Several Humber comedians made their way to the finals for a Tim Sims Encouragement Award on Monday.
Honours were presented by The Tim Sims Encouragement Fund and Second City comedy troupe at the 19th annual The Cream of Comedy Gala held at Second City.
Caitlin Langelier, 22, a Humber Comedy Writing and Performance graduate, walked away as the winner of the top award and its $5,000 prize.
“To be put on a list that even tangentially relates me to some of my personal heroes is mind-blowing, it’s an unbelievable honour,” Langelier said.
“When I was announced as the winner, I can’t even describe the feeling. It’s so surreal and crazy.
“Every time something like this comes around, I get to think to myself, ‘Huh, maybe you actually could make a career out of this. Maybe you belong here.’ I can honestly say I’m hopeful, and that’s a rare thing in my profession,” she said.
During her two years in the Humber program, Langelier said she completely immersed herself in comedy to prove to her parents that moving across the country was a good idea.
“The program was definitely the catalyst that got me to where I am and also the most fun I’ve had in my life,” said Langelier.
Sam Burns and Jeremy Woodcock were other Humber graduates nominated for the award alongside Langelier.
“It feels great,” Woodcock said enthusiastically about his nomination.
“Stand-up was something that I tried to gain the nerve to try for a long time, and knowing that people really like it now that I’m finally doing it has been inspiring. It gives you a lot of confidence if you go up with just your own jokes and delivery and people really enjoy it.”
Woodcock graduated from Humber’s Television Writing and Production program. For him, he said, comedy has been a draw for a long time.
“I probably starting thinking [of comedy] as something I could actually do rather than just watch, in Grade 9,” said Woodcock.
Daniel Shehori, producer at Sweat Equity Productions, has been involved with the Cream of Comedy gala since 2000 when he was the original producer of Fresh Meat, the showcase where finalists were selected.
Shehori said he was also part of the Cream of Comedy jury in 2005.
“The process of picking the winner is fairly quick,” he said. “We all come to an agreement and it usually takes about five or 10 minutes.”
“Caitlin had displayed growth from the time she was involved with the Fresh Meat Showcase. She’s great, very funny, and charming,” Shehori said.