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Review: Xavier Michelides in The Brain Whisperer | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Xavier Michelides in The Brain Whisperer | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

A variety of characters, a range of skits, an imaginative premise, a range of accents, and a damn good impression of Robert De Niro doing an impression of Chewbacca the Wookiee – all provided by comedian Xavier Michelides. It’s a conventional premise that could have made a decent show by itself, but it’s kicked to […]

Review: Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Comedy once again comes to confines of the Melbourne Museum, as the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour takes it to open dance warfare between science and history. Now in its fifth year, the tour is a breezethrough of some of the highlights of the Melbourne Museum – primarily the stuffed animals exhibit and the Melbourne history […]

Andrew McClelland takes out Crikey’s ‘Best of the Fest’ award

Andrew McClelland takes out Crikey’s ‘Best of the Fest’ award

This year’s Crikey ‘Best of the Fest’ award for the best show in the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was presented last night to a comedian that we had no trouble agreeing on – Andrew McClelland.

Review: The Axis of Awesome World Tour 2006 | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: The Axis of Awesome World Tour 2006 | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

There’s no doubt that the Axis of Awesome know what they’re doing. Now entering their sixth year as a musical comedy trio, they play to sell out audiences around the world, and their ‘Four Chords’ song have been seen by an impressive amount of people on YouTube. By now there’s probably a fair few comedy […]

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Crikey Laugh Track

Review: Wing Attack! in PANTS (Pants) | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Wing Attack! in PANTS (Pants) | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It’s true that every festival show is different, every performer unique. But after notching up double digits on the comedy festival tally sheet it’s almost impossible not to feel a sense of déjà vu. You hear a lot of jokes about belonging to a particular race, a lot of jokes about jaded ex-lovers, a lot of […]

Review: Hannah Gadsby in Hannah Wants a Wife | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Hannah Gadsby in Hannah Wants a Wife | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Hannah Gadsby is excellent in this show that probes gender stereotypes and points out the raw deal that women have had over the centuries when it comes to marriage, sex, equality and pretty much everything else. There is a political message here, but Gadsby handles it with aplomb and with plenty of humour. Hannah Wants […]

Review: Tegan Higginbotham in Million Dollar Tegan | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Tegan Higginbotham in Million Dollar Tegan | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Loosely tied to a sprawling story line about venturing into the world of professional boxing, 24-year-old up-and-comer Tegan Higginbotham gives a literal twist to “punch lines” in Million Dollar Tegan, a comedy show companion piece to Clint Eastwood’s 2004 boxing drama – and thankfully a great deal more amusing. Whether Higginbotham jumped in the ring purely for […]

Review: Bullet: A Superhero Comedy | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Six people take to the stage in something that is technically not a play, blatantly not on the radio, but still has all the hallmarks of trying something a little different. Bullet takes a moment to adjust to, but it works, and it’s a fun ride. and it brings the trappings of a 1940s television […]

Review: Bob Downe in 20 Golden Greats | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Bob Downe in 20 Golden Greats | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Warrick Glynn writes… Bob has re-entered the building and he’s brought his mojo with him. I knew Bob was back when he burst onto the stage of the campy Spiegeltent in his ‘Pepsi Max’ tracksuit and Jack Vidgeon hairdo and launched into the first of his twenty golden greats. Looking like the cover model for […]

Review: The Horne Section | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It’s hard to say whether the descriptor ‘jazz-infused comedy’, as listed on the Comedy Festival website, really does The Horne Section any justice. It’s best to state now that such a description fails to encapsulate this show at all, the heady, delicious juggernaut that it is. The Horne Section doesn’t really attempt to be anything other than […]

Review: Moataz Hamde & Amos Gill in Background Check | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Moataz Hamde & Amos Gill in Background Check | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Nobody needs to point out that cracking into the comedy scene is a tough grind. Stand-up comedians generally start by refining their acts in dingy low-lit rooms, adding and cutting material until a they have a reliable stable of gags, but there’s a world of difference between filling a ten minute spot with eight other […]

Review: Imaan Hadchiti in Bigger Than Jesus | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Imaan Hadchiti in Bigger Than Jesus | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Imaan Hadchiti’s wicked 2011 show, A Little Perspective, was a tantalising promise to the audience that this little guy (at something like 3-foot-nothing in height) had a crazy knack for bulldozing people who patronised him for being a ‘little person’. So it was with keen interest that I approached his latest offering, Bigger Than Jesus, […]

Review: Marney McQueen is A Rump Steak at a Vegan BBQ | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Marney McQueen is A Rump Steak at a Vegan BBQ | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Nicole Humphreys writes… With a commanding stage presence and voice to match, McQueen’s candid comedy cabaret floats between an open diary of her work in theatre, to transformations into her ‘guest stars’ – where McQueen does her best work. Cleverly written songs about the pitfalls of being a single woman in an industry that is […]

Review: Akmal | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Akmal | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Random, improvised and hilarious: that’s Akmal at this year’s festival. Every show I’ve seen so far at the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival has had, at some level, thematic coherence or a narrative arc. So Akmal’s show came as a bit of a surprise, because coherence of any sort is not the way he rolls […]

Review: Shappi Khorsandi in Me and My Brother in Our Pants, Holding Hands | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Shappi Khorsandi in Me and My Brother in Our Pants, Holding Hands | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

With a bubbly, infectious presence and an innocent on stage charm, Shappi Khorsandi presents an interesting, but at times traumatic portrayal of family life to this year’s comedy festival. Flanked at all times on stage by the titular family photo, Khorsandi tells about her childhood – first in Iran, and later in England, her experiences […]

Review: Hayley Brennan in Attention Seeker | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Hayley Brennan embodies the stereotypes of Gen Y, blonde and party girl. She seems to exploit these types intentionally, but I suspect she’s not fully aware of the messages she’s sending. Brennan introduces her show by explaining that the next hour is about everyone getting to know one another. Thankfully, she exercises the Gen Y […]

Review: Ryan Walker in Man Up! | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Ryan Walker in Man Up! | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

In terms of comedy that’s organised around a theme, Ryan Walker’s Man Up! takes a particularly personal approach. His show is a tale of past woes that have come back to haunt him, thanks to his upcoming ten-year high school reunion and the unpleasant memories this evokes. Ultimately this is a show about bullying, and […]

Review: Tom Gleeson in Good One | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

You don’t get to stick around as a stand-up comedian for as long as Tom Gleeson has and still draw a sizable crowd without being good at what you do. Tom Gleeson’s show this year plays out like a textbook example of a funny, if generic, comedy show. It starts off with some audience interaction, […]

Podcast: A Talk with Simon Taylor

In this podcast, Matt Smith talks to Simon Taylor about his comedy festival show 10 Things I Know About You, his podcast Manthropology, and what makes people tick. Podcast: A Talk with Simon Taylor Simon Taylor in 10 Things In Know About You is on at the Butterfly Club, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday at 8pm, Thursday […]

Review: Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

There were a few comedians this comedy festival dusting off their computers and tapping away to present their audience with a Powerpoint presentation. So far they’ve been little more than a poorly integrated visual aid, a vaguely tedious distraction that did little but invoke the feeling that you were trapped in a business meeting that […]

Review: Felicity Ward in The Hedgehog Dilemma | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Felicity Ward in The Hedgehog Dilemma | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

With the motor mouth and unfettered energy of a true extrovert, Felicity Ward is a loud and boisterous comedian with a habit of following incongruous jokes by looking at the audience with an expression of “did I just say that?” stamped across her beaming countenance. If she wasn’t wary of audience interactions before this year’s […]

Review: Tommy Dassalo in Pipsqueak | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Tommy Dassalo in Pipsqueak | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

You have to hand it to Tommy Dassalo – he set himself a challenge with his comedy festival this year. At first Dassalo states that his show is about the trials and heartache of a long distance relationship, and it lives up to that. Tommy’s girlfriend moved to Disneyland to sell glowsticks, and this is […]

Ticket giveaway: The Pajama Men, Wednesday 18th April

Ticket giveaway: The Pajama Men, Wednesday 18th April

Pajama Men have a strictly limited run of their show from last year, The Middle of No One, and Crikey’s Laugh Track has two free tickets to give away for the show on Wednesday 18th April. I don’t need to tell you how good the show was, Crikey has a review handy. Click here to […]

Review: Nick Coyle in Me Pregnant! | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Nick Coyle in Me Pregnant! | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Me Pregnant! has very little to do with actually being pregnant. It features only in the beginning, when the story revolves around the monstrous survivor of a doomed litter and their mother. The person who led some terrorised villagers to slay the beast ends up living a life of isolation and despair after the villagers […]

Interview with East End Cabaret | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Interview with East End Cabaret | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Salacious London-based duo East End Cabaret, starring Bernadette Byrne (played by Jennifer Byrne) and Victor Victoria (played Victoria Falconer-Pritchard), is up there with the crème-de-la-crème of musical acts at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Featuring a cavalcade of raunchy songs with names like It Was Still Hard and Danger Wank, it’s clear early in […]

Review: Simon Keck in Cheating Life | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Simon Keck in Cheating Life | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Some of the pleasures of progressive stand-up comedy arise from the comic’s ability to push boundaries, explore social taboos and judge how far they can nudge audiences out of their comfort zones without losing them. Whether the crowd laugh along to jokes they might never make themselves or shake their heads in disgust isn’t so […]

Review: Sammy J and Randy in The Inheritance | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Sammy J and Randy in The Inheritance | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Sammy J and (purple puppet) Randy are back for yet another round at the Comedy Festival with The Inheritance. There’s singing, some sword-fighting, creepy caretakers, ghosts and some ‘fully sick’ songs about subwoofers. Watching a show featuring Sammy J and Randy is like meeting someone who’s overdone the plastic surgery – there’s a little too […]

Review: David Quirk and Benn Bennett in Man-Date | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

The setup is a man-date between two socially awkward gents. They begin in undies, change into clothes and the show – well, play – takes place around a small two person table as they make chit-chat and wait for their meal. It’s obvious from early on that David Quirk and Benn Bennett haven’t thought much […]

Review: Dead Cat Bounce in Howl of the She-Leopard | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Dead Cat Bounce in Howl of the She-Leopard | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Musical comedy group Dead Cat Bounce return to Australian shores this year, a member lighter but no less funnier, with their newest hard rock show Howl of the She-Leopard (a title they came up with by using a pretty damn accurate ‘rock concert name’ formula). There’s as much comedic talent as there is musical with […]

Review: Mark Butler in How to Spot a Liar (and/or Creep) | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Mark Butler in How to Spot a Liar (and/or Creep) | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Mark Butler is undoubtedly the thinking man’s comedian – funny goes hand in hand with knowledge, and his shows are carefully crafted and minutely researched to draw every joke out of a topic. While in the past he’s taught us about sex and grammar (two separate shows), this festival he explores the concepts of lying. […]

Review: Tim FitzHigham in Gambler | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

His collar is up, his shirt is untucked, his “arrr me hearties” dress sense seems to belong to a pirate ship, he speaks with a thick British accent and his eyes are wide and buggy, with heavy bags hanging beneath them. Tim FitzHigham looks and sounds like he arrived not just from a different place […]

Review: Lawrence Mooney in Lawrence in Suburbia | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Lawrence Mooney in Lawrence in Suburbia | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Last year festival favourite Lawrence Mooney pretended to struggle to write a comedy show in the self-reflexive rib tickler An Indecisive Bag of Donuts (winner of Crikey’s Best of the Fest award), an hour of comedy so good it deserved to be recorded, put inside an indestructible flying server drone and shot into space to […]

Review: Steele Saunders in The Cat’s Meow | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Steele Saunders in The Cat’s Meow | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Have you ever looked at a cat and realised that it’s got everything figured out? Your food is brought to you, you get attention on your own terms, and there’s always someone to clean up after you. Why do humans think we’re superior to them at all? It’s something that has been playing on the […]

Ticket giveaway: The Horne Section, Sunday 15th April

Ticket giveaway: The Horne Section, Sunday 15th April

Want two free tickets to see cabaret act The Horne Section at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival? There’s jazz, there’s comedy, and I assume lots of jokes revolving around phallic comedy and massive instruments (I could be wrong…) Crikey’s Laugh Track has two such tickets for Greg’s show on April 15th. Simply go and ‘like’ […]

Review: Des Bishop in Likes to Bang | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Des Bishop in Likes to Bang | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

I always have a lot of respect for an overseas act making comedy out of the current culture they’re in, and in Des Bishop’s show Likes to Bang he does just that on point. It wasn’t just observational humour based on a quick glance over the pages of The Age, the Irish-American comedian brought the […]