Australian comedy is an amazingly tough field to crack. There are no short cuts to success: the only way to make a mark is by sheer hard work and concerted effort. So how this year's nominees managed to drag their clearly below-par acts into the public spotlight raises a number of disturbing questions about exactly what kind of sheer hard work and concerted effort is actually required. Because whatever these guys were working on, it sure wasn't being funny.

   Worst Newcomer
Joint Winners:
Michael Chamberlain - 33.33%
Dan Gregory - 33.33%
Sam Simmons - 33.33%

Last Year's Winner
Ministry of Truth

Voter comments for Michael Chamberlain:

I refuse to accept that anybody actually finds this guy funny. It would seem that he gets by on the Australian public's fixation with short people. Daryl Somers, Rove, Grant Denyer... yeah, Michael Chamberlain fits that list perfectly.
- Moribunderast

One retard I can't give any concessions.
- menagers

Voter comments for Dan Gregory:

Who needs insight into a crass, evil industry when some sweaty guy can peel off a few zingers about the homeless?
- mixmaster flibble

Physically repellant and ethically repugnant, Dan Gregory is typical of the sort of appalling character Andrew Denton likes to put on television. And then subject to no scrutiny whatsoever.
- Bean Is A Carrot

Voter comments for Sam Simmons:

Doing a TV show on the ABC next year. Australia, your shouting anti-jokes about pirates and ducks are served.
- DynaTone

There's something deeply wrong with the culture at the ABC when someone like Simmons is allowed to even reach the stage of "newcomer".
- 13 schoolyards

Sure, Michael Chamberlain is annoying to watch and painful to listen to, but other comedians have overcome worse obstacles to generate laughs. Sadly "Chambo" seems to think acting like an arrogant turd is a sure-fire path to comedy gold, when - as anyone foolish enough to watch more than a few seconds of The Mansion knows - it's more like a dirt track to a clogged septic tank even Kenny won't go near.

Fans of great comedy double acts will want to check out the total lack of chemistry between Chamberlain and Charlie Pickering on The Mansion. Chambo's probably the only person who could make Pickering seem likable (which may explain how he got the gig) though next to Chambo's smug smirk even Pol Pot would be a front-runner for re-election.

As an advertising man, Dan Gregory is more than aware that any publicity - unless it involves concrete allegations of criminal acts or worse, something the Herald-Sun thinks its readers frown upon - is good publicity. So let's keep this short: people like him are annoying jumped-up turds in real-life, so why does the ABC expect us to watch them on TV?

And then there's Sam Simmons, surrealism's answer to a cinderblock only less colourful. In theory there's nothing at all wrong with the idea of saying things completely at random until you stumble upon something funny - the problem starts when you figure an audience wants to sit around watching you do it. His "success" - and considering his act to date, not being gunned down has to count as a success - is purely down to a large body of people labouring under the misapprehension that saying the word "ducks" fifteen times in a row is hilarious, instead of nothing more than someone saying a word over and over and over again. And then a few more times for those in the back row who've nodded off.

Worst New Comedy >>