Lifetime Achievement: Mel Miller

Comics Choice: Riaad Moosa

People Choice (SMS Votes): Gary the Tooth Fairy - Bevan Cullinan

Newcomer: Deep Fried Man

Breakthrough act: Rob Van Vuuren

There you go…


The latest comedy awards in SA are called The Comics Choice Awards. You may have heard of previous awards like the SA Comedy Awards a few years ago? Now I am not a big fan of things like ‘Last Comic standing’ or comedy competitions. I feel it puts comedy under pressure, and makes it forced. That’s not to say I don’t find those shows entertaining! I feel the same about ‘Comedy Awards’. It’s difficult for me to see what it does for the industry? Once you’ve been given an award, do you charge more at corporate functions? Are people impressed by the ‘Award’? Nik Rabinowitz was voted ‘Comedian of the year’ and has been in demand since. So maybe it does impress the the decision-makers?

So if some people in the industry have come together and made an attempt at a professional ‘Vote’ based awards… then good for them I say. I was not involved in the previous SA Comedy Awards, as you could only be judged if you sent a tape in, paid R2000 and had a one-man show running within the year. For these awards it’s slightly different. For acts to make themselves available for voting they need 2 pros to second their nomination, and pay R1000. Now, you may ask why pay R1000? Should you not just be entered just cos you’re a comic working in the industry?


The Comic’s Choice Award is an inclusive process, making all professional comedians eligible, across all managements and agencies. This is a comic’s event, organized, designed, built and supported by the local comedy industry, the awards are given by comedians to comedians.
We have partnered with Prezence Digital (SAMA Voting system developers) to design and build a secure online voting system and public-facing site that will monitor and tabulate the voting process. We also offer an opportunity for the public to choose one winner via sms – “The Audience Choice Award.”

The Comic’s Choice Elders are a special, honorary group of performers who will be assembled as we invite comedians with 25 years or more experience to announce the annual nominations at a special Press Lunch. The Elders are registered to the system free of charge as a tribute to their contribution to the industry.

We will run a parallel media campaign to allow the public to vote for the “Audience Choice” – a special award that goes to the comic most voted for by the public. As mentioned, this award will be run exclusively via sms, and our media partner will execute a print and online campaign for this award. Comedians with one or more years of experience will pay a registration fee, and log on to the voting system on the CCA site. Once they have supplied the relevant biography, image and the approval of two registered comedians, they will be allowed to cast one bronze, one silver and one gold vote in each category. The votes will be tabulated and audited by the system and the top four in each category will be announced at the Press Lunch as nominees.

The public and the comedy industry will gather at a hilarious show at the Teatro on Sat Jan 22nd to celebrate world-class local talent with a specially created show, during which the five awards will be handed out: Newcomer; Breakthrough Act of The Year; Comic Of The Year; Lifetime Achiever & Audience Choice.

Tickets for this event will be limited, as voting registration fees will include a ticket for each comic voting.


Each year, one of the “Elders” will have the job of coordinating the show. The show itself will be a comedy variety show, incorporating stand-up, sketches, AV and comedy songs, etc. They will decide which acts will perform, and how we incorporate the awards into the performance – it is very important that we put on a show, and not a regular awards ceremony.

The inaugural show will be directed and produced by awards co-founder, John Vlismiss – and is set to include comedy music, sketch comedy, appearances by legendary local comedy figures, and more.

After the show, an exclusive party will be held for members of the comedy industry, and selected guests.