The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is back, with a gala filled with racy gags and big laughs
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL GALA ★★★★½
March 23, Palace Theater
After last year’s largely locals-only event at significantly reduced capacity and the complete cancellation of the 2020 incarnation, the most illustrious date on Australia’s comedy calendar triumphantly stormed the Palace Theater with a thunderous banquet of international names, local heavyweights and rising stars for a sold-out audience of 3,000.
Compere Steph Tisdell, the Deadly Funny alumnus and first native entertainer since Ernie Dingo in 1993, got into the proceedings by inviting Uncle Jack Charles onstage to speak lyrically about his suburban upbringing before kicking off the evening with emotion: “Wominjeka, welcome to my fucking country.
Nikki Britton confronted men with the fact that while they like to show dead fish they’ve caught on dating apps, women also actively seek to avoid murderers. Sam Taunton shared the epiphany you can watch Hollywood movie releases on PornHub, and Tommy Little revealed his inner Linda Lovelace during a COVID test.
Alex Ward jumped into the sports conversation saying the AFLW should have a ‘Straight Round’, while Blake Freeman explained why he’d rather his mum know he frequents sex shops than bookstores.
Presentation of an excerpt from their next show Moby-DickLano & Woodley have proven that their tried and true, direct and irritating duo still work wonders in such masterful hands.
On the international front, Fern Brady, Lloyd Langford and Stephen K. Amos all put in strong performances. Brady delves into the Beckham family’s nepotism; Langford with a rather graphic account of a massage chair experiment gone wrong; and Amos dropping the only c-bomb of the evening – to describe his father, no less.