The winners of the annual Malcolm Hardee Awards were announced on the final day of the Edinburgh Fringe 2023.
Winner of the prize for Comic Originality was Phil Ellis, whose Excellent Comedy Show featured wild experiments in a variety of genres – including sketch, mime, musical theatre, observational comedy and rock and roll.
Julia Masli, whose problem-solving clown show ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, has seen queues snaking round the block of the Monkey Barrel at midnight, was awarded Act Most Likely to Earn a Million Quid.
And blogger John Fleming, often called the Boswell of Comedy, was awarded the Cunning Stunt Award for an AI generated announcement of his own death.
Phil Ellis and Julia Masli were both presented with their awards at the end of their shows – to delighted applause.
Masli – when presented with the Million Quid Award trophy by sculptor John Ward – said: “I promise to spend the money solving problems.”
Ellis – who was interrupted on stage to be presented with his award, was later seen joyfully wielding the Comic Originality trophy outside his venue in Blair Street, with Cammy Sinclair, Cammy Phair and Tom Short, who were also a part of his Excellent Show.