What is it about the Billy T Award?
It's one of the most respected comedy awards in the profession.
And every year, around the start of the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, the nominees for the Billy T Award are unveiled.
Inspired by and named after New Zealand's much-loved legendary comedian - Billy T James, the Billy T Awards are an initiative of the New Zealand Comedy Trust and part of the NZ International Comedy Festival.
THE NOMINEES FOR THE 2009 BILLY T AWARD
Chris Brain: Voted 'Most Improved Comedian' at the 2008 NZ Comedy Guild Awards.
Dave Wiggins: Winner of 'Best Newcomer', NZ International Comedy Festival, 2004. 'Honourable Mention for Best Comedy', NZ Fringe 2006
James Keating: After only his seventh gig, James was awarded runner-up in the 2001 New Zealand International Comedy Festival "Raw Quest" open-mic competition.
Jim Brown: Voted 'Best Newcomer' at the 2006 New Zealand Comedy Guild awards and a Billy T Nominee in 2008.
Vaughan King: He was a new face in 2001 is and now proving to be one of the most promising new acts on the comedy circuit. A nominee for 'The Green Room Award' in the 2008 NZ Comedy Guild Awards.
Now in their thirteenth year, the line up of previous winners is a fairly prestigious one.
Previous winners have included; Cal Wilson, Ewen Gilmour, Te Radar, Sugar and Spice, Philip Patson, Humourbeasts, Mike Loder, Paul Ego, Brendhan Lovegrove, Jan Maree, Ben Hurley, Dai Henwood, Sam Wills, Cori Gonzalez Macuer, mrs.peacock and Steve Wrigley.
Final judging will take place at the LAST LAUGH, Festival Awards