Shows we’re excited about at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival

The Squirrels have each picked 5 shows at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival that we’re excited about and would like to share with you. Here’s hoping you’re excited too!

Lisa Clark is excited by

Way too much! I’ve been banging on about Lessons with Luis and Slutmonster and Friends to anyone who’ll listen (seriously go see them) but I’d like to pick some shows that I’ve not mentioned on this site before. I’m excited about seeing Daniel Kitson of course, but his trial shows are sold out and he’s not really part of the official festival. I’m also excited by a lot of the shows picked by the other Squirrels but I’m going to pick out ones they’ve not chosen. So taking all that into consideration here are my picks.

 Judith Lucy and Denise Scott The Spiral
You can’t go wrong with these savvy troopers, they know funny. They’ve taken to writing fabulous books and this show is about their experiences as authors. I saw them try out some stuff for this at Local Laughs and am looking forward to seeing the polished results.

Luke McGreggor – My Soulmate is Out Of My League
Luke McGreggor is thrice blessed; he has a comedians face, voice and timing. I first saw him when he came to Melbourne from Tasmania and have been enjoying watching him grow in confidence and ability. He was easily the funniest thing in Ed Kavalee’s film Scum Bus and I’m looking forward to seeing his debut solo festival show.

DC3 – The Ringtone Cycle
DC3 is a band led by former TISM frontman & inspired wordsmith Damien Cowell. This show is described as ‘a punk rock Eurodisco version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle – for people in hurry’. How could you not want to see this? The Ring Cycle is coming to Melbourne later this year with much hoohaa & hallyballoo and Wagner nerds flying in. But why spend all that money ($1,000 for the cheapest tickets) and time (20 hours to see the full cycle) when you can see this version in 55 mins for $25? And you get to see the face behind the mask.

Australia You’re Standing in It
This is a sentimental favourite from some performers who virtually created the live comedy scene in Melbourne from scratch back in the 70s. There were no stand up comedy venues, they had to do it in a cafe. You can go on Rod’s other MICF gig – his annual Mystery Walking Tour and find out all about it. The show was a sketch show with recurring characters and included a stand up set by Rod at the beginning. It was patchy and sometimes brilliant. But Hey it was an Australian sketch comedy series. ON TV!! You think there’s not enough Australian comedy on TV now! I think this might’ve been the 1st Melbourne sketch show on TV too. Or at least the only one I can think of. (Paul Hogan, Aunty Jack, Naked Vicar Show & Mavis Bramston were all Sydney based)

Splendid Chaps – 4 Tom Baker / Comedy
I’m not ashamed to admit that I love Dr Who and my first Doctor was Tom Baker. John Cleese and Elenor Bron appear in my favourite episode ‘City of Death’ while the Doctor and his assistant (soon to be real wife) Romana skip about Paris hand in hand and Douglas Adams was the script editor keeping it funny. Nerd comedian Ben McKenzie, creator of Outland John Richards and their plucky assistant Petra Elliot have been impressively producing a podcast a month to celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of Dr Who. Each month covers each actor who played the Doctor in turn. If it’s April it must be Tom Baker, so I’ll be there with Bells on. And my Dr Who Tshirt.


Colin Flaherty is looking forward to…

Once Were Planets by Watson
Watson are always great fun; a quick fire, enthusiastic and witty show
with more pop culture quips than you can poke a stick at. Hopefully I
will get more out of it this year as I paid WAY more attention to
science and astronomy in school than Shakespeare.

Horses That Shoot Lasers From Their Eyes – Subject To Change
I can find absolutely no information about this show anywhere online
but the title intrigues me. It could be the greatest show ever… or
it could just as easily be a steaming pile.

Sam Simmons – Shitty Trivia
This looks like it will be an extension of the delightfully pointless
and confusing trivia segments from “Problems” & his previous live
shows. An hour in Sam’s world is always a treat.

Picture This!
A stand up show involving live cartooning and animation sounds like a
lot of fun. An ambitious project that is sure to be a magical

This Is History Walking Tour by Ged and Jamie
I’m curious as to what anarchic hijinks the boys will get up to on
this character based walking tour. If the promo videos are anything to
go by, it will be a wild, amusing and very puzzling ride.


5 shows Jayden Edwards is looking forward to.

1. School Dance
I was lucky enough to catch a little teaser of this show at the Comedy Festival’s launch event a couple of weeks back and was totally enthralled! Three men pounding 3 stationary bicycles to the tune of Bonnie Tyler’s I Need A Hero while performing acrobatic feats, it was daggy, and spectacular. The show tells the story of 3 awkward teenagers striving for popularity. A quick google search reveals rave reviews and sell out seasons, so expecting big things from this show.

2. Karl Chandler- Has (literally) 1.5 Million Jokes.

I’m looking forward to seeing Karl’s full show for the first time. I’ve seen him in bits and pieces in rooms and of course on The Little Dum Dum club, so hanging to see his quick fire short form mastery in it’s full glory. I think the only other show I’ve seen done in this style is Tim Vine a few years back, and loved it, it’s exhausting at times (in a good way) but value for money that’s for sure!<

3. Mel Buttle- How Embarrassment
I heard a lot good stuff about Mel’s show a couple years back but didn’t get a chance to see her, so looking forward to finally seeing her live. I’ve since read some of her stuff on her blog and heard her on triple j. I loved her cooky and slightly awkward ‘strongly worded letters’ segment where she analysed and dissected the petty complaints of listeners then finely crafted her writen response into comedy gold. I just like the cut of her jib.

4. Lessons with Luis- Famoucity!
I totally missed the bandwagon last year! I’ve seen very little of Luis but can’t wait to see what the fuss is all about this year. If word of mouth is anything to go by, i’m sure i won’t be disappointed.

5. Sam Simmons- Shitty Trivia.
I’m an unashamed Simmons fan. Ever since I first saw his show a few years back, i’ve been back every year since. There’s few comedians you can come back to year after year and get such a different experience like you can with Sam. I love his Shitty Trivia segment on the radio so very interested to see how he builds a whole show around it.


5 Shows that Elyce Phillips is excited by

Mike Birbiglia – My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend:
Mike Birbiglia’s stories are always my favourites when I hear them on ‘This American Life’. Birbiglia has such a wonderful comedic style. He’s sweet, but biting and the man knows how to structure a tale. He’s doing a Q&A about his film ‘Sleepwalk with Me’ at Cinema Nova as well, which I am super excited about – even if it’s not an official MICF event.

Lessons with Luis – Famoucity!:
‘Kidney Kingdom’ was one of the best shows I saw last year, so I can’t wait to see ‘Famoucity!’ The premise of the show is that Luis is casting for his new show – I’m entirely expecting some more delightfully awkward audience participation. And if Luis’ tweets are anything to go by, Luelin is still having some difficulty with the finer points of stagecraft. I definitely won’t be missing this one.

These Kids Are Good:
Thomas Ward has put together a great line-up of new Australian comedians including Jonathan Schuster, Neil Sinclair, Nellie Wight, Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall and Andy Matthews. Even better, tickets are only five bucks. It looks like a really good way to check out some Aussie talent that you might not have seen before.

Ronny Chieng – Can You Do This? No You Can’t:
I have yet to see one of Ronny’s solo shows, which is a terrible wrong I intend to correct this year. He’s been hilarious at stand-up nights and I loved him on ‘Problems’ – this one’s really a no-brainer.

Yon and his Prism of Sexy Thoughts:
I’ve been a fan of Tripod since way back when, so I am automatically excited about anything any of the guys do (‘Men of Substance’ would be on this list if I hadn’t already raced out to see it when it was on last year and it’s a sneaky number six on this list, because I recommend it a bunch). Yon getting all sexy up in the Butterfly Club’s new digs pretty much sounds like a perfect show.


Cathy Culliver is exited by…
1. Mike Birbiglia
I’m a big fan of his work through This American Life so I can’t wait to see him do his thing live.

2. Paul Foot
I saw his show last year and really, really loved it, so I’m excited to see what he does with this new show.

3. Rubberbandits
I didn’t know much about them until I interviewed Blindboy a few days ago, and he made me laugh so much that I’m now definitely going to have to check out this show.

4. Dr Professor Neal Portenza –
I actually caught this show at the Adelaide Fringe where it was showing a lot of potential, so I can’t wait to see a more polished version in Melbourne. I love it when Australian comedians have the guts to do something as original and off-beat as what Neal’s doing.

5. Abigoliah Schamaun
I caught this lady doing a story at an Adelaide performance of Darkness and Light, and she was amazing. I’m really keen to see what her stand up is like.


JAMES SHACKELL’S Top 5 Shows He’s excited about

1. Michael Workman – Ave Loretta
Back at the MICF for his third year, having won just about every comedy award this country
can bestow, Workman faces the inevitable downside of success: how to keep topping
yourself. Hopefully Ave Loretta gives us more of the same whimsical narrative and poignant
miscellany we enjoyed in Humans Are Beautiful and Mercy.

2. David O’Doherty – Seize the David O’Doherty (Carpe Do’Diem)
With his slightly dorky, last-kid-picked-for-sports-team feel and repertoire of irreverent
but infectiously funny keyboard melodies, O’Doherty has entrenched himself as a festival
favourite, packing out The Forum Theatre year after year. Become a member of Team
O’Doherty 2013 and don’t miss this one.

3. Arj Barker – Go Time
Barker’s material is as sharp as his delivery is odd. Just try not to laugh at his trademark rage-
bursts, in which the punch line of a joke is sometimes screamed at the audience as a small
vein throbs on Barker’s right temple. A festival stalwart, it’s surprising he hasn’t received the
international acclaim he’s due.

4. Joel Tito – The Trial and Death of Socrates (no relation)
Breaking away from successful comedy troupe Vigelantelope, Joel Tito promises a “darkly
euphoric narrative that is as cerebral as it is silly.” That sounds like my kind of show. It
sounds like an ambitious concept, but it’s always more fun to watch a comic shoot for the
moon, whether they hit it or not.

5. Chessmates – The Story of Kasparov and Deep Blue
The concept of a show mixing comedy and chess sounds like just the right combination
of ‘what the – ?’ and ‘why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?’ If comedy duo Skills in Time, back for their
second festival this year, can somehow make chess interesting and funny at the same time,
they’ll have pulled off something special. Check – it out.


Here’s Luke Simmons’ choice 5 pics

1. Trevor Noah’s THE RACIST at Trades Hall – New Ballroom.
If his show is anywhere near as funny as his YouTube clips, it could get chaotic.

2. UNDIAGNOSED at the The Bull and Bear Tavern.
It features Becky Lucas who is a frightfully funny comedian from QLD.

3. SET LIST: STAND UP WITHOUT A NET at the Melbourne Trades Hall.
You know that only the best-of-the-best-of-the-best are going to agree to be a part of this pressure-cooker style of comedy.

4. Michael Connell’s FIRST WORLD BLUES at Comedy On Collins.
The über contemporary subject matter tackled by one of Melbourne’s sharpest comics.

5. FREEZER BREAD by Dave Hughes at the Comedy Theatre.
This man once saved my life and I cannot get enough of his drier-than-freezer-bread style.


The Art of the YouTube Promo

by Colin Flaherty

Comedians have been using YouTube as a promotional tool for their Festival shows for several years now. One of the most notable was by Australian expatriate Yanni for his 2012 Edinburgh show “Numb and Number” (It’s still online on his YouTube Channel ). In the lead up to this years’ Melbourne Comedy Festival, it seems as though every comedian and their tech savvy dog has filmed a video to lure punters to their show.

Some videos simply have the performer addressing the camera to tell you what to expect from their show, usually with a wacky angle to prevent it from becoming too dry. Others present an excerpt from the show to literally give the potential audiences a taste of the actual performance.

The road of YouTube trailers is rife with dangerous pitfalls. A rough, quick shoot with a handycam may paint the whole production as amateurish (unless this is exactly what you are aiming for!). A lengthy running time may be too much for the short attention spans of some folk unless it has a rewarding punchline.

Amongst the deluge of promotional material are some wonderful examples of promo videos that rise above the mere show reel and really make a lasting impression…

For his show Can you do this? No you can’t, Ronny Chieng runs literally with the title and presents a montage of mundane tasks to prove that he can do anything better than a mere mortal. It gives you a clear idea of what to expect from Ronny and his hyper confident stage persona.

Utilising various colourful online characters for a nominal fee, Nicholas J Johnson has created a series of videos (the above puppet example is my personal favourite) to sell his show Today Tonight, Tomorrow The World. It has a very shyster air that is appropriate for this show about the dirty tabloid world of “Current Affairs” television and his work in general as swindler extraordinaire.

Ross Daniels has gone the music video route (there is also a full length version of this song here) to promote his character piece about 80s Synth Pop musician Graham Clone for the show The Future is Incorrect. It is so well done that it could easily pass as an actual music video of the period in spite of the numerous silly touches.

For their new show Once Were Planets, Watson employ spiffy animation. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy styled infographics format fits in perfectly with the subject matter and includes many of the pop cultural references that are littered throughout a Watson show.

Lawrence Leung takes a leaf out of Yanni’s book by editing some existing television footage and inserting himself into the action. Rather than re-edit all the dialogue to suit his plot, he cleverly works around the existing lines of Benedict Cumberbatch to create a wonderful humourous exchange. A clever and entertaining invite to his Part Time Detective Agency.

Ronny Chieng’s Can you do this? No you can’t is on at Melbourne Town Hall – Council Chambers

Nicholas J Johnson’s Today Tonight, Tomorrow The World is on at Comedy On Collins

Ross Daniels’ Graham Clone: The Future is Incorrect – is on at Three Degrees

Watson’s Once Were Planets is on at Trades Hall – Old Council Chambers

Lawrence Leung’s Part Time Detective Agency is on at Swiss Club

The Funny Tonne

By Lisa Clark, Erin Davidson and Caitlin Crowley

Every year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival sets a challenge as mighty as any Survivor or Amazing Race reality show. The Festival will provide a special Festival Passport that gets you into every show for free as you try to beat the record set, so far, by Kath Dolgehuy who saw 145 shows during the 2011 festival. You also have to write brief reviews of them as you go.

Each year about 40 to 60 people apply to join the Funny Tonne and Three are chosen to compete. The winner is announced during the Comedy Festival Awards, which will be on April 20th this year. So far it is mostly Victorians who have competed and there is no age limit.
If you’re interested in taking part in the Funny Tonne applications are available on the Melbourne International Website. (See link below)

The Festival describes the Benefits of being a Funny Tonner:
• Seeing as many shows as you can juggle
• The chance to ‘claim the crown’,
• A festival club pass,
• And of course, being a part of one of the BIGGEST comedy festivals in the world.

Squirrel Comedy has been lucky enough to have had Funny Tonners join us as reviewers. Erin Davidson and Caitlin Crowley have their own views on the benefits of being a Funny Tonner. The Funny Tonne obviously had a profound affect upon them both and we are thrilled that they were able to share their amazing experiences with us.

Erin Davidson – My Funny Tonne – 2006

I saw 123 shows over 25 days (the final Sunday didn’t count). There were only 2 other shows that I could have physically fitted in that festival. I know this because I painstakingly worked out the roster for fitting as many in as humanly possible within the rules.

The Funny Tonne is still one of the best things I have done in my life. It was three and a half weeks of poor nutrition, minimal sleep, but a seemingly unlimited supply of free comedy that made it all worth it!

I was working full-time but managed to take two weeks off during the festival for my own health and wellbeing. Well-balanced meals and sleep have to take a back seat to your desire to see as much comedy as you can. My fellow ‘tonners’ were Liz- a girl from Sydney so was staying in a hotel, whom I’ve stayed in touch with since, and Steven – a man who was retired. Both keen comedy goers and I have to admit, I rediscovered my competitive streak. I really wanted that netball trophy!

My first big tip for reaching that goal is that I was happy to see people I’d never heard of before and didn’t bother hanging out for the ‘big’ names or shows. I planned my roster purely on times and locations.

My tips on Planning Your Funny Tonne Comedy Festival Roster:

  • First step is to put in all the ones after 9:45pm and before 6pm. You should be able to see all of those.
  • All the shows over 1 hour go to the bottom of the list.
  • Next step is to pick venues that have 4 shows all in a row. I remember one night I stayed in the same room at the town hall. The only problem is you don’t always know which actual rooms the artists get  until the festival starts.
  • Be prepared to be flexible. Sometimes shows are cancelled, shows are added, shows are moved and shows run late. If you can’t get to see shows at the same venue, at least stay in the one area.

It’s all honesty based though.
The general unwritten rule was to attend at least 75% of the show. Sometimes you had to leave early to get to another if the one you were in started or was running late.

I got fit during the festival running around the streets of Melbourne and came to rely on the Hungry Jacks stunner deals.

I’m baffled by the fact that the one question everyone asks me about it is, “Didn’t you get sick of laughing?” Umm… NO, I signed up for this! While there were only a small handful of shows in amongst the 123 that I would have rather been sticking bamboo under my fingernails than sit through, overall it still remains one of the best experiences of my life.

The fun didn’t stop at the end of the competition. The next year I was reviewing for this fine website, since I’d caught the bug and I needed to find a way to be immersed in the festival culture again.

It also inspired me to produce my own festival show, Unspeakable [a variety show with a line-up of several comedians, such as Host Adam Hills, aimed at the deaf community] the following year. After seeing 123 shows, I learnt pretty quickly what makes a show work well, and perhaps even more importantly, what makes a show not work. I made connections with comedians, producers and MICF staff simply by hanging around and starting conversations with strangers. The festival is an amazing environment for being able to do that easily: “So what have you seen tonight?”

As an Auslan student (Australian Sign Language) I saw an opportunity for members of the Deaf community to participate in the festival and worked with MICF staff to develop the Deaf Access Program, launched in 2008, the same year my inaugural show Unspeakable sold out!


Caitlin Crowley – My Funny Tonne – 2007

Sam and I did the Funny Tonne as a team, we saw 115 shows (me 67, Sam the rest). The show I totally loved was Phil Nicol’s The Naked Racist. Unfortunately I saw it on the third day and I never quite hit that high again.
It was a total indulgence, we gorged on comedy and I learned quite a few things:

1. That it is possible to sit in a packed audience, with every single person laughing themselves sick and not feel remotely amused (Alzheimers – the musical)

2. That some people just laugh a lot – even if it’s not that funny

3. Some people will laugh at anything

Here is a review of my Funny Tonne experience, written at the time.
It is 10 pm on a Thursday night and I am watching grown men crush chocolate royals on their foreheads while making lewd jokes. If I wanted to see this I would have stayed home, opened the pantry and told the kids to go sick. Everyone around me is guffawing with glee but I sit there unmoved. This is the show I begged to see. This is the show many reviewers had on their “must see” list. This show is nominated for a Barry award? It’s good but not that good. I’m watching We are Klang, the 57th comedy show I have seen in a 23 day period and perhaps I am laughed out.

I was one of three people taking part in a Melbourne International Comedy Festival challenge, to see 100 shows in a 25 day period. Well to be honest I was half of a team. I have four kids, two jobs and a marriage to hold together so I was allowed to share this trip with someone in a similar situation. The other two parties involved, Dani and Nath, were both 23 year-olds with youth, time and energy on their sides. I picked my friend Sam, a lawyer taking time off to be a stay-at-home dad to his four kids.
Sam and I needed to divide up the program so we didn’t double up on shows. We acted like greedy kids with a tin of Quality Streets chocolates, fighting over our favourites (Damian Callinan, Greg Fleet and Anthony Morgan), snatching the hot picks (Mark Watson, Daniel Kitson, David O’Doherty) and dividing up the remainders as fairly as we can.

Caitlin: I’ll see D-Cuppetry if you see Puppetry of the Penis.
Sam: You can have Ed Byrne, I don’t like his hair.
Funny thing was, Ed Byrne was pretty good and he’d had a haircut.

One of our duties was to post a brief review of each show on the website. We took the reviewing seriously; these people had the guts to put on a show in a competitive field, the least we could do is give them our honest opinions. The first show I saw was Il Dago, I pumped out a 900 word review, reread it and realised no-one in their right mind would want to read it. I culled it to two paragraphs and we were off. Comfortable in the knowledge that no-one but family and friends would read our reviews tucked away in the back blocks of the MICF website – I let rip. Great shows got glowing praise, average shows got encouragement and bad shows got a roasting.
Over the three week period I became intimately acquainted with every MICF venue. I scurried from the Victoria Hotel to the Portland Hotel, from the Swiss Club to the CAE Scone Room. I ran from Trades Hall to Melbourne Town Hall so many times that the bouncers at Billboard waved as I passed. I became an expert at the 100 metre dash to the train station; I fought festival flu and fatigue to squeeze in up to six shows in a day.
I gorged on comedy and not just the live stuff. I religiously read reviews, downloaded podcasts, listened to comedians guest hosting radio shows and watched routines on YouTube. Other comedy junkies sought me out for tips on where to catch some decent gear. My friends and neighbours rang me for suggestions. My mate called me every day for a run-down. A comedy-loving dad who was housebound hit me up in the playground for a fix, “Seen anything good? Details? Names?” I fed their habits carefully, choosing the best and most suitable talent for their tastes.

Comedy fever was everywhere. People exiting gigs repeated the jokes as they queued for their next show. The boys collecting for the Fred Hollows Foundation on the street adopted a stand-up approach as they asked for donations. We started to notice our reviews were posted on the performers’ web pages. There were 278 shows in this year’s festival and not all of them can get reviewed by The Age. Performers started asking us to come to their shows in the hope they could pluck a phrase from our review to put in bold, red lettering on their show flyers.

This experience was not without awkward moments. I wrote a disappointed review of Dave Callan’s Flame Retardant Monkey and the next evening he sat next to me on the tram. I knew who he was of course, but he was thankfully unaware of my identity. Part of me wanted to tap him on the shoulder and ask him the meaning behind his complex show and the other part of me was too embarrassed. We rode the 15 minute trip in silence. After checking out Greg Fleet and Mick Moriarty’s Fleetwood Mick I wrote, among other things, “Mick Moriarty is not a comedian…” A couple of weeks later I read that he is the partner of Festival Director Susan Provan. Clearly this gig was not winning me many fans in head office.

I laughed harder and longer than I have in years. I enjoyed the crazy ride with Phil Nichol, I caught Josie Long’s optimism, I barracked for the always inspiring Rod Quantock, I laughed harder and cried discreetly at The Debutante Diaries, I was in awe of Ross Nobel’s twisted mind and I applauded Lawrence Leung’s breakdancing. In bed I wrote reviews in my head. How many stars will I give this show? Is there a softer way to say “avoid at all costs?”

On our final night we were invited to attend The Barry awards. The winner of The Funny Tonne was announced and surprisingly there was a dead-heat. Somehow Sam and I managed to finish equal first with our fellow competitor Nath. We hit the stage to collect our prize, some terrible joke books, that Sam and I generously allowed Nath to keep. As we left the stage Nath was heard to mutter, “Where am I supposed to put this crap?”

The votes are counted. The awards have been given. Dani, Sam, Nath and I pretend we’re glad it is over but it’s going to be hard for us to wean ourselves off this three-week long diet of enforced laughter. So maybe We Are Klang didn’t float my boat, that doesn’t mean they’re not good. The festival is officially finished but be gentle, some of us are going cold turkey


So do you think you’re up for all of that?

Info and application forms are available on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Website 

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013 Program Launch

By Lisa Clark

Aaaaaaand we’re off! The Melbourne International Comedy Festival was officially launched today at The Famous Spiegeltent at the Arts Centre with deliciously dry host Hannah Gadsby being appropriately disrespectful toward the ‘VIP’s and cheeky to the officiating Lord Mayor. Most comedians are interstate or overseas, with the Adelaide Fringe Festival in full swing, but spotted in the audience were Lawrence Leung (Part-Tme Detective Agency), Aamer Rahman (The Truth Hurts), Brian Nankervis (Rockwiz), Andrew Goodone (voice of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala), Janet A McLeod(Cinema Fiasco), Jessie Ngaio (Slutmonster & Friends), Hayman Kent (The Comedy Zone).

Over champagne and lamingtons we were given a taste of some of this year’s talent and the official speeches. Bite sized performances to whet our appetites for the Festival were served up by Moosehead Awarded Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling in Double Standard which will be performed in a hotel room at The Blackman (Justin Bieber stayed there apparently) as well from Windmill Theatre who dazzled us with some nerdy choreographed energetic bike riding from their show School Dance.

From Festival Director Susan Provan we learned that this year there are over a (record breaking) thousand participants in RAW comedy, Matt Okine will be this year’s host for the National Grand Final and that for the first time one of the finalists will be drawn from India. She also spoke about a new movement of comedians who are proving themselves on YouTube and have well selling shows at this year’s MICF despite not having tread the boards in comedy clubs. The Festival crew are particularly proud that this year’s program features an entire page of Daves. (p49, though in one case it’s not the name of the comedian)

We were all given the first programs to study, and they’ll be out for the general public with sponsors The Herald Sun on Saturday 23rd of February. We’ve previously reviewed some of the shows on offer and will be doing a story about that soon. We’re also currently publishing lots of “5 Good Reasons to see” MICF shows to give you more information in helping to organise your Festival calendar. We’ll be bringing more interviews, news and reviews as they come in. So stay tuned to Squirrel Comedy for all your Melbourne International Comedy Festival information.