The Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is finally here and Melbourne is rocking with laughter in every nook and cranny.  But “What shall I see?”, “Who’s Hot & Who’s Not?” and “Am I going to ever get any sleep?” I hear you ask, well the Squirrels are here to help. We will be posting reviews, every day and keeping you up with any news or changes in the programme. Don’t forget to check the 5 Good Reasons to see festival performers’ shows and our interviews with performers who also give their 5 Good Reasons at the end of the interviews.

Let us know what you are seeing or enjoying or any important news on Twitter and on our Facebook page and email us at Squirrels@squirrelcomedy.com with pictures of you with your favourite comedians or any great festival pics and we’ll post them in our Gig Pics.

Our exciting news is that throughout the festival we are posting the MICF Daily podcast on our front page. This will take the place of our Podpick during the Festival. The team from Friggen Podcasts are comedy geeks Mike Brown who interviews Festival comedians and his sidekick Evan who reads the MICF Daily News. It will only take about 10 or so minutes out of your busy day and is packed with information.

Have a fabulous festival and don’t forget to eat some healthy food occasionally!

See you around the festival!

5 Good Reasons to see Late Night Impro, Christophe Davidson, Meg Pee & Seamus McAlary

Five Good Reasons to see Late Night Impro

1. No animals were harmed in the making of this show.

2. The show has a great line-up of Comedy Festival guests.

3. No guests were harmed in the making of this show.

4. It’s the perfect antidote for that date that’s gone horribly wrong.

5. See #2.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/late-night-impro/

 

Five Good Reasons to see Christophe Davidson – The Time Of Your Life

1. I’m Canadian, so you won’t be able to see me any other time of the year.

2. I dance!

3. I have little known facts about pigeons that will change the way you look at them…forever!

4. I underwent body modification for the finale of my show (Don’t worry, it’s not gross, very heartwarming actually).

5. There are things in my show never before attempted that you will laugh at for the first time in your life, and some things you will laugh at for the second time in your life… only harder this time.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-time-of-your-life-christophe-davidson/

 

Five Good Reasons to see Meg Pee – Close To You

1. If you don’t see it you’ll never know what it means be “Poofter Clapped”.

2. It will diminish your feelings of isolation if you’ve ever had a Carpenters song stuck in your head.

3. It will diminish your feelings of isolation if you had a regular childhood ritual of sitting in Hungry Jacks; opposite a woman crying at you with lettuce stuck on her eyebrow.

4. My parents have no idea I have written a show about their dysfunction.

5. My Nanna ate enough chops in her week to clothe a small village and Lady Ga Ga.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/close-to-you-meg-pee/

 

Five Good Reasons to see Seamus McAlary – Eponymous

1. You’ve not seen me before. Almost no one has.

2. I refrain from using the word ‘totes’.

3. It is the best show I’ve ever written and you’ll be seeing me in top form.

4. It’s relatively cheap (compared to a four bedroom home in South Yarra).

5. If you don’t your family may be in grave danger.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/eponymous-seamus-mcalary/

5 Good Reasons to see Celia Pacquola, Dave O’Neil, Felicity Ward, Lisa-Skye and Dave Callan

5 Good Reasons to see CELIA PACQUOLA DELAYED:

1. I won’t make you feel bad about what you’re wearing. (Sometimes I go out and I feel like people are trying to make me feel bad about what I’m wearing… probably because I’m a grown woman who dresses like a 15 year old boy, anyway.

2. It’s better than a kick in the teeth.

3. My last 2 shows sold out, I know I sound like a wanker saying that, but they did, so, um…I’m a wanker aren’t I?

4. It’s a secret, but I am in charge of karma and if you come I’ll give you some. The good stuff.

5. You know you want to.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/delayed-celia-pacquola/

 

5 Good Reasons to see DAVE O’NEIL – YOU DON’T HAVE A REAL JOB DO YOU DAD 

1. It’s a brand new show full of laughs, tears, vomiting.. however you react will be fine.

2. There is no audience participation. Oh except I do get one audience member up and shave their eyebrows, but apart from that..

3. You will get an insight into what it’s like to be a working comedian, from Hollywood to Hollywood-on-the-Gold Coast.

4. I have three children, I need to feed them. So if you can’t afford the ticket price, bring a loaf of bread.

5. It’s on at the Hairy Little Sista, right around the corner from the town hall in Little Collins st- it’s got a great bar, restaurant, you can meet me, I clean the toilets as well as performing.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/you-don-t-really-have-a-job-do-you-dad-dave-o-neil/

Dave O’Neil’s other show is a panel show at the Wheeler Centre called Get Fact on the 13th & 20th of April at 7pm

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/get-fact-dave-o-neil/

 

5 Good Reasons to see FELICITY WARD – THE HEDGEHOG DILEMMA

1. It’s the funniest show I’ve ever written.

2. I will tell you how hedgehogs anatomically “do the sex”.

3. This show was just nominated for BEST COMEDY at Adelaide Fringe 2012.

4. People point out that I’m very skinny. The only way I can change that is if I buy more food. The only way I can do that is if you buy more tickets.

5. How do you get to five without sounding like a dick? Just come. It’s heaps good. You’ll laugh’n’shit. Promise.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-hedgehog-dilemma-felicity-ward-in/

 

5 Good Reasons to see LISA-SKYE – LADYBONER

1. Throughout the show, you will laugh, get terrified and get hard. But at which points will you do each? The answer says more about you then it does about me.

2. There’s a 1-minute video that EVERYONE will be talking about. (It made someone faint during my sold-out Melbourne Fringe Season). Get in on it.

3. I’m very sparkly.

4. I have a motherfucking metronome. This is not a drill, people.

5. The show is called LADYBONER, for Christ’s sake. LADYBONER.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/ladyboner-lisa-skye/

 

5 Good Reasons to see DAVE CALLAN: THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT

1. Because it defies the space time continuum by having ‘me present’ introduce ‘me past’ talking live.

2. It features many people on drugs, drunk or of questionable mental health unchained and on air.

3. All the cool people are going who are also good looking.

4. My Mum said it was heaps good.

5. Its actually hard to breathe at parts its so funny (not me, the callers) obviously this is not a selling point if you have breath problems.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-graveyard-shift-dave-callan/

Backstage at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Melbourne collective Little Picture Box have been busy producing “Backstage” at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Headed by Amanda Reedy, Little Picture Box and her team have produced a couple of seasons of Channel 31′s Studio A and have also produced comedy short films and sketches for online.

The “Backstage” project is a collaboration between Reedy, her team at Little Picture Box and comedians Tommy little, Dave Thornton and Nat Harris. They’ll be producing exclusive online content including interviews, sketches and other funny stuff during the festival plus a half hour Comedy Festival special to air on Channel 31, April 14 at 8.30.

There’s a bunch of videos online now including Tommy Little interviewing Tom Green, Frank Woodley, Tom Ballard, Paul Foot and more. Here’s a few of our fav’s. You can check out more on Little Picture Box’s YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

 

5 Good Reasons to go to St Ali to see Jack Druce, Ross Daniels, Brad Hearne, The Classic Tale of Faust and Rob Lloyd.

This is St Ali’s first year as a Comedy Festival venue and they are jumping in with gusto. St Ali is the venue for ten official MICF shows  and seven of them will include at least one night with an Auslan interpreter. Their late night shows under the umbrella of ‘The Late Night Percolator, have a sophisticated Melbourne comedy in a cafe kind of vibe, but also sound like a hoot! They include The Comedy Manifesto Reunion night, musical comedy, kareoke with comedians, trivia, burlesque and a puppet night. It’s a venue run by performers and I urge comedy fans to support them in their venture away (but not too far away) from the CBD.

5 Good Reasons to go to the venue St Ali

1. We feature internationally renowned 5 star and green room award nominated artists

2. We have parties every night from Tues – Sat where our cafe doors open to the public with free shows and awesome DJs

3. It’s an Artist Run Initiative, so we do our best to support our artists in as many ways as we possibly can

4. You can drive there easily and PARK around the corner for free after 6pm!! A novel concept. Alternatively, we’re an easy tram ride.

5. We’re actually funny, we like to dance, our heart is in exactly the right place, and we’re inviting you into our little nook to play with us.

Learn about all that is happening at St Ali at The St Ali Comedy website.

If you need any more convincing, consider the following:

5 Good Reasons to see JACK DRUCE – INTROVERT DEF JAM 
Jack Druce

1.  If you see a show out side of the Town Hall area you don’t have to be hounded by people flyering you, this means you have a pleasant walk out, and comedians have their self esteem crushed.

2.  My show is called ‘Introvert Def Jam’ and Involves a lot of ranting about StarWars and also at St Ali is Rob Lloyd doing a show about Dr. Who, So you could line up a perfect nerdy Comedy Double bill.

3. This is the first time this has happened, if this grows to be the biggest, coolest, comedy place in town, then you get to be the hip and trendy person who say’s “ohh, yea… St. Ali comedy I went there back in 2012… no big deal.’

4. Go there before the show to enjoy world class food and coffee

5. It always bothers me when a comedy night advertises its self with things external to the performance its self, like bar deals and venue stuff. The only real reason you should come and see a show at St Ali is that they have a picked spectacular line up of unique and talented comedians and you will have a really fun time.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/introvert-def-jam-jack-druce/

5 Good Reasons to see ROSS DANIELS – PUNKED
Punked
1. If you missed it last time, or even if you didn’t, here’s your last chance to see my acclaimed one person show in a special encore season.

2. It’s made up of not only stand up, but story telling, characters, improvisation and real drama.

3. You’ll witness the birth of punk rock in a very cool [as in hip not uninsulated] venue.

4. I zip around the stage transforming into punks, evil cops, Molly Meldrum, my grandparents, former Queensland premier/dictator Joh Bjelke-Petersen, myself at age 15 and more.

5. You don’t have to be into punk, history, Brisbane or police to enjoy it. Audiences of all ages and locations [as well as the critics] have embraced ‘Punked’!

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/punked-ross-daniels/
5 Good Reasons to see BRAD HEARNE – DEAF DEFYING
Brad Hearne

1. Given that there will be an AUSLAN interpreter for two of the shows you can come and see what rude words look like in sign language and then insult your co workers the following day without their knowledge.

2.Two words – Pity Vote, Australia has a proud tradition of championing people like me in the arts. Just look at every season of Australian Idol.

3.People are going to get a unique insight into what it’s like to be a partially deaf person in a hearing world. But it’s not just wall to wall deafness, because that would be weird…and really quiet. I also tell a funny story about getting a haircut.

4.If you come to my show it will validate my sense of self worth. Okay, so that one doesn’t do much for you,…but hey there’s always that karma thing.

5.MICF at St Ali – what could be better. There’s comedy, there’s caffiene, there’s late night shenanigans. It’s like spending an evening inside a really funny can of Red Bull!

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/deaf-defying-brad-hearne/
5 Good Reasons to see RAG THEATRE’S – THE CLASSIC TALE OF FAUST
Faust

1. possibility of free vodka

2. possibility of free easter eggs

3. Debi Rice’s new poem

4. Scott Gooding in a Tux

5. support art made in collaboration with communities

http://www.thatgirlentertainment.com/stalicomedy/portfolio/rags-theatre-faust/

5 Good Reasons to see ROB LLOYD – WHO, ME???
Who Me?

Five!?! Ha…I can give you ELEVEN good reasons to see ‘WHO, ME’ at St Ali during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

1- Like the First Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ can be a little cranky but it does have a heart of gold.

2- Like the Second Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ is slapstick joy to watch but has a deeper side.

3- ‘WHO, ME’ is as stylish and classy as the Third Doctors frilly shirts and velvet jackets.

4- Like the Fourth Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ isn’t as stupid as it seems.

5- ‘WHO, ME’ thinks a vegetable is an appropriate fashion accessory, like the Fifth Doctor.

6- Like the Sixth Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ can be pompous and self important but only for a very brief time.

7- Like the Seventh Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ is enigmatic and controlling.

8- Like the Eighth Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ has an exciting motorbike/ambulance chase (chase not guaranteed).

9- ‘WHO, ME’ loves to be dark and broody, like the Ninth Doctor.

10- Like the Tenth Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ appeals to ‘the ladies’.

11- Like the Eleventh Doctor, ‘WHO, ME’ thinks Fish Fingers and Custard is delicious.

And that would be one of the nerdiest promos for a show you will every read my friends!

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/who-me-rob-lloyd/

Dave Bloustien

by Lisa Clark

How did you become a stand up comedian?

I certainly never trained or applied for it. But there was a point when I looked back and realised I’d been doing stand-up and comedy writing all my life. Having said that, I do remember performing an entire Colin Lane routine for a camp talent contest when I was about 14, so I must have had an inkling. I didn’t start performing at open mic at the Sydney Comedy Store for another 12 years.

Who inspired you in comedy?

Growing up, I was a massive comedy nerd. My earliest stand-up memories are of Bill Cosby and Tom Lehrer on vinyl, but when I got a bit older I used to watch the Big Gig. I was a big fan of Anthony Morgan, Glynn Nicholas, Jean Kittson, The Found Objects and the Doug Anthony All-Stars, and I’d go see what I could at the Adelaide Fringe. I also went through a big Steve Martin and Emo Philips phase. The first full stand-up concert I remember seeing was Lenny Henry on SBS, and I was mad for Alexei Sayle in High School, so my tastes were pretty eclectic.

You’re obviously very busy at the moment. Is this why you’ve decided to perform your brilliant Moosehead winning The Social Contract instead of a new show (which was to be called The Grand Guignol)?

Yeah, there were a number of factors, but the biggest one was probably Randling. It’s a new show I’m writing for and helping develop for the ABC, and it turned out to need all my days, two of my evenings and bits of my weekends. Plus I’m co-producing two other shows, developing a sketch comedy show and (until recently) running a monthly comedy room in a bookshop. And being a dad. If I’d had time to think, I would have realised much earlier that I was an idiot and could’t get Grand Guignol as polished as I wanted in time.

But I was also particularly proud of both The Social Contract and A Complete history of Western Philosophy, and wasn’t prepared to perform Grand Guignol if it wasn’t up to the same level of quality yet.

Is it true that you will be doing a short taster of The Grand Guignol at the MICF this year?

Sure is! There are parts of it I’ve been developing over the last year at a room in Sydney called Arthur B’s. Every so often I’d go read out a new comedic horror story, so about half the show had already been written. It just wasn’t going to be polished or memorised. I’m no quite sure what the taster will be yet, basically an hour of stand-up, mucking about, some horror stories and maybe some impro. But I know it will be fun.

In reply to Justin Hamilton’s blog about performing his last festival show you tweeted: “Mine (current MICF show) must be about ‘realising last year SHOULD have been the last one”. I’ve had the feeling that Justin Hamilton has been putting off changing his life for a few years now, are you getting those feelings too?

Not really, but never let the truth get in the way of a good punchline. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the amount of work that’s needed to be a successful comedian. I’ve never had an agent or a manager, and I’ve frequently vowed to quit and be a full-time writer / improvisor. But being on stage is very addictive, particularly once you get to the point where most of your gigs are good ones. I don’t think I could ever stay away for too long. You look at people like Lewis Black and think: screw success, I’ll just keep doing this til I’m old and shaky.

Does having a child to provide for change your perspective on your career?

Yes and no. I was a comedy writer with a steady income before I was a paid comedian. The big difference with having a child is that it saps your will to tour. It’s almost impossible to be a successful comedian in Australia without the ability to travel around it. If it wasn’t for my daughter, I’d probably spend at least 4 months of the year doing festivals. As it is, I usually just do a few weeks.

Tell us what you can about Randling.

It’s a game show about words, hosted by Andrew Denton and starring an excellent and bizarrely eclectic bunch of talent. It’s been really strange hammering it into shape, but the shows we’ve recorded so far have been thrilling and hilarious. If I wasn’t having so much fun with it, I would have written Grand Guignol by now.

You’ve done a lot of TV. How does it compare to stand up?

I tend to be behind the scenes, which is both exciting and frustrating. I will quite happily write pages of jokes every day, but I often get very emotionally invested in what I’ve written, and that can be hard when the person you’re writing for rejects your favourites or (worse) likes your favourite joke but screws up the delivery. More often they pick a joke you threw together as filler and use their superior delivery skills to spin it into gold. But with stand-up, you have to own the material yourself then and there. It keeps you honest in a completely different way.

Do you see yourself leaving performance behind and becoming a straight writer?

I could never be a straight writer. It always comes out bent.

What would be your dream job?

Computer Game tester, purely because I fit the demographics so well. I’m in my mid 30s and 60% male.

Tell us about Wit Large.

I started Wit Large because I was becoming frustrated with the Sydney comedy scene. It felt like it wanted to appeal to the largest common denominator, and as a semi-literate nerd with an open mind, I wasn’t just wasn’t part of that audience.

So, I approached a bookshop about running a political, socially progressive and intellectual comedy room, which seems to have worked. (I wanted to call it Smug, but the bookshop wisely convinced me that wasn’t a great idea). Since then it’s evolved out of the bookshop and into a ‘comedy label’, largely thanks to Carrie Hardie, who acts as my organisational brain. We’re producing my show at the MICF, along with those of Jack Druce and Shane Matheson.

What is your favourite thing about The Melbourne International Comedy Festival?

People whose work I don’t know bring their comedy close enough for me to see it. And the people whose work I already know push themselves to create something new and exciting. Mostly, that friends of mine from all around the world come to Melbourne to work and drink like the blazes.

Give us 5 Reasons to choose your show The Social Contract.

1. It’s a heart-warming tale of the little guy (that’s me) going up against ‘The Man’.

2. It’s topical: ‘The Man’ went on the run late last year with tens of thousands of dollars from high school formals around NSW. I’ve no idea if he’s been found, but he certainly made the papers.

3. It has been certified funny by the Bondi Junction Small Claims tribunal, and I have the legal documentation to prove it.

4. You’ll be supporting the fantastic St. Ali cafe venue in South Melbourne, a truly independent hub venue run by comedians, for comedians.

5. If you don’t, I’ll sue. 😉

The Social Contract is on at St Ali
Click here for tickets and more infomation