If there's anything we all need after the year that was 2020, it's a big, healthy laugh. Luckily, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, running from 24th March to 18th April, is here to provide the goods in the form of good ol' fashioned humour. Here are our ones to watch in 2021—but make sure to snap up your tickets quick, or you might end up missing out on the laugh of a lifetime.
AIDEN WILLCOX & JETT BOND
You heard right: our very own Comedy students Aiden Willcox and Jett Bond are debuting their show Big Tooth, described as a "absurdist narrative-sketch extravaganza" all about dentistry. The duo—who have popped up in our O-Weeks for live-streamed kitchen tours and online parties—will be facing their fears of going to the dentist through the wacky medium of physical, multimedia, and character comedy.
OPENING NIGHT COMEDY ALLSTARS SUPERSHOW
HOSTED BY AUNTY DONNA
If there's one way to kick off the festival run with a bang, it's by attending the Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow. This year it's hosted by legends Aunty Donna—of whom Brody Kelly has recently joined our ranks as a Comedy lecturer—and held in the beautiful Palais Theatre.
With more than a few award wins under his belt, Aaron Chen is back with his eccentric awkward sense of humour and a "new" show, Sorry Forever. We say "new" because the very Aaron Chen event description says that he'll be bringing in lots of content from his 2020 show mr cigarette, that he never got to perform, but he'll "have a think about it" as he is in hotel quarantine for 14 days.
KILL-HING IN THE NAME OF
Michael Hing is a household name in Australia at this point, and with Kill-Hing In The Name Of (the pun which we appreciate greatly), he's returning to MICF for the first time since 2018. Strap yourself in for stories about having "too many therapists, invincible lobsters, and receiving a low-level death threat."
NAT'S WHAT I RECKON
Nat's What I Reckon shot to fame during isolation, as we all watched his cooking videos go viral. On Purpose is his debut "multimedia stage show and video party", as he shares previously unreleased videos and delves into his playful commentary. It's said to hold heaps of audience participation, and there might even be an anxiety game show.
OUT OF OFFICE
KAREN FROM FINANCE
When you think of Australian drag, Karen From Finance is a name that propels to the forefront of our minds. Another debut, Out Of Office won the Comedy Award and the West Australian Critic's Choice Award at Perth FRINGEWORLD, so pack your calculators, set your automatic email response, and snap up a one-way ticket to "self discovery and self-annihilation".
AURELIA ST CLAIR
A self-described "semi-professional meme creator", Aurelia St Clair is here to wake you up in Woke 2.0. If you like deadpan delivery and black humour, you'll want to see the 2020 Stand Up! Grant Recipient in action. You'll be leaving the show woker than you've ever been before.
BEST OF WAGGA WAGGA
HOSTED BY DANE SIMPSON
Some people might underestimate the comedy coming from regional areas, but the Best of Wagga Wagga show is here to prove you wrong. Hosted by regular Dane Simpson, five comedians from country New South Wales are here to show you what they have to offer: Oliver Hunter, Steff Wills, Jamal Abdul, David Cunneen, and Ben Atkinson.
SO FRESH HITS AUTUMN 2021
JUDE PERL'S GREATEST HITS
If you're a music fan looking to get into comedy, why not start with Jude Perl? In Jude Perl's Greatest Hits: So Fresh Hits Autumn 2021, they combine song-writing, story-telling, and social commentary to make catchy hilarious songs about mental health and awkward moments. Have fun, and welcome to Jude Perl's stream of consciousness.
RAW COMEDY NATIONAL GRAND FINAL
Watch Australia's best of the best stand up to a comedy showdown in the RAW Comedy National Grand Final. It's boosted the careers of globally renowned comedians like Hannah Gadsby, Ronny Chieng, Matt Okine, and more, so this is your chance watch top-notch comedy all in one place.
CHASING KEANU REEVES
Who isn't obsessed with Keanu Reeves? Definitely not Diana Nguyen, whose show Chasing Keanu Reeves is all about chasing things you know aren't good for you: friendships, fame, and of course, Keanu Reeves. For the KR fans... or if you just want to get vulnerable and laugh with a comedian whose invested 16 years in the game.