Comedy is a bit of a weird one if you ask me: what makes one person’s sides split, has another heckling in spite. As the Melbourne International Comedy Festival approaches—hitting Melb-town on 23 March until 19 April—we’ve rounded up the best international, local, and all-out weird talent that will be drumming up laughs around Melbourne this year. Got your tix yet?
Tom Green, aka. a really, really inappropriate American dude
If you’re too young to remember MTV’s The Tom Green Show (RIP <3), you’d better Youtube that shit right this very second. Tom Green is the complete antithesis of America’s sweetheart—prone to saying, doing and pretty much embodying the most inappropriate thing possible in any situation. Catch Tom’s latest stand-up show at the Athenaeum Theatre from 23–28 March and prepare to say goodbye to any last shred of innocence that you’ve managed to cling to for all these years.
Al Murray, aka. Great Britain’s Most Un-PC Pub Landlord
If you need an insight into the similarities between Australian culture and British culture (casual racism, a touch of sexism, a deep rooted love of slamming pints) then Al Murray is your man. His brand new show, ‘The (British) Empire Strikes Back’ runs from Thursday 24 March until Sunday 3 April at the Forum, and guarantees to have you laughing at topics you’d normally never touch with a bargepole. This is our top pick for a few beers and laughs with a bunch of mates.
The Kagools, aka modern day slapstick
Award-winning UK physical comedy stars, The Kagools, make their Melbourne debut in Dressed for the British Summer this season—and it's been describes as silent-era slapstick for the modern day comedy lover. A high-energy experience of spontaneous fun, this should be a winner if you don't want to think too hard about your comedy.
Tommy Tiernan, aka. an Irishman that likes to swear. A lot.
What is it with the Irish and swearing?! Tommy Tiernan tackles the diciest of topics in his rip-roaring comedy show that touches on religion, tradition and just about anything worth ripping to pieces in front of a live audience. He’s been in the stand-up game for well over 20 years, so you can guarantee that a ticket to this show will deliver on the time-tested comedy genius. Book your ticket for his show on Sunday 17 April at the Hamer Hall, and get ready to watch a master at work.
Ross Noble, aka. hella weird
Are you prone to a good chuckle at surreal weirdness a la The Mighty Boosh? If so, you’ll love Ross Noble’s bizarre comedy style that references everything from annoying vegans to seeing faces in baked goods. His latest gig is titled ‘Brain Dump’—expect strange observations, musings on the oddness of everyday life, and a lot of banter. Catch him at the Hamer Hall and Her Majesty’s Theatre from 25–28 March. One for you champion hecklers out there!
Wil Anderson, aka. punny stuff
Did you know that Wil Anderson has used his own name in his comedy show title puns for over SEVENTEEN YEARS?! His latest show, Fire at Wil, pulls together pop culture revelations, social commentary and the odd gross-out joke, just for the hell of it. You’ll find the local hero (he’s a Gippsland boy) at the Comedy Theatre this Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Tommy Little, aka. the media personality delivering the lols
Homegrown talent Tommy Little, who you’ll know from his various TV and breakfast radio spots, is back with a bang for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. His latest show, Dickhead, tells the tale of an awkward year quitting his Nova100 job, jetting off to health retreats, and generally trying to find himself—things that surely some of us can relate to?! Check out Tommy Little at the Forum from Thursday 24 March until Sunday 3 April.
Geraldine Quinn, aka. a songstress with a killer wit
Geraldine Quinn’s show, Could You Repeat That? 10 Years Of Making Cock Jokes Rhyme, is a retrospective showcase of her unique brand of cabaret/live band comedy that only someone with that much gumption could pull off. While you might recognise her from spots in Upper Middle Bogan, her show at the Malthouse this season will deliver good vibes galore. Grab your girls, have a glass of bubbly (…or four) and get with the program.
First Dog On the Moon, aka. a dog that knows politics
For one show only, one of Australia’s most celebrated political cartoon characters will take you on a journey of everything that’s wrong with this country—through canine eyes. If you’re feeling jaded, book in for this dog’s tale on Sunday 17 April at Melbourne Town Hall, and commiserate with the other thousand attendees who will be feeling exactly the same.
Comedy Hypnosis—Entranced, aka. people laughing at you while you’re hypnotised
Tbh, with a by-line that reads ‘See the show, or be the show,’ this sounds like my worst nightmare but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Hypnotist Isaac Lomman specialises in trickery that involves audience participation as some (un?)lucky members of the crowd are given the chance to become the star of the show for an evening. Are you brave enough to volunteer? Check out one of the 23 tour dates Lomman has locked in during March and April at the Athenaeum Theatre.
The Umbilical Brothers, aka. what happens when you take too many drugs
The Umbilical Brothers talk at hyperspeed and specialise in slapstick, mime and general weirdness. Their latest show, titled ‘SpeedMouse,’ apparently allows them to fast-forward and rewind their own performance, which sounds terriffing. Will it be funny? Who knows, but it’ll definitely be the strangest thing you’ve seen all week.
Stuart Bowden, aka. Ground control to Major Tom?
This year, Stuart Bowden’s show is titled ‘She Was Probably Not A Robot,’ and starts with the Australian comic floating out his window on an air mattress in the midst of a devastating flood. I don’t know what this has to do with robots, but if you love a surreal adventure presented by a man wearing a box covered in tinfoil on his head, this is the comedy fest pick for you.
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Image credit: Melbourne Comedy Festival Facebook