I've been a fan of Sam Simmons' comedy for years. I first met him way back in the days of the Ronnie Johns Half-Hour writers' room, in which myself, Simmons, Sam Bowring and Susie Youssef wrote and recited a lot of scripts to each other that [we thought] were genius, a small percentage of which even made it onto the screen.
I remember one script in particular that SS and I were especially excited about, which involved a guy discovering that the cure for cancer was to get AIDS (and the cure for AIDS was being burnt alive). I also remember the look on the Head Writer's face when we pitched it.
Sam has since gone on to basically smash comedy out of the park, and he's never, ever watered down his particularly hardcore brand of absurdist ridiculousness. He's become a radio regular, a breakout TV star, a favourite of Conan O'Brien, and a multi-nominated festival performer. Not too long ago he did a turn on my feature film Ad Nauseam, and had the cast and crew crying with laughter from the minute he walked on set to long after he'd left. Trying to edit down his performance was bloody tough. Everything was gold.
Well, finally, Sam's won the Barry award for best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, for his tour de force Spaghetti for Breakfast. Hugely deserved. If you get a chance to see him, do it.