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culture

2011 Canadian Comedy Award Winners

The Canadian Comedy Awards handed out hardware last night to a host of hilarious people.

National Theatre of the World performing at the Kevin Sorbo Garbage weekend at Comedy Bar.

After five days of showcases here in Toronto, the Canadian comedy community gathered for a final celebration last night, with an industry-only Canadian Comedy Awards gala at the Isabel Bader Theatre. There were plenty of new winners (including some frequent nominees) and quite a few familiar faces.

National Theatre of the World won Best Improv Troupe for the third year in a row, on the heels of their 2009 win for Impromptu Splendor and last year’s win for Carnegie Hall Show. Troupe member Ron Pederson also snagged the Best Male Improviser award, the second individual award for the troupe after Naomi Snieckus’ 2010 Best Female Improviser win. This year’s Best Female Improviser is Sarah Hillier, who at least one of our readers thought should have been included in our Local Ladies Who Make Us Laugh profile (we concurred.)

Best Comedic Play, Revue or Series went to Second City’s 2010 show Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes, which broke box office records for the Toronto institution (and which we liked a lot too). Sketch troupe Picnicface (see our profile) picked up the Best Sketch Troupe award for their live shows. And speaking of television, YTV’s That’s So Weird, currently in its third season, won Best Television Performance—Ensemble (the clever tween-oriented sketch show stars James Hartnett, Hannah Hogan, Alana Johnston, Kayla Lorette, Joey Lucius, Alex Spencer, and AJ Vaage).

Picnicface performing at the Rivoli last month.

Daniel Stolfi won Best One Person Show for his Cancer Can’t Dance Like This show, which has raised over $50,000 (and counting) for cancer research. Other solo awards: Debra DiGiovanni won Best Female Stand-Up, CBC’s The Debaters host and co-creator Steve Patterson won Best Male Stand-Up, Eric Andrews won Stand-Up Newcomer, and Nikki Payne won Best Taped Live Performance for her set last year at the Halifax Comedy Awards (the outspoken commedienne had accidentally broken her statuette by the end of the night).

The Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee beat out four high profile male contenders to win the Canadian Comedy Person of The Year award. The Dave Broadfoot Award for lifetime achievement went to Jayne Eastwood; the TV and film veteran, with more than 40 years of credits, is still very busy as a comic, regularly performing live with sketch troupe Women Fully Clothed.

Four of the awards were determined by online polling, including the Best Web Clip (above), That Thing That Happened, featuring local sketch troupe The Boom. The other popular vote winners were This Movie Sucks! (Best TV Show), Summerhood (Best Film), and CBC’s This Is That (Best Radio Clip or Program), with Peter Oldring and Pat Kelly gaining still more recognition for their spot-on satire of the Corp’s earnest radio reporting.

For several of the winners, the timing is opportune: both Picnicface and This is That would love to see their ratings bumped up, and National Theatre of the World is heading to New York City later this week for a couple of off-Broadway shows.


2011 Canadian Comedy Awards Winners

Best Stand-Up Male: Steve Patterson
Best Stand-Up Female: Debra DiGiovanni
Best Stand-Up Newcomer: Eric Andrews
Best Comedic Play, Revue, or Series: Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes (The Second City)
Best One Person Show: Cancer Can’t Dance Like This (Daniel Stolfi)
Best Sketch Troupe or Company: Picnicface
Best Improv Troupe or Company: The National Theatre of the World’s Impromptu Splendor
Best Male Improviser: Ron Pederson
Best Female Improviser: Sarah Hillier
Best Taped Live Performance: Nikki Payne (Halifax Comedy Fest 2010)
Best Direction, Television Program or Series: James Dunnison (Less Than Kind)
Best Writing, Television Program or Series: Ken Finkleman (Good Dog)
Best Television Performance, Male: Jason Priestley (Call Me Fitz)
Best Television Performance, Female: Brooke Palsson (Less Than Kind)
Best Television Performance, Ensemble: James Hartnett, Hannah Hogan, Alana Johnston, Kayla Lorette, Joey Lucius, Alex Spencer, AJ Vaage (That’s So Weird)
Best Film Performance, Male: Jay Baruchel (Good Neighbours)
Best Film Performance, Female: Maria del Mar (A Touch of Grey)
Best Writing, Film: Jacob Tierney (Good Neighbours)
Best Direction, Film: Jacob Medjuck (Summerhood)
Best Radio Clip or Program: This Is That (Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring)
Best Web Clip: That Thing That Happened
Best TV Show: This Movie Sucks!
Best Film: Summerhood
Canadian Comedy Person of the Year: Samantha Bee
Dave Broadfoot Award: Jayne Eastwood

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