Beat Eats’ Guide to this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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Beat Eats’ Guide to this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival

The lauded Melbourne International Comedy Festival is upon us once again, and the 2018 lineup is brimming with incredible talent across a huge selection of programs. Showcasing female, indigenous and up and coming comedians, this year’s MCIF brings a diverse range of comedy acts not to be missed. Whether you’re down for some Granny Bingo or you’re keen to see a battle of the wits at Raw Comedy, there’ll be laughs to be had no matter where you end up.

Raw Comedy National Grand Final

Australia’s biggest comedy open mic competition, Raw Comedy, pits the nation’s funniest emerging comedians against each other in a bid for a spot in the acclaimed Edinburgh Festival Fringe. After fighting their way through heats and semi-finals, only the toughest competitors remain and the only thing bigger than the stakes will be the laughs. Along with winning a trip to the biggest comedy festival in the world, the top contender will join a long list of greats who have also won the Raw Comedy title, including Hannah Gadsby, Josh Thomas, Tom Ballard, Peter Helliar, Celia Pacquola, Claire Hooper, Chris Lilley, Luke McGegor, Ronny CHieng and loads more. Not only will Raw Comedy showcase the diverse range of blossoming Australian talent on the stage this year, it’ll also give you a chance to see our nation’s next big comedy acts before they hit the big time. This year’s Raw Comedy will be hosted by Venezuelan born national treasure Ivan Aristeguieta, who is hilarious in two languages.It’s going down at Melbourne Town Hall’s Main Hall on Sunday April 15 from 5pm.

Deadly Funny

For the twelfth year running, Deadly Funny will be uncovering Australia’s top Indigenous comedy talent. The only program of it’s kind, Deadly Funny will once again showacase a huge array of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island comedians. Hosted by last year’s Deadly Funny champion Ghena Gela, who will be joined by a slew of special guests who are yet to be announced, the winner will take home a $2000 cash prize and, if past winners Kevin Kropinyeri, Mia Stanford, Jalen Sutcliffe and Shiralee Hood are any indication, kickstart a huge career in comedy. It’s happening at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Fairfax Studio on Saturday April 14 from 3pm.

Festival Club

Festival Club will take over Max Watt’s to bring you a huge selection of comedy events as well as some after-party action across MCIF. Main events include Don’t You Know Who I Am by Josh Earl on Tuesdays April 3 and 10, Stampdown Comedy Night on Wednesdays April 4 and 11, Rob Hunter Late O’clock on Wednesday April 18, 10 Comedians for 10 Bucks every Thursday from March 29 until April 19, Comedy Bonanza every Friday and Saturday and Haus PartyI on Sundays April 1-15. From 12:30am get your entertainment fix with Lip Sync Battles and Gerald Quinn’s Spandex Ballet.

Granny Bingo Comedy Night

As part of this year’s Festival Club, Granny Bingo Comedy Night is bringing you a fast and loose game of bingo with a side of laughs that is guaranteed to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen on your Sunday visits with your Gran. Hosted by 2017 Golden Gibbo winners Edith Vale, Maureen McGillicuddy and Caroline Springs, the old gals will show you a good time. There’ll be bingo balls flying, special guests aplenty and loads of prizes to be won when Granny Bingo Comedy Night takes over Max Watt’s. It’s happening at 11:30pm on Tuesday April 17.  


Squashing that age old myth that women aren’t funny, Upfront brings Australia’s top home-grown comedy queens centre stage, where nothing is off bounds. Bringing razor sharp wit, often with a side of grit, this all-female lineup will induce some side-splitting laughs whilst tearing down female stereotypes in the best possible way. With past Upfront ladies like Cal Wilson, Hannah Gadsby, Susie Youssef leading the evening, 2018’s Upfront program is set to be massive so be sure to keep your ears peeled for the announcement. It’s happening at Melbourne Town Hall’s Main Hall on Wednesday April 18 from 7:30pm.