The best Comedy Festival shows to see in 2023

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The best Comedy Festival shows to see in 2023

Best comedy festival shows

We've gone through every single Melbourne International Comedy Festival show and hand-picked the very best shows to catch in 2023.

Welcome to our Melbourne International Comedy Festival special. In April, the Comedy Festival takes over the city and our print magazine (street date March 27) with some of the world’s best comedians across a huge range of performative styles. 

We have a massive guide to some of the Comedy Festival’s top picks and unmissable special events below. Plus, interviews with the hilarious likes of Daniel Sloss, Jordan Gray, Lara Ricote, Scout Boxall, Blake Freeman, John Hastings, Alex Hines, Sean Diao and the crews from upcoming stage shows Faulty Towers and Confetti and Chaos. 

Melbourne International Comedy Festival special events

We dive beyond the headliners at this year’s Comedy Festival to spotlight six events that each have their own unique drawcard.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s special events: Six one off, unique shows to catch this year

From Thornbury to Rosebud, some of the biggest Comedy Festival names are coming to your suburb

Sample the next generation of stand-up wildcards with Comedy Zone

UK’s New Order comedy trio hits the Comedy Festival this month

‘They’re coming for our jobs’: Is this Australia’s funniest teenager?

Henry Yan has been crowned RAW Comedy’s 2023 champion

Shahnee Hunter wins Comedy Festival’s Deadly Funny

Comedy Festival reviews

Lara Ricote’s GRL/LATNX/DEF

Winner of last year’s prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer award, Lara Ricote – a Mexican-born, Netherlands-based comic – jokes of her “minority show”, GRL/LATNX/DEF: “I don’t know if you’ve heard, but being in a minority is very ‘in’ right now”.

When she was 21, a flatmate described Lara as “a person of colour”, which came as a shock, so she’s well aware that she’s often seen as white. And since her self-described “Bart Simpson with a lisp” voice doesn’t exactly scream hard of hearing, either, Lara labels herself “disabled lite”.

Lara Ricote’s GRL/LATNX/DEF: ‘Minority show’

In Pour Taste: Fine wine and a sublime time

Hosted by Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh at ReWine in the CBD, this comedy wine-tasting experience is a fantastic concept that’s executed flawlessly.

Their sold out run at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival speaks for itself – In Pour Taste is a must-see show for anyone who loves comedy and wine. Lampooming the spirit of wine tasting with cheek and charm, In Pour Taste is a delightfully full-bodied journey into the world of parody and Pinot Noir.

In Pour Taste: Fine wine and a sublime time

Miso Bell and Tyler Bain Make Good comedy

Featuring a rotating tap of comedians, who each bring along an object that lacks that special something, Miso and Tyler channel Marie Kondo with all the destructiveness of one of the Jackass crew.

Last week’s performance saw many objects shed their old skin and be born anew- Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall’s great-grandfather’s historic encyclopedia found its spark again, the Jeff Goldblum CD that had been taking up too much space in Patrick Collin’s car boot had a well-needed makeover, Dan Crowleys’ men 50s + vitamins went from an unfortunate buyer’s mistake to a timeless treasure. In front of the audience’s very eyes, Miso and Tyler performed life-changing transformations, aided only by a small trolley of tools and their intuitive fixer-upper ingenuity.

Miso Bell and Tyler Bain Make Good comedy

Cal Wilson’s Supposably

You’ll definitely recognise Cal Wilson from the telly (The Great Australian Bake Off, Spicks And Specks, Have You Been Paying Attention?).

Her three cats – Barnacle, Pirate and Kipper – might also be on your radar, ‘cause they’re famous on TikTok (which Cal hilariously describes as “millions of tiny documentaries made without research”).

Cal Wilson’s Supposably turns ‘irrational aggravations’ into a source of joy

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Characters made famous by John Cleese and Prunella Scales, playing husband and wife hoteliers Basil and Sybil Fawlty, and Andrew Sachs as their bumbling waiter Manuel, are brought back to life, complete with costumes, accents and vague physical likenesses in actors Matthew Robson, Eilannin Harris-Black and Luke Alleva, respectively.

Taking on something so iconic is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you have instant brand recognition and can trade on an existing fan base – which has most definitely benefited this touring production, which first began in Brisbane and has been going strong for close to three decades now, performing regularly at festivals around this country and across the UK.

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is the live comedy equivalent of a cover band

Oliver Coleman’s Neon

An absolute madcap show, Neon is intentionally tense and extremely clever.

This is one of those shows where a spoiler-free review is virtually impossible. It’s best to go in blind, because not knowing what the show is about is half the joy of the performance. It’s an absolute delight and unlike any other stand-up show I’ve ever seen – check it out if you haven’t seen it – before reading any further.

Oliver Coleman’s Neon: Delightfully chaotic, fearfully unpredictable

Scout Boxall’s Turbo Love

As we settle into our seats, we clock a sign that reads: “This is a brand new show. Please be gentle.”

When the “dykes” in the audience (who holler on command) are encouraged to brandish their carabiners, Scout’s delighted to discover “matching butch” – an identical keyring – on a front row punter’s carabiner, which is confiscated to wear alongside their own. Scout even swings both carabiners around simultaneously at one point, like nipple tassels (but attached to belt loops).

Scout Boxall’s Turbo Lover: Homegrown legionnaires caps, regional Club X hold-ups and carabiner burlesque

Marvellous Elephant Man the Musical

I’m no psychic, but I’m 100% confident that no human being hears ‘musical’ and thinks ‘elephant man.’ That’s about to change. Following its sell-out run at the 2023 Adelaide Fringe, the utterly hilarious Marvellous Elephant Man the Musical is coming to Melbourne’s Chapel off Chapel. Next stop: Broadway.

Most modern musicals fall into two categories: those so long-running they’ve become household names (Les Miserables, etc) and those that highlight the shortcomings of these shows and the theatrical traditions that produced them (& Juliet, etc). Both categories are fit to burst with brilliant productions – Six and Come from Away to name two – but the Marvellous Elephant Man the Musical is nearly impossible to categorise.

Marvellous Elephant Man the Musical: A Comedy Festival must see

Jordan Gray’s Is It A Bird?

As a transgender woman from Essex who loves superheroes, the title of Jordan Gray’s hour of comedy – Is It A Bird? – is undeniably *chef’s kiss*.

During this show, Jordan also hilariously labels herself “a brilliant feminist” for taking down the patriarchy “one man at a time”. “How come the same people that don’t want me using the women’s toilets have got absolutely no problem with Bruce Wayne self-identifying as bat?” Jordan posits, weighing up her own “situation” with that of Batman.

Jordan Gray: ‘You very much can live vicariously through me’

Blake Freeman’s Killah

He was awarded Best Newcomer at 2019’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival (with his debut solo stand-up show) and Blake Freeman comes across as the ultimate chiller.

He has many weird stories to share (eg. one of Blake’s duties when he worked at a hospital was creating files for newborn babies and checking a box to denote their “marital status”!?), which form the basis of his latest show: Killah.

Blake Freeman: ‘It was pretty fucking wild’

Seann Walsh: Back From The Bed

Seann Walsh Back From The Bed: Turning the mundane into comedy gold

Taking to the stage at Trades Hall last night, Seann Walsh’s effortlessly conversational style and impeccable crowd work left us in stitches.

Master of deadpan, observational humour Seann Walsh led us through an hour of stand-up with his signature knack for turning even the most mundane topics into comedic gold. On stage, he boasts an effortlessly conversational tone – performing with all the wit and charm of a great conversation at a pub.

Yeah, Righto: Nat’s What I Reckon

Everyone’s fave sweary metalhead YouTuber, Nat’s What I Reckon, arrives on stage riding what he claims is a $20 LED light-up scooter from Kmart.
He’s no longer flying his Panasonic microwave (aka “Tucka Fucka”) around the country, at great expense. And rather than cooking demos, Yeah, Righto sees Nat spotlighting mental health realtalk; his trademark self-deprecating humour and awkies charm cushioning impact.

Yeah, Righto: Nat’s What I Reckon serves food for thought alongside the LOLs

The Prosecco Express: Joanne McNally

Wandering in just prior to Joanne McNally’s arrival on stage – audience upstanding, dancing and shouting along to We Are Your Friends by Justice – one could be forgiven for presuming the Athenaeum was hosting a rave this evening.

McNally, whose self-described demographic is “women who wine” (later, she even confesses she’s not averse to nuking wine in the microwave), explodes onto the stage wearing a leopard-print onesie. ”You’re from my fucking cul-de-sac at home!” she jests, poking fun at the predominantly Irish punters in attendance, who call her reputation as “an international act” into question.

The Prosecco Express: Joanne McNally is sex positive, Botox-embracing, self-deprecating, fearless and empowering

Kitty Flanagan: Kitty Flanagan Live!

Whip-smart observations and impeccable form: Kitty Flanagan Live!

We’ve long admired Kitty Flanagan’s witty TV work: Fisk (which she wrote, directed and starred in), Utopia (she plays Rhonda) and also as a regular panellist on Have You Been Paying Attention?

So how does her stand-up measure up?  

Karen From Finance Is Doing Time

Karen From Finance Is Doing Time is elaborate, spectacular and hilarous

Karen From Finance’s second solo show sees this beloved character Doing Time (as the title divulges).

The neon-lit “Doing Time” backdrop is lavish by MICF’s standards and Karen’s elaborate, DayGlo-bright ensembles are spectacular throughout. Her opening song-and-dance number is a rendition of When You’re Good To Mama (from the musical Chicago) with customised lyrics (eg. “When you’re good to Karen”). She’s aware that her name has been sullied in recent years (Karen from Brighton etc.) and Karen ponders during this show’s namesake song: “What if my last meal is a fist sandwich!?”

Murder Village

Murder, mayhem and mirth: Murder Village is delightful, pulpy fun

Delivering campy thrills and absurd scenarios, Murder Village is a hilarious off-the-cuff mystery that had me on edge of my seat until the very end.

With its talented performers and tried and true formula, Murder Village is a highly entertaining, engaging and hilarious comedy show. Soundtracked by a live keyboardist and set in the world of 1950s Agatha Christie, we settled into our seat at The Butterfly Club on a rainy Monday evening to ruminate on the murder of Vicar Victor Prays.

Hot Department’s Wet Heat

Hot Department’s Wet Heat: Wild with a splash of baffling

These two mates met while studying theatre in Ballarat and decided to form a sketch comedy duo – Hot Department’s onstage chemistry was always gonna be flirty and fun then, right?
Ridiculously talented and quick-witted AF, Honor Wolff and Patrick Durnan Silva each bring turbo-charged-breakfast-radio-host energy to Wet Heat.

We’ve got a feeling no two Wet Heat performances are ever the same – it’s a theatresports fanatic’s wet dream! And Hot Department seem to relish in testing their audience’s tolerance levels as well, almost welcoming the odd audible groan (see: their piss-takingly extended “Gab’s always like…” mime-off).

The best venues to check out this Melbourne International Comedy Festival

With the Melbourne comedy festival coming up, running from March 30 through April 24, there is no better time to take a look at some of the best comedy venues in town. These places run all year-round, proving that Melbourne is hilarious even outside of our month-long festival dedicated to a good LOL.

Melbourne is a breeding ground of great comedians with Anne Edmonds, Dave Hughes and Colin Lowe all coming from our great city, not to mention comedic legends Shaun Micallef and Graham Kennedy. Most of these talents got there starts in the small bars, clubs and pubs like those listed below and still frequent them to this day.

The best comedy clubs in Melbourne

The Comedy Festival acts you need to know this year

We’ve interviewed all the biggest acts performing at this year’s Comedy Festival about their newest shows (with hilarious results) so for the most in-depth guide to who to catch and what to expect, look no further. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for our full guide to the best acts to catch, big and small.

Sam Campbell’s Every Single Emotion upgrades to The Athenaeum due to overwhelming demand

The five strangest Comedy Festival shows to see this weekend

Disney in Drag to Greece Lightning: Five bizarre Comedy Festival shows to see this weekend

The More Talent roster

Five incredible shows to check out at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Freddie McManus

Freddie McManus makes his Comedy Festival debut: ‘I’m gonna say I’m in a penthouse apartment, just for optics’

He’s two shows into his Melbourne International Comedy Festival run of his debut solo show, Freddie McManus Is Stoppable. “It’s been good. I’ve made some very close personal friends over the run. People who I’d never met before, but over the course of the show, we get to know each other and I’ll be honest, we’re still in touch 48 hours later, 24 hours later, which warms my heart,” he quips.

A conversation with the ever-so-polite Brit is an entertaining ride across some disparate terrain  (“we’ve talked about grief, loss, I’ve said the word cunt in my first interview”) and if the rate at which he can knock out one liners and bon mots off the cuff can be taken as any indication, then audiences should be in for a treat when he’s on stage.

Michael Hing

The thing about Michael Hing

Somehow, Hing (or ‘Hingers’, as he’s known to many) is more bewildered by the fact he landed a spot in the lineup at Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s night of nights: “I think the Gala is every, or maybe most Australian comedians…it’s a dream, right? Because you grow up watching that”. After being on the stand-up scene for a few years, Hing saw his dream starting to fade, so began to concede that it might never happen. When the invitation came, all of the excitement returned. “It’s a real dream to do it.”

“You’ve got four minutes to do a set at the Gala, and I went over by about 40 seconds, because I didn’t realise – this is gonna sound like a humble brag – but I didn’t realise how long the laughs would go for.”

Danny Bhoy

Danny Bhoy is bringing his Now is Not a Good Time comedy show to Australia next year

Get ready to giggle as the hilarious Scotsman returns to Australia for the first time since 2016. Danny Bhoy will play at Melbourne’s Anthenaeum Theatre from April 11 to 16 as part of a two-month-long Aussie takeover.

The globe-trotting comedian has been a fan favourite in our fair city since he was first invited to the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2003. When he returned to the festival in 2011, he sold out each and every one of his dates and had to add an extra two shows to live up to all of the hype.

Katherine Allan

How a David Guetta song from 2010 led Katherine Allan to her Comedy Festival debut

Comedian Katherine Allan thinks that Akon might just be a better songwriter than Bob Dylan, and she’s written her Melbourne International Comedy Festival debut show to prove it.

We all know the song. Even if you don’t know the name of it, or the artists responsible, you know the song. Sexy Bitch is the late-noughties chart-topping banger of David Guetta’s, which upon one listen will move into your head and reside there for days, with the French DJ’s rhythmic beats playing incessantly on an involuntary loop.

Ed Gamble

Comedian Ed Gamble to play 12 shows in Melbourne this April

British comedian Ed Gamble will head down under this autumn for a sizable Electric tour, taking place in six cities throughout Australia and New Zealand. His two week run at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre is sure to get the laughs rolling and the party started.

As well as his stand-up, Ed Gamble also co-hosts the award-winning podcast Off Menu alongside fellow entertainer James Acaster. The wildly popular food and comedy podcast invites guests to share their hypothetical dream meal with the two comedians.

Daniel Sloss

Daniel Sloss: ‘Please remember, I’m not a real person. Right?’

As stand-ups go, Sloss is, by any measure, a very famous one and the self-described “big, useless, lucky cunt” has enjoyed high-profile career success since a teenager. We’re not talking ‘booked as the MC at the local pub weekly comedy night’ type of success, but ‘headlining 500 seaters’ type of success, as a teenager. Signed his first DVD deal, as a teenager. “I’ve known no other life,” he says. “I’ve been successful since I was young because you know, this system is rigged and it’s rigged in my favour”.

Urzila Carlson

Urzila Carlson is bringing her ‘Just No’ tour to Australia in 2023

The multi-award winning South African-New Zealander comedian is hitting the road again.

She’s bringing her brand new show, Just No, to nine cities around the country from March 30. She’ll be in Melbourne for almost a month performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 30 until April 23. As the two-time winner of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s People’s Choice Award, she’s an absolute favourite of the festival, literally.

Joanne McNally

Joanne McNally: ‘I should probably stop telling people about my weak pelvic floor’

Attention all tipsy women, terrifyingly funny comedian Joanne McNally is bringing her irreverent and critically acclaimed show The Prosecco Express to Australia for the first time in 2023, and she promises you’ll wet your pants. Or at least, she will wet hers!

If you’re at all familiar with relatable humour, then there’s no doubt that you’ve been following Joanne McNally. Writer, podcaster, actress, and “joyously nuts” – Joanne has enjoyed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, Ireland and the UK. Many of her Australian shows are already sold out, in what is sure to be an “authentic, hilarious” comedy show.

Dylan Moran

Dylan Moran adds a second Melbourne show

The multitalented Irish performer has announced a second local date on April 22 at Hamer Hall. When faced with the ills of the modern day, sometimes all you can do is laugh. No one is better at making light of our existential frustrations than award-winning comedian Dylan Moran.

In April and May 2023, he will be coming to town with his most recent act, We Got This. The tour, which is set to weave its way from Hobart to Auckland, will include two dates at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on April 21 and 22.


‘Funny jokes, language stuff and lots of sex’: ISMO takes over Australia 

He might be the ‘Funniest Person in the World’ but Finnish Comedian Ismo still tests his jokes out on his friends. Beware, those who don’t laugh at his jokes are no longer considered his friends.

So when he tested this one-liner out on us, we made sure to laugh (but that was easy because it was actually funny). “If you are at the castle wall and you see somebody coming; if it’s the king you take a bow, but if it’s the enemy you take a bow.”

Jordan Gray

Jordan Gray: ‘You very much can live vicariously through me’

Gray is on the eve of her Australian premiere of Is It A Bird?, her smash hit show that in a five star review The Guardian UK described as “a gorgeous, accomplished and deeply funny hour of comedy combining Gray’s musical talents with nuanced, creative stand-up.”

The show was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award 2022 (the highest honour at the world’s largest comedy festival) and has been selling out as it tours across the UK. On the back of this, Gray’s been doing the rounds of the all the TV shows, with an appearance on Ben Elton’s Friday Night Live late last yearthat – well, let’s just say – got everyone talking.

Maisie Adam

Maisie Adam: ‘I’ve never taken my dad’s travel advice again’

With a 70s skinhead look, a new fiance and a dad with no idea what he’s talking about, Maisie Adam is on her way to Melbourne International Comedy Festival with “loads of reason to be cheerful.”

When it comes to actually setting foot in Melbourne, Maisie Adam has had a few false starts. She got close in 2020, squeezing in a season in Adelaide “then somebody ate a bat” and rather than make her Melbourne International Comedy Festival debut then, she was on a plane heading back to Britain.

Lara Ricote

Lara Ricote: ‘Right now minorities are ‘in’ and that’s cynical, so let’s talk about that’

Ricote’s debut show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year won her the highly prestigious Best Newcomer award. Called GRL/LATNX/DEF, she’s bringing the show – which is billed as being about what it’s like to be Latin and severely hearing impaired, but ‘pass’ as white and abled to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for her Australian premiere season.

John Hastings

John Hastings: ‘I’m big so people think I can take it, but I have kind eyes so people think I’m weak’

For the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year, he’s presenting a new hour in “The Times They Are a John Hastings”.  “It’s all about being an elder millennial and being a reluctant cat owner and coming to grips with who you are as you hit middle age,” he says, admonishing himself for that not sounding funny enough so he takes a second shot.

“Listen, it’s got a great cat bit. A bunch of fun sex jokes, an excellent fart joke…it’s got everything you would absolutely want. You know what I’m saying? Funny enough for a date, but with enough big words that people will think ‘hey, he went to university’, you know what I’m saying? I know my demographic – condo owners!”

Dani Cabs

At this year’s Comedy Festival, Dani Cabs will take you on a journey of self-discovery

The eccentric and hilarious Dani Cabs invites you on an emotional flight at The Butterfly Club Downstairs this April for his Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Poncho: Keep it up!

Dani is based on the Gold Coast and is returning to Naarm/Melbourne to perform his new show. The rather spectacular comedian uses physical comedy and social commentary to explore the realms of gender, sexuality and identity for an hour-long, side-splitting performance. Claire Alcock from Nothing Ever Happens in Brisbane described it as enthusiastically educational, unashamedly erotic, and joyfully, juicily inclusive.”

Blake Freeman

Blake Freeman: ‘It was pretty fucking wild’

Blake Freeman’s rise in the comedy world has seen him win prestigious awards, hit the stage at Just For Laughs, and play sell-out crowds across the country, making him a must-see performer at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Scout Boxall

Scout Boxall: ‘The Sims Nightlife expansion pack…had an indelible effect on how I live’

Scout Boxall has quickly become one of Australia’s most recognised comedians: a 2019 Best Emerging Artist at the Melbourne Fringe, 2021 Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and a 2022 recipient of the Moosehead Award, there’s no question why this show is a hot ticket item.

Their new show Turbo Lover brings a different flavour. Scout’s focusing on just jokes, rather than a mix of things, like we’ve seen from them in years past.

Jarryd Goundrey

Jarryd Goundrey: ‘Becoming a chef was almost like a gateway drug to being a comedian’

Comedians tend to fall into one of two camps, those who picked up a mic when they were still slinging schoolbags over their shoulders or barely old enough to be legally allowed in the pub for the open mic night in the first place; and then there are those who live a life, taking different jobs and a much more circuitous route until they find their path to the stage.

For Jarryd Goundrey, he most definitely fits into this latter category. While some who work in showbiz will refer to those who don’t as ‘civilians’, it’s not a term we can use to describe Goundrey’s former life, given he was in the army for many years.

Alex Hines

Alex Hines: ‘I was just really interested in people like Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse or Amanda Bynes’

It’s hard to pull off an original character as successfully as Alex Hines, who has portrayed Juniper Wilde on-and-off for the last few years, playing stages across the state. Her new show Juniper Rising is hitting the stage this Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and we caught up with the comic behind the character to chat about it all.

Michelle Brasier

Michelle Brasier on gig theatre, big decisions, and building a legacy

Having cemented her form with two hit solo shows, the Aunty Donna and Double Denim star is back to leave her lingering impact in nationally touring new show Legacy. Bets on, you’re unlikely to ever forget the first time you hear Michelle Brasier sing. Such is her phenomenal talent – hearing that voice come out of her is akin to having your hair blown back and being bathed in some kind of beatific glow.

This dazzling chanteuse doesn’t just sing, of course. Brasier can write, act, and has comedy chops aplenty, the sum total of which is evidenced by the slew of awards that trail behind her name in any bio or media backgrounder.

Emma Holland

Emma Holland brings Save the Orangutans to Comedy Festival this April

Emma Holland’s Save the Orangutans is one of our top picks for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this April. Holland is returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her new show Save The Orangutansinspired by her childhood growing up in Indonesia and, in her own words, “how I have made it my whole personality”.

Hot Department

Hot Department: ‘If 2 Girls 1 Cup was a musical…’

Hot Department are back with a vengeance for a brand-new show this Comedy Festival season. Known for their hilarious appearances on Aunty Donna, Just For Laughs, Leftovers and ABC’s At Home Alone Together; Honor Wolff and Patrick Durnan Silva are one of the hottest sketch duos in the world. With their iconic and bizarre brand of sketch comedy, mixed in with a good dose of cabaret and some nudity, these two are not to be forgotten.

Confetti and Chaos

Confetti and Chaos: The worst – but most hilarious – wedding reception you’ll ever go to

While a wedding is supposed to be the ‘happiest day’ of a couple’s life, and they’re usually planned to within an inch of their overpriced life to make that so, it’s at the wedding reception where things can start to go a little, well, awry. From throwing confetti, to throwing shade or throwing up in a pot-plant in the corner after one too many prosecco toasts, wedding receptions can get messy in all kinds of ways.

Which makes them an ideal setting for an improvised comedy show. In fact, the makers of Confetti and Chaos are really hoping that their Melbourne International Comedy Festival season “might just be the worst wedding reception you’ll ever go to!” says Jared Harford.

Sean Diao

From engineering to comedy, Sean Diao brings his best material to this year’s Comedy Festival

Moving from China to Melbourne at the age of 23 in search of a career in civil engineering, Sean Diao enrolled in a masters degree to study just that, but soon steered away from that path to pursue a life spent as a comic.

He quickly found out that balancing a day job as an engineer and attempting to develop his comedic practice at night was unsustainable, so he ditched the former in hopes of fulfilling a childhood passion for humour.

Tim Kershaw

Laugh your way through the craziness of the world with Tim Kershaw’s TimFoil Hat

If stand up comedy is about unique ideas then Tim Kershaw is one comedian at this year’s festival to watch out for.

His latest show TimFoil Hat… My Life and Other Conspiracies brings together his best work from the past five years, covering everything from aliens to advancing technologies and even the internet’s impact on our reality. As ridiculous as it is fun, TimFoil Hat is a show to help you smile about the world for a while.

Jess Pearman

Jess Pearman makes Comedy Festival debut: ‘She may look like Reese Witherspoon, but she’s scarier than Ivan Milat’

Jess Pearman doesn’t write jokes you could have thought of yourself, so if you think you know what this hilarious new Melbourne International Comedy Festival show is about, think again. Champagne Problems may be the side-splitting Pearman’s debut solo show at the Comedy Festival but she’s a familiar face to many in Melbourne’s comedy scene, having delighted audiences at The Comics Lounge, The Gaso, The Bergy Seltzer, The Resistance Bar, The Bendi and many, many more.

James Roque

James Roque brings highly-acclaimed show Badong to the Melbourne Comedy Fest


The show will touch on the comedian’s mixed Filipino-New Zealand upbringing. All of the best comedy has a grain of truth. That’s what allows James Roque’s new show to shine so bright – he’s never been afraid to get personal. In fact, the title of the show is his childhood nickname, Badong, which he still carries around at the age of 30.

The Filipino-New Zealander is bringing Badong to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a 13 night stint at Campari House, running from March 28 to April 9.

The best Comedy Festival shows to catch in 2023


Award-winning comedian Larry Dean is set to return to Melbourne with his sell-out show FUNDIT. If you missed the show in its limited 2022 run, now’s your chance to catch Glasgow’s finest and funniest millennial. Known for his exceptional ability to mimic accents and voices, Dean is a regular on popular TV shows including Mock The Week and Comedy Central UK’s Roast Battle. Witness the smash-hit special for yourself at Melbourne Town Hall’s Swiss Club, with dates across the entire comedy festival.  

The Dead Dad Show

In the aptly named The Dead Dad Show, UK comedian Carl Donnelly unpacks a particularly challenging month where he faced the death of his father and the stress of moving house. With two Edinburgh Comedy Award nominations and the title of Chortle’s Best Club Comedian under his belt, Carl is a rising star in the comedy scene. The Dead Dad Show takes place at The Westin Three every day from March 30 to April 23, except Mondays.

Best of Comedy Zone Asia 

Featuring Douglas Lim, Sakdiyah Ma’ruf, Anirban Dasgupta and Fakkah Fuzz, Comedy Zone Asia is back for a diverse and dynamic show. Catch Douglas Lim’s razor-sharp wit and keen eye for comedic observations, Indonesia’s first Muslim female stand-up comic Sakdiyah Ma’ruf, Anirban Dasgupta’s sprawling tales of corporate woes and the outspoken humour of Fakkah Fuzz. Best of Comedy Zone Asia goes down across the entire comedy festival at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Fairfax Studio. 

Return of the Icelandic

Ari Eldjárn, Iceland’s biggest comedy star and first-ever Netflix star, brings his sold-out show Return of the Icelandic to audiences after successful runs in Edinburgh and London’s Soho Theatre. With a unique combination of observations on drum beats, sleep, and parenthood, Ari blends charming storytelling with Nordic quick-witted humour. With President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson himself awarding him the 2020 Icelandic Optimism Award, you’d be mad not to catch Return of the Icelandic from March 30 to April 16 at Melbourne Town Hall’s Powder Room. 

Swan Power

Prepare for a night of fresh and unconventional comedy with multi-award-winning comic genius Paul Foot’s show Swan Power. Taking to the stage to explore a range of topics, from the sex drive of pandas to La La Land’s Bryan Gosling, he also offers a potential solution to the problem of online trolling and a severely abridged re-enactment of the 1992 film Titanic. Flock to Swan Power at The Famous Spiegeltent from March 30 to April 23.

Is It A Bird?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Jordan Gray, Britain’s premier transgender comedian, bringing her show Is it a Bird? to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. After a sold-out run at the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a successful UK tour, she’s set to bring blistering humour that tackles babies, boobies, bigots and Batman to Melbourne Town Hall’s Powder Room. Catch one of the UK’s most celebrated rising comics in recent years every day from March 30 to April 23 except Mondays. 

Triple Threat

Rosie Jones is set to make her solo debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her show Triple Threat. The UK TV personality and comedian is known for her advocacy for LGBTQIA+ and disability rights, with her stand-up exploring disability and sexuality in an hour of cheekiness, fun and joy. She’s done it all, from covering the 2020 Paralympics as a reporter to writing on the second season of Sex Education – check out Triple Threat from April 5 to 22 at The Westin One. 


Award-winning comedian Josie Long is set to make her long-awaited return to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with Re-Enchantment, a brand-new hour of stand-up comedy. Known for her unique blend of wit, warmth and political activism, Josie’s latest show tackles big life changes, an ADHD diagnosis and a range of personal and social issues. Catch this underdog Edinburgh Fringe hero at Melbourne Town Hall’s own Cloak Room across the entire comedy festival. 


Award-winning comedian, actor, and performance poet Tim Key is bringing his show Mulberry to MICF this year. Ruminating on life indoors, velour tracksuits, and poetry, Mulberry is a stand-up response to the mandatory isolation of the pandemic. You might recognise Tim Key as Alan Partrige’s sidekick Simon in Mid Morning Matters and his BAFTA-nominated work on The One and Only Herb McGwyer and Wondergate. Chuck on your best tracksuit for Mulberry when it heads to Melbourne Town Hall from April 11 to 23.

Tiny Piano Man

David O’Doherty is swinging back into Melbourne, but this time he’s armed with a $15 eBay keyboard. His hour-long pageant Tiny Piano Man promises a show full of laughter, song and maybe even some movement from his chair. In the past year, you might have seen David O’Doherty on popular UK TV shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Live At The Apollo. Catch Tiny Piano Man at Forum Melbourne from March 30 to April 23.

Literally Who Cares?!

Literally Who Cares?! Don’t answer that, it’s not a question – it’s UK comedian Leo Reich’s show that’s making its Australian debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. At just 24 years old, Leo is hot off the back of a Best Newcomer nomination at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2022. Literally Who Cares?! Is directed by Adam Brace with music by Toby Marlow, co-creator of the international musical hit Six. See what the fuss is all about and head to Melbourne Town Hall from March 30 to April 23. 


Cleverly exploring intersectional identity and minority experiences, Lara Ricote’s GRL/LATNX/DEF blends fiery comedy with genuine storytelling. Winner of the 2022 Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, Lara delves into what it means to be Latin and deaf, while ‘passing’ as white and able-bodied. With appearances on Comedy Central and a win at the 2021 Funny Women Stage Award, Lara is quickly becoming a rising star in the comedy world. Catch GRL/LATNX/DEF at The Westin Three from March 30 to April 23.

Going Up

U.S comedian Sara Schaefer’s new show is a hilarious ‘seminar’ that aims to unlock your comedy potential by teaching you how to defeat hecklers and develop a thick skin. Having sold out in New York and San Francisco, the show also addresses the issue of abuse in the industry and explores what it means to be a creative person in today’s world. Catch the Australian debut of Going Up at Melbourne Town Hall from April 1 to 23. 


Multi-award-winning comedian DeAnne Smith explores loss, gender-affirming surgeries, gay marriage, and death with their sharp wit and silly jokes in Nipless. Since their last visit in 2019, DeAnne has recorded a second Netflix special, Gentleman Elf, and won the Canadian Comedy Award. With performances at Just for Laughs, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and more, DeAnne has become a household name in the comedy world. Head to Nipless at the Chinese Museum from March 30 to April 23. 


Award-winning comedian and writer Mark Watson is back in Melbourne with his new hour of comedy, Search. The comedian explores the search for meaning that we all experience, whether it’s his 12-year-old son’s quest to understand technology or his 70-year-old father’s brush with mortality. Watson, known for his Amazon Prime special, This Can’t Be It, and appearances on Live at the Apollo and Taskmaster, invites audiences to join him on this hilarious and introspective journey. Mark Watson’s Search is on from March 30 to April 23 at Melbourne Town Hall. 

The One Liner Show

TikTok killed your attention span and can’t sit still for a full stand-up set? Your prayers have been answered, as The One-Liner Show boasts the best one-liner comedians in Melbourne delivering over 200 jokes in just 45 minutes – at 12.5 cents per joke that’s unbeatable value in this economy. Paul Balsillie, Rhys Halliwell, Mazz Matta, Sheany and Milton White and special guest star Warrick Sutton will have you keeled over in laughter at their edgy and hilarious humour. Catch it every Sunday from April 2 – 23 at The Rubber Chicken in South Melbourne and prepare for some serious side-splitting laughter. 

Champagne Problems

Melbourne comedy mainstay Jess Pearman makes her long-awaited solo debut with Champagne Problems at The Rubber Chicken on March 30, 31 and April 1 at 6.30pm. Expect a playful exploration of minor inconveniences with a sprinkling of filth, in a show that tackles the timely subject of first-world problems. It’s a hot-button issue made for comedy, but if you think you know what to expect, think again. Oh, and if you’re a heckler, Pearman can bring the heat.


All of the best comedy has a grain of truth. That’s what allows James Roque’s new show to shine so bright – he’s never been afraid to get personal. In fact, the title of the show is his childhood nickname, Badong, which he still carries around at the age of 30. The Filipino-New Zealander is bringing Badong to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a 13 night stint at Campari House, running from March 28 to April 9. With his latest one-man show, James dives into his upbringing, his experiences, and how he navigated his culture by reclaiming his cultural identity in a western society.


A one-of-a-kind comedy show that takes you on a hilarious journey into the world of professional wrestling, WrestleBrainia is packed with games, witty humour, and audience participation. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the world of wrestling, WrestleBrainia features talented comedians and wrestlers, all bringing a unique take on wrestling fandom and culture. It’s got everything from a whacky game of wrestling-themed charades to guessing wrestler’s theme songs – catch WrestleBrainia on April 2, 16 and 23 at The Catfish Bar.

Poncho: Keep it up!

With tears of laughter, Poncho is a show of sensuality and educating audiences about the self, running from April 3 – 13 at The Butterfly Club Downstairs. Using his celebrated style of clowning meets risqué; this show is about inclusive humour and Dani’s rawest life advice. As an Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund recipient this year, his unique and energetic work continues to be critically acclaimed throughout the industry. 

Pork Adobo

Blending stand-up comedy, jazz piano and personal storytelling, Raw Comedy Competition runner-up Patrick Golamco shares his experience of flying to Manila to have a deep conversation with his dying grandmother. Named after his grandma’s signature Filipino dish, in Pork Adobo Golamco also shares hilarious gags about his mother’s reasoning about marriage, failed therapy, and a cab driver who believed global warming was a hoax. Catch Pork Adobo at Trades Hall from March 30 until April 23.

Bogan Shakespeare

Award-winning regional theatre company HT&E bring their award-winning show Bogan Shakespeare to The Motley Bauhaus on April 6, 7, 8, 9 this year, translating Willy for delighted Australian audiences, in a show that’s been a hit tour for many years now. If you’re a fan, expect a deep and wide-ranging comedic take on his oeuvre that will have you in stitches, and if you’ve never liked or understood him, this is exactly the show you’ve been waiting for.


Before/After is the latest stand-up comedy show from Ollie Horn, the UK’s most exciting young storyteller. Combining expertly crafted stand-up with moments of improvised banter, Before/After focuses on trying new things. It’s a fun and uplifting hour of comedy that has already sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe and has toured in over 15 cities globally. Catch the show every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at The Elephant and Wheelbarrow during the festival period.

Not My Audience!

Ready to be in charge of the show? Not My Audience!, the interactive stand-up comedy panel show from the Edinburgh Fringe, is coming to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. At the Belgian Beer Cafe from March 30 to April 23, you’ll pick the questions three top comedians will answer, vote on your favourite answers, and choose the stand-up challenges they’ll have to perform. With every show being unique based on the audience’s choices, you’ll get an exclusive festival experience every time.

Good Lord!

Lance Corporal, chef, Tik Tok star and acclaimed stand-up Jarryd Goundrey sold out his 2022 festival’s show Incoming, and this year the rapidly-rising comedian returns to the festival as part of his first national tour with his latest hour-long show, Good Lord! He’s playing The Collection Bar in Richmond on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from March 30 until April 23.

Confetti and Chaos

From Interactive Theatre International, the company behind the enduringly popular Faulty Towers The Dining Experience, comes Confetti and Chaos. It’s an improvised, interactive and hilarious satire of wedding receptions that includes a three-course meal, is making its Australian debut this year and, to make it even more authentic, is being performed at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne from Tuesday April 18 to Sunday April 23.

Wet Heat

Known for their appearances on Aunty Donna, Just For Laughs, Leftovers and ABC’s At Home Alone Together, Hot Department describe their brand-new show Wet Heat, as “if 2 Girls 1 Cup was a musical, then that would be great, but for now, there’s Wet Heat.” Playing at the Malthouse Theatre from March 30 to April 23, fans of sketch comedy and musical theatre are guaranteed to be in stitches.

Save The Orangutans

Emma Holland is returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her new show Save The Orangutans, inspired by her childhood growing up in Indonesia and, in her own words, “how I have made it my whole personality”. She’ll be performing eight dates at ACMI’s Gandel Lab in Federation Square from March 30 until April 23.

All Quiet Carriage Along The Inner Western Line

Dan Rath is a mercurial stand-up comedian, and undoubtedly a comic everyone should see once in their life. He describes his ideal audience as the sort of people who sprint in the park while listening to the Dunkirk soundtrack, pretending they’re under artillery fire and would rather smoke herbal cowardice than drink liquid courage. He’ll be performing at The Victoria Hotel from March 30 to April 23. 

Ms Beige Brown Goes Beyond 

Australia’s leading feminist performance poet Ms Beige Brown is fighting for her artistic freedom. Despite funding her art through job-seeking, Beige must now prove her cultural relevance to a world that doesn’t know she exists. To win a council grant and pursue her art fully, she must convince judges obsessed with ‘sustainability’ that her work is worth funding. Catch the show at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre from April 13 to 22. 

Que Suraj Suraj

You may have seen Suraj Kolarkar on Netflix’s God’s Favourite Idiot or Apple TV and Paramount’s epic Shantaram, or heard him performing for the likes of Triple M and SBS. Now witness Suraj flex his comedy muscles in person at the Chinese Museum from April 11 to April 23. 

TimFoil Hat … My Life and Other Conspiracies

If stand-up comedy is about unique ideas then Tim Kershaw is one comedian at this year’s festival to watch out for. TimFoil Hat … My Life and Other Conspiracies, he brings together his best work from the past five years, covering everything from aliens to the impact of the internet on reality. With Tim’s unique perspective and wit, he’ll have you indulging in the craziness of the world for a while.

Cult Classic 

Melbourne actor Courtney Crisfield presents Cult Classic, a stand-up sketch parody of mainstream and cult films. Packed with puns, it’s perfect for movie fans, trivia buffs, and casual cinema-goers who enjoy wordplay and bad dancing. Courtney, with almost a decade of professional experience and training, has performed in various mediums and genres as an actor. Catch her upcoming show at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre from March 22 to April 8, with an extra show on April 18. 


Gemma Caruana, a titan of comedy and song, brings her one-woman comedy cabaret show, Underwire, to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 29 to April 1 and again from April 18 to 22. Directed by emerging powerhouse director Sarah Frencham, Gemma sings and dances her way through her journey of having breast reduction surgery, sharing her experience with humour and sincerity. After a successful run at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2022, Underwire is a show about having ‘too much of a good thing.’

Turbo Lover

Slightly chaotic, razor-sharp and mercilessly funny, Scout Boxall’s Turbo Lover is not to be missed. The comedian is a rising star on the Australian scene and has swooped up the prize for Best Emerging Artist and the Moosehead Award at recent editions of the fest. Showing nightly from March 30 to April 23 (except for Saturdays), the show covers Scout’s formative experience with romance and intimacy, including having two microeconomist parents, dating a murderous former Jehovah’s Witness, and having a sexual awakening while playing Sims. 

Juniper Rising

Get ready to get a little wacky. Alex Hines is Juniper Wilde – ‘Australia’s one true gay icon’ who has just lost a fatal lip-sync battle. To return to the mortal plane, she has to make a deal with the Devil, but it’s not going to be as easy as she hoped. Playing nightly from March 30 to April 23 with Saturdays off, this camp horror comedy will bring all of the drama, the glamour and the laughs. 


Blake Freeman is no stranger to the Comedy Fest stage. After a massive year on the road, the comedian will be returning to his hometown (and his parents house) for a run of his latest show, Killah. Best known for his infallible pacing, effortless storytelling, and just generally being a pretty likeable guy, Blake is expected to deliver a wholsome good time. Killah will run from daily March 30 to April 23, except for Saturdays. 

But Daddy I Love Him

There’s nothing quite like the devotion of a teenage fangirl. Following her autobiographical debut, Interlopia, Haylee Deutrom takes a closer look at her formative years, when being obsessed with bands was something like a full-time job. But Daddy I Love Him, showing from March 29 to April 2, will be a nostalgic look at the music of the late 1990s and a love letter to the generations of young girls who have always been a dominating force in pop culture.

Everything is a Lie

Charming, cynical and perpetually annoyed, Lauren Edwards is still trying to figure things out. After a sell-out set of shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2021, the comedian and performer will return with her latest work, Everything is a Lie. Playing from April 11 to 15, the show will blend original music, stand-up comedy and storytelling on subjects including (but not limited to) the constant bad news cycle, high school reunions and working at Seaworld. 


Sharyn Booth is one of the most exciting new faces in the scene. Best known for her unapologetic attitude and dry humour, the comedian has performed before at the 2019 Melbourne Comedy Festival. She will be coming in hot this year with Boothylicious, which will run from April 4 to 8 at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. 

Brown Women Comedy

From getting married and divorced three times to growing up brown in Australia, this award-winning crew isn’t afraid to have a laugh at the big stuff. Featuring Amna Bee, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, Daizy Maan, Kripa Krithivasan and a yet-to-be-announced surprise guest, this event will host the largest lineup of South Asian female comedians in Australia. Running from April 6 to 12, the show will be a night of hilarity that is guaranteed to disappoint your parents. 

How to Shave


Technology is what’s gonna get me in the end #runinwiththelaw #lockmeup #comedy #melbourne #lgbtq #standup #phone #scrollhole #sleep #trans

♬ original sound – Han Arbuthnott

The body is a strange and unpredictable thing. It’s at once lovely and kind of icky. In their latest show, How to Shave, transmasculine comedian Han Arbuthnott explores this strange dichotomy. In the past two years Han has started testosterone and had a double mastectomy, and they’re looking forward to telling some jokes about it. How to Shave will run from March 29 to April 11 with Sundays and Mondays off. 

Anecdotal Evidence

A storyteller, a standup, a feminist, and a narcoleptic: Maryellen is many things. Her latest work, Anecdotal Evidence, is about dreams of all kinds – how to decipher them and what they could possibly mean for us. High energy and full of surprises, the show will debut on March 30 and 31 before continuing from Tuesdays to Saturdays from April 4 to 15. 

Becky and Courtney Do Business

Becky Umbers and Courtney Dawson may look good in blazers, but that doesn’t mean they’re very good businesswomen. They are, however, pretty impressive comedians. Both have written on some of New Zealand’s favourite TV shows, and together, they’ve snatched up enough comedy awards to fill a head office mantelpiece. They’ve come together to reflect on their time in the corporate workplace with Becky and Courtney Do Business, on from April 11 to 22 with Sundays and Monday off. 



♬ たぶん – YOASOBI

Hosted by Kimmie Lovegrove, Yarnz is a night for some of ‘Australia’s funniest blackfullas’ to come together, let loose, and experiment with comedy. Showing at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre for three days only, punters can expect a one-of-a-kind evening filled with unpredictable moments and crowd-pleasing hilarity. The show will be on from April 13 to 15. 

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Become a part of the classic TV show with this immersive theatre experience. Featuring chaotic improvisation and a three-course meal, the two-hour bonanza will give guests the chance to play along with Basil, Sybil and Manuel. The experience will run daily from April 11 to 16. Join in on the fun and try not to laugh with your mouth full. 

Laugh or China Releases a New Virus

Engineer by day and comedian slash podcaster by night, Sean Diao is annoyed by society and he’s ready to tell us all about it. Born and raised in China, he has been doing comedy for the past four years and has quickly developed a reputation for his unique dark, deadpan, and silly style. See him perform on April 4, 8, 11, 14, 18, 19, 21 or 23 and please, try to at least have a giggle. We really don’t need another virus. 

I’m Trying to Find The Words To Describe This Girl Without Being Disrespectful 


We asked a bunch of previous cast members why you need to see The Breast of the Fest at the upcoming @Melbourne Int. Comedy Festival! The answers will SHOCK YOU. Feat @Aurélia St Clair @sashbomb and more ❤️ TIX: #Melbourne #Comedy #Comedian #FemaleComedian #WomenInComedy #FunnyWomen #womeninstandup #MelbourneComedyFestival #MICF #fyp #foryoupage

♬ Storytelling – Adriel

When Akon uttered those famous words on David Guetta’s 2010 track, it stuck with comedian and writer Katherine Allen. Who was this mysterious girl? This unidentified ‘sexy bitch’? In her highly anticipated solo debut, Katherine will attempt to answer this age-old question through an investigative evening of comedy. Come find out for yourself at her, on nightly from April 11 to 23 with Mondays off. 

But Daddy I Love Him



♬ How dare you speak to me – Eric 👻

Step back in time to 1997 and experience the cultural power of teenage girls with Haylee Deutrom’s show, But Daddy I Love Him. Through relatable humour and witty storytelling, this autobiographical performance celebrates the intensity of fandom and explores what it means to be a teenage girl in a world that often dismisses their passions and emotions. Witness this blast from the past at The Carlton Club from March 29 to April 2.

The Kaye Hole

An arresting, flamboyant performer with a knack for dry humour, sequined outfits and finding beauty in tragedy (and vice-versa), Reuben Kaye is a mainstay of Australia’s festival, cabaret and comedy scenes and his new show is best-described as late night, done right: queer, messy, fast, loose and fucking hilarious. It runs two nights at The Forum Downstairs, April 15 and 22, starting at 11:15pm.


Luke Heggie describes this show as “actual stand up”, warning you not to attend if you “consider yourself an aficionado of stand-up comedy (this includes any Australian man who wears a scarf)”. If you’ve seen Heggie before, you’ll know he can afford to pick and choose his audience, he’s one of the most successful Australian stand-ups of recent years for good reason. Grot runs from March 29 to April 23 at Morris House (previously known as European Bier Café).



#fy Nobody told me this. None one of you. Not my mother, not my partner of 7 years. What else are you keeping from me?

♬ original sound – michelle brasier

If you’re only familiar with Michelle Brasier from her scene-stealing work with Aunty Donna, then you’ve been living under a comedy rock. Brasier swept a range of accolades over the past two years, from winning Best Writing at the Green Room Awards, to Directors’ Choice at Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival in the same year. Legacy recounts Brasier’s epic search for another Michelle Brasier, and the exploration of all the other women one woman could have been if she’d made different choices. She’ll be playing Comedy Republic from March 30 to April 23.


Brodi Snook has had breakout success in the UK over recent years, picking up Chortle’s Best Newcomer award among various Edinburgh Fringe, Just For Laughs and BBC nods. In her own words, Villain is “a story about sending nudes to the government., a transatlantic emotional-support hairball. A story about RSVPing ‘no’ to your own wedding. This, is a love story.” Snook plays Mantra on Russell from March 30 to April 23.


Nominee for Best Newcomer at the 2021 Comedy Festival, Chris Ryan will once again deliver her signature dry snark, targeting those who deserve it, as she ponders thought-provoking questions like ‘What’s the difference between a good decision and a phase?’ She’ll be playing The Westin Two from March 30 to April 23.

Sigmund Troy’d


🎟ON TOUR NOW🎟 UK and Australia LINK IN BIO #troyhawke #greetersguild #tardis #drwho #comedystore #fyp #standupcomedy

♬ original sound – Troy Hawke

Multi-award-winning UK stand-up comic and home-schooled investigator Troy Hawke comes to the Comedy Festival after starring in his viral Greeters Guild online series, finding and proving decisive links between IKEA, the CIA and the Nazis. He’ll play the Toff in Town from March 30 to April 23.

Night Time News Network National News

Osher Günsberg is a household name for his highly-successful broadcast and podcasting career, and now he joins Comedy Festival with his very own live satirical news show: the stories are real, the news is made up. He’ll be joined on-stage by a cast of improvisers and real-life reporters at The Malthouse – Beckett Theatre from March 30 to April 9.

Red Flags Galore!

Winner of Best Show at the influential Chortle Awards last year, Alfie Brown ponders the relevant question; can reading the worst things about yourself on the internet be an educational experience? Is the digital age turning us bad, or is it merely shining a light on the bad previously unseen? He’ll be playing the Greek Theatre from March 30 to April 23.

If I’m Honest

Ed Byrne is an internationally successful Irish stand-up that’s a veteran of both this and virtually ever other major Comedy Festival. He believes his latest set is his best, where he takes a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has any traits that are worth passing on to his children. He’ll be playing The Malthouse Beckett Theatre from April 18 to 23.

Let Me Start From The Start 

Micky Bartlett, Northern Ireland’s comedy colossus, is coming back to Australia after selling out his latest show all over the world with a “unique blend of razor sharp wit and anecdotes that would make a psychiatrist blush”. He’ll be playing the Basement Comedy Club at Morriss House from April 11 to 23.

For more info, head to the Comedy Festival website here.