Each year, we recognise the best and brightest shows and comedians with a series of awards presented in the final week of the Festival. Check out the individual event pages for the winners of Raw Comedy and Class Clowns

Previous Award winners
Barry Award, The Age Critics' Award, The Melbourne Airport Best Newcomer Award, The Golden Gibbo, The Piece of Wood Award, The Directors' Choice Award

Barry Award
Launched in 1998 as the 'Stella Award' and renamed in 2000 to honour the Festival's founding patron Barry Humphries, the Barry Award recognises the most outstanding Festival show. The winner gets fame, glory, a snazzy trophy and an all-important cheque.

Past winners:
2008: Joint Winners - Nina Conti - Complete and Utter Conti & Kristen Schaal - As you have probably never seen her before
2007: Daniel Kitson - it's the fireworks talking
2006: Demetri Martin – Dr Earnest Parrot presents Demetri Martin
2005: The Drowsy Drivers – Keating! The Opera
2004: Maria Bamford
2003: Mike Wilmot
2002: Ross Noble
2001: Brian Munich – Brian Munich & Friends
2000: The Boosh – Artic Boosh
1999: Sue Ann Post – G Strings and Jockstraps
1998: Linda Haggar and Fahey Younger – Miss Itchy's Crème De Menthe Breakfast Show

The Age Critics' Award
The Age Critics' Award is the reviewers' gong. In recent years, it has become The Age Critics' choice for the best local act.

Past winners:
2008: Sammy J - in The Forest of Dreams
2007: Lawerence Leung - Learns to breakdance
2006: Judith Lucy – I Failed
2005: The Drowsy Drivers – Keating! The Opera
2004: The Kransky Sisters – We Don't Have Husbands
2003: Paul McDermott, Cameron Bruce and Mick Moriarty – GUD UGH /Denise Scott, Judith Lucy and Lynda Gibson – Comedy Is Still Not Pretty
2002: Ross Noble
2001: Brian Munich – Brian Munich & Friends

The Melbourne Airport Best Newcomer Award
The winner of this award for the best first-timer at the Festival gets a trip to the Brighton Comedy Festival in the UK, thanks to Melbourne Airport.

Past winners:
2008:Fear Of a Brown Planet
2007:Josh Thomas - Please like me
2006: Sammy J – Sammy J's 55 Minute National Tour
2005: Christina Adams – To Miss With Love
2004: The Kransky Sisters – We Don't Have Husbands / Eddie Perfect – Angry Eddie
2003: Flight of the Conchords
2002: Jim Russell, Marty Sheargold and Aidan Fennessy – The Trade / The Drowsy Drivers – Northcote Country Soul
2001: Fiona O'Loughlin – Fiona and her sister (and some guy) / Cal Wilson – Hello Kitty
2000: Gerard McCulloch – An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a documentary / Emma Bathgate – The Dilapidated Diva

The Golden Gibbo
In memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson, who passed away in 2004, the Golden Gibbo is awarded to a local, independent show that bucks trends and pursues the artist's idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure.

Past winners:
2008: The Suitcase Royale - The Ghosts of Ricketts Hill
2007: The Glass Boat
2006: Greg Bird – Cliffy is Relaxed and Comfortable
2005: The Drowsy Drivers – Keating! The Opera
2004: Jo Randerson – Carry on Randerson / Eddie Perfect – Angry Eddie

The Piece of Wood Award
The comics' choice gong is a beloved (and much bitten) piece of wood. Selected by an ever-growing committee of comedians (as each year's winner is entitled to join the voting process), it is awarded to comics for doing good stuff ‘n' that.

Past winners:
2008: Tom Gleeson
2007: Andy Zaltzman
2006: Damian Callinan / Fiona O'Loughlin
2005: Tony Law
2004: Andrew McClelland
2003: Justin Hamilton
2002: Michael Chamberlin / Charlie Pickering
2001: Rich Fulcher
2000: Stewart Lee
1999 Simon Munnery
1998 Linda Hagger / Fahey Younger

The Directors' Choice Award
The Directors' Choice is awarded by the Comedy Festival Director, in consultation with other visiting Festival Directors, to a fabulous show that somehow missed out on any other prize.

Past winners:

2008: Sam Simmons
2007: Justin Hamilton
2006: Men of Steel / Nick Sun – Blood on the Yolks in the Key of Owls
2005: Tim Minchin - Darkside