Australian Tumbleweed Awards 2011 – Worst Newcomer

Australian Tumbleweed Awards 2011 - Worst Newcomer. Nominations: The newcomers on Balls of Steel Australia (Foxtel), The newcomers to comedy from Live From Planet Earth (9), Jess Harris and Josh Schmidt - TwentySomething (ABC).

The nominees in this category represent the future of Australian comedy, which means if they don’t lift their game we’ll be seeing some of them in our other categories in years come…assuming any of them ever work again.

The cast of Balls of Steel Australia seem unlikely to do anything other than Balls of Steel Australia. Their improvisational skills saw them survive being flung out on to Sydney’s streets with only a costume and a zany schtick, but can taking your clothes off in a car showroom really be classified as any type of skill? It’s barely a type of comedy.

For those who stepped straight out of acting school and in to Live From Planet Earth, the task wasn’t so much to come up with the funny, but to find it in Ben Elton’s scripts. Reports that some of them went mad trying and decided to leave the industry entirely wouldn’t surprise us at all.

Jess Harris and Josh Schmidt from TwentySomething seem a strange pair to receive a nomination here. Even when you factor in the sheer hatred some people seemed to have for Jess’s character in their show. Including an unpleasant character in your show qualifies you for a Worst award now? Can someone retrospectively award a dozen or so British Tumbleweeds to Ricky Gervais?

Australian Tumbleweed Awards 2011. Winner - Worst Newcomer: The newcomers to comedy from Live From Planet Earth (9) - 40.90%. Runners-up: The newcomers on Balls of Steel Australia (Foxtel) - 33.30%, Jess Harris and Josh Schmidt - TwentySomething (ABC) - 25.80%. Voter Quotes: "They tried to make us watch more Girl Flat, we said 'No, no, no'." "A live sketch comedy show on the channel that hates comedy, with a scriptwriter arriving seemingly from the 80's with dusty old gags, was just too much weight put on these young shoulders. While actors performing sketches might have worked 40 years ago, that doesn't cut it now. I expect comics to perform comedy, and being served inexperienced actors wearing their 'funny' masks, is desperate and in-genuine." "You know your career isn't going well when you sign up for a show, and the funniest person on it is Ben Elton." Last Year's Winner: Josh Mapleston - I Rock (ABC)Not much of the blame for Live Planet From Planet can be put at the door of the comedy newcomers in the cast. Those kids were trying super hard. Super, super hard. We therefore present this award not them but to the writer, Ben Elton – he may not be a newcomer, but choosing that female bodybuilder sketch as one of the openers to a brand new comedy show sure made him look like one.


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