This year’s Crikey ‘Best of the Fest’ award for the best show in the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was presented last night to a comedian that we had no trouble agreeing on – Andrew McClelland.

From left: Luke Buckmaster, Andrew McClelland and Matt Smith

Andrew McClelland’s ‘One Man Stand’ saw him play a small army of characters from different countries and different walks of life, each contributing to a variety stand-up show. It’s been getting great audiences and reviews, and without question it was the most I laughed at a comedy festival this year. Luke Buckmaster’s review on it is pretty comprehensive, but at the time of writing this there’s still three more nights of the festival – go and see it, judge for yourself. There can be no better stamp of endorsement then a well deserved Crikey ‘Best of the Fest’ award.

So it was a joyful Andrew who graciously accepted his award last night, consisting of a spiffy certificate designed by the First Dog, complete with a frame. As an extra added bonus, I even helped him carry some props to his car from his Gibbo Award nominated other festival show Tie Her to the Tracks.

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Since I’ve managed to record a podcast interview him every festival I’ve been to since I’ve moved to Melbourne, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. You can listen to the presentation ‘ceremony’ as it was in this special podcast.

This is, of course, the second Crikey ‘Best of the Fest’ award we’ve given out, with Lawrence Mooney winning the inaugural award last year.

That pretty much brings a close to Crikey’s coverage of the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Fifty reviews later (with a few stragglers still to come), it’s been a fun experience as always, but we’re probably as ready for a rest as much as the comedians are. There are, of course, three days of the festival left, and a lot of shows out there that we haven’t reviewed – it’s a big festival. So go out and make the most of it.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped out and contributed with Laugh Track and made all this coverage possible. A huge thanks goes to the effort of the reviewers: Luke Buckmaster, Siobhan Argent, Suzannah Marshall Macbeth, Alicia Flores, Warrick Glynn, Meghan Lodwick and Nicole Humphreys. The blog was powered by their writing talent, and their skill made my job as editor a heck of a lot easier. Thanks also goes to Sophie Black, Jason Whittaker and the rest of the Crikey team for their love (I’m guessing…) and support. Also not to forget, Gemma and the hard workers at MICF’s publicity team, for being so helpful in organising tickets and putting up with the chaos I managed to leave in my path.

And finally, I’d like to thank you yourself, dear reader. Thanks for reading, and thanks for heading and watching all the great shows the festival has to offer.

So congratulations again, to Andrew McClelland. Well won, good sir!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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