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Comedy Festival

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The beginning of the year is my favourite time of the year in Melbourne.

The weather is great, the days are long, the city is alive and buzzing with a festivals and fun.

The Comedy Festival is one of my favourite parts of this festival season. I absolutely adore the comedy festival, I love the vibe in the city, particularly around the Festival hub, which is centred around The Melbourne Town Hall, and spreading to the various other venues dotted throughout the city and beyond.

Every year, since 2003 I have tried to see several shows a year. When I like something, I become somewhat obsessed. I walk talk and breathe Comedy Festival for the entirety of the three and a half weeks  it runs for.

Last year I was fortunate enough to participate in the Funny Tonne, a competition run by the Festival to see as many shows as I could. It was a fantastic, albeit exhausting experience given I was working full time and trying to juggle my social life as well. Sadly to say, I came a miserable last, but I had heaps of fun doing it regardless. My grand total came to 88 shows, a dismal last place behind the winner Joseph (who has his own show this year from what I hear) who totalled something like 132.

The best thing about being part of the Funny Tonne is getting to see some shows which I normally would not have, and to be surprised by shows that I otherwise would not have seen as I  thought they would have been shit, such as Nina Conti & the Kransky Sisters.

This year, the festival is back, but I’m back to paying for tickets. Which is fine, because I’m more than happy to support the comedians, as they bring such joy to my life 🙂

I’m a bit disappointed a few of my festival faves aren’t back, such as Daniel Kitson, The Boy with Tape on his Face, and Tim Minchin.. and still no sign of Demetri Martin after taking out the Barry Award for his sold out (i.e. I could not get tickets to) show in 2008.

Here are a list of my recommendations though..

Must Sees;

Gooks & Wogs 2 – Return of Choco and the Chink – Saw Gooks & Wogs 1, was my favourite show of the Festival last year. Any ethnic should go see it. Absolutely brilliant.

Sam Simmons – Fail – His shows are a mishmash of random yet hilarious vignettes, which he pulls along and ties together at the end. Comic genius. Love him.  Also in the beautiful Bosco Theatre, my favourite festival venue.

Adam Hills – Mess AroundAlways a crowd pleaser, sadly I do not have tickets for him as he sold out before the Festival even began! That’s what I get for procrastinating getting tickets.. 😦 I love taking my ‘nice’ friends to Adam Hills as he shows that you can be funny without having to be rude or obscene.

Wil Anderson – Wilful Misconduct– Forget everything you know about Wil Anderson from TV and radio. He is an absolute star as a stand-up. Love him, my favourite local comedian, I see him every year.

Nina ContiI thought she would be shit, I thought the ventriloquist act was lame. I was wrong. She proved me wrong. One of my favourite shows from Season 2009, seeing her next week.

The Bedroom Philosopher – Songs from the 86 tram– Any Melbourne local should see this incredibly witty show, as the bedroom philospher sings tunes about the various destinations along the 86 Tram line. Show was cut short last year as he was hit by a tram. As he says, Irony 1. BP 0.

Ross Noble – whether you love him or hate him, he’s a comic genius. I didn’t want to like him. I saw him three years ago and have seen more than a hundred other shows since, and his show still stands out in my mind. I fell asleep because he rambled so much. and I laughed so hard I cried. so hard I almost peed my pants. All in the one show. Brilliant.

Highly Recommended;

David O’Doherty – David O’Doh-Party always a festival favourite, charming, witty, nonsensical.

Jamie Kilstein – Revenge of the Serfs– up & coming comedian, he’s energetic, opinionated, controversial.

The Pajama Men – Last Stand to Reason– Brilliant, dynamic duo. Barry award winners 2009.

Reginald D Hunter – He usually starts his show joking that he’s ‘the other Black man’, i.e. not Steven K Amos. I think Reg is better than Steven though. Underrated, whereas Steven is overrated. (Steven is absent from this year’s festival)
The Kransky Sisters – Three Bags FullAnother one of those random shows I didn’t expect to like. Very odd, but brilliant.

Haven’t seen, but heard good things about;

The List Operators, Jon Richardson, Melinda Buttle

We’re so lucky in Melbourne, to have the second biggest Comedy Festival in the world. All I can say is… get involved! You won’t regret it..

Written by glutamatejess

March 29, 2010 at 1:09 am

Posted in Melbourne Happenings

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