Brendon Green.“The forced closure of our main source of work meant we had to find creative ways to work, as well as taking a serious look at how the industry operates.”

A major development in the Comedy industry was the establishment of a Working Committee to urgently address sexual assault and harassment. The Working Committee, made up of veteran comedians and producers, was awarded the Executive Medal for their efforts in making the industry safer for all performers.

In the most uncertain year for comedians, there was still a lot to celebrate at the awards. Rose Matafeo won the Kevin Smith Memorial Cup For Outstanding Artist Achievement for another incredible year of success. Her HBO Max comedy special Horndog also took home Best Comedy Performance On TV. This is the third year in a row Matafeo has won the award, joining past winners Rhys Darby, Te Radar, and Flight Of The Conchords among other icons of NZ comedy.

Guy Montgomery was a big winner on the night, taking home Best Male Comedian and the AK Memorial Award For Best Joke. Justine Smith won Best Female Comedian and was named Best MC. The winner of the Best MC award automatically becomes the host of next year’s awards ceremony.

With comedy becoming a fixture all around Aotearoa, performers based in all regions were rewarded for their hard work and development. Christchurch comedian Jadwiga added the Breakthrough South Island Comedian award to her 2020 RAW competition win, while Li’i Alaimoana and Joe Daymond were named Lower North Island and Upper North Island Breakthrough Comedians respectively.

Brendon Green says while it’s been hard times, there’s plenty to be thankful for, “With live comedy coming to a halt around the world, we are truly lucky to be able to gather together in the same room and celebrate the successes of what has been a brutal year. International comedians are sending messages of congratulations to us, and telling us to make the most of our situation.”

FULL LIST OF 2020 NZ COMEDY GUILD AWARD WINNERS

Kevin Smith Memorial for Outstanding Artistic Achievement
Rose Matafeo
(For her HBO Max special, Late Night TV spot, and starring in Baby Done)

Executive Medal
Awarded to the Working Committee for their work making the industry a safer, better environment for all.

Best MC
Justine Smith

Best Male Comedian
Guy Montgomery

Best Female Comedian
Justine Smith

Outstanding Contribution To The Industry
Donna Brookbanks

“The Classic” Best Comedy Venue
Tabac - Auckland

Best Online Production
Happening by Tim Batt

Best Online Personality
Tom Sainsbury

Best Live Comedy Show
The Best Food Christmas Comedy Gala

Best Comedy Performance On TV
Rose Matafeo - Horndog (HBO)

Best writing for a TV show
Wellington Paranormal

Best Improv Group
Snort

The Green Roomer
Paul Douglas

Best Producer
Tim Batt

The AK Memorial cup for Best joke
Guy Montgomery - A to Z food list

Best Newcomer Upper North Island
Thomas Chapman

Best Newcomer Lower North Island
Shannon Basso Gaule

Best Newcomer South Island
Laura Bruce

Breakthrough Upper North Island Comedian
Joe Daymond

Breakthrough Lower North Island Comedian
Li'i Alaimoana

Breakthrough South Island Comedian
Jadwiga

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