The Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s most prestigious annual award, the Barry Award, has been awarded to Denise Scott.

The Barry Award, launched in 1998 and named after the Festival’s founding patron Barry Humphries, recognizes performers enhancing the art of comedy and acknowledges their vision as the Comedy Festival’s most outstanding Festival show. Her fourth nomination for the top Festival Award, with more than 15 Melbourne Comedy Festivals under her belt, first performing as part of the Comedy Festival 26 years ago, Denise, the true matriarch of Australian comedy proved to be at her very best in 2014 with ‘Mother Bare’ – a sharp, self-deprecating exploration of family and motherhood.

Also in contention for the 2014 Barry Award were six other nominees: Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How it All Works Out, John Kearns – Sight Gags For Perverts, Kyle Kinane, The Boy With Tape On His Face – More Tape, Tim Key – Single White Slut and Trygve Wakenshaw – Kraken.

Denise Scott joins  the esteemed list of Barry Award winners including Rich Hall (2013), Dr Brown (2012), Russell Kane (2011), Sammy J and Heath McIvor (2010), The Pajama Men (2009) Kristen Schaal and Nina Conti (tied winners of 2008), Daniel Kitson (2007), Demetri Martin (2006), Keating! The Opera (2005), Maria Bamford (2004), Mike Wilmot (2003), Ross Noble (2002), Brian Munich & Friends (2001) and The Mighty Boosh (2000).