rogue

The funniest person at the world's biggest comedy festival was a millennial Kiwi woman.

Rose Matafeo accidentally thanked an entire country in her acceptance speech after winning best comedy show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The Kiwi comedian was unprepared because she really didn’t think she would win. But we are SO pleased she did.

Matafeo is just the fifth woman and the first solo person-of-colour to ever win the award.

Her winning show Horndog is a semi-autobiographical exploration of her love life – it’s about the “sexual frustrations of a 26-year-old Pisces nerd” who “has kissed nearly 10 men in her life”.

It was a comedy show made by a woman, about a woman, FOR women. And everyone LOVED it.

A post shared by Rose Matafeo (@rosematafeo) on

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The show received rave reviews with The Guardian‘s Brian Logan calling her “a near-perfect comedian”.

Edinburgh Comedy Awards director Nica Burns described her as the “voice of millennials”.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Matafeo said winning the award was an out-of-body experience, describing it as comedy’s equivalent of an Olympic gold medal.

She said she was astonished her show was nominated, let alone the winner.

“I just really genuinely had no clue whatsoever it would be me and that’s why I panicked and didn’t write a speech and accidentally thanked the entirety of New Zealand in my speech, which was embarrassing.”

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Matafeo told The Guardian she just wanted to do a “fun, daft show”.

“I make comedy for women like me, in their 20s and looking for fun, and the response to the show has been amazing. I think a lot of women were going: ‘yeah, that’s me’.”

“They haven’t seen a lot of comedy like that before, and I think a lot have felt that comedy clubs were not very welcoming spaces for them. But I think that’s changing now.”

She pointed to the list of finalists as proof that comedy is becoming more diverse. Australian comedian Felicity Ward was among this year’s finalists.

“There are some really great young female comics out there, and I am very proud about being a woman of colour,” Matafeo said.

Hannah Gadsby was a joint winner last year for Nanette.

Its prestige is easy to see in its past winners: The likes of Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Dylan Moran and Demetri Martin have all won the award.

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