His mum, a Jerry Seinfeld tape, somestellar advice and a Wikipedia page all contribute to the success of comedian Guy Williams.
The Freemans Bay resident is winner of the prestigious Billy T Award for outstanding comedian following the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.
Receiving the accolade on May 20 was "a dream come true" for the 24-year-old who wrote the Wikipedia page for the prestigious award in 2008.
"It was a real privilege to wake up the morning after the ceremony and edit my own name in there," Mr Williams says.
It's been a steady road to achievement for the comedian who only started doing stand-up four years ago.
He got into the industry after discovering a comedy club during his student years in Wellington.
"I went along to it so often that I found I wanted to be up there on stage. Steve Wrigley was the first person I asked about how to do that," Mr Williams says.
Mr Wrigley – a former Billy T winner – gave him advice to start strong, finish strong and not do anything offensive to annoy the crowd.
"That's what I did and it's been great ever since."
He says it's a bit special to now be working with his former mentor on The Jono Project which is getting revamped and renamed this year.
Mr Wrigley believes New Zealand's never really had a comedian like Mr Williams before.
"Once you've got through the first few jokes you really start to get a handle on what his sense of humour is," Mr Wrigley says.
He says Mr Williams is unique because he writes all of his jokes beforehand and shapes his show based on scripts – but leaves a few elements to chance with each performance.
"I think that's the trick for a stand-up comedian, it's the difference between watching him perform live and just reading the Guy Williams Joke Book," he says.
Mr Williams gets a guest appearance on the show 7 Days – another "dream come true" – as part of his prize.
The comedian describes his style as rather clean and a show he would like his parents to come and watch.
"My Dad even heckled me on stage one time," he says.
His nervous composure, tales of small-town Kiwi lifestyle and love for basketball all play into scripts he writes.
The Nelson-born performer is a late bloomer to take to the stage but says his love for comedy started earlier than he realised, thanks to his mum.
"When I was growing up she had one tape in the car which was Jerry Seinfeld," he says.
"She played it over and over again so subconsciously I learned about comedy through that."
It's back to work on The Jono Project for now but Mr Williams hopes to tour New Zealand one day, bringing his brand of humour to small towns around the country.
Other nominees for The Billy T Award were Rose Matafeo, Tom Furniss, Tevita Manukia and TJ McDonald.
Rhys Darby, who's been nominated but never won the prized award, took away The Fred Golden Boot Trophy for best show during the festival.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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