Every year, just as summer disappears and that all too familiar chill sets in, the funniest people from around Australia and the World descend on Melbourne.
With over 380 shows the Melbourne International Comedy Festival commandeers every nook and cranny in which you can fit an audience, making one of the biggest problems choosing what to see. To help alleviate this problem I sat down this week with Melbourne comedian Danny McGinlay to get his picks for this years festival.
Danny is a seasoned veteran of the Australian comedy scene and you can find him this year in The Upstairs Lounge @ Hairy Little Sista. His show: Food Dude: Recipes for Disaster has been given the thumbs up by none other than Heston Blumenthal himself. It ranges from blowing up potatoes to attacking chickens with napalm. I could try to describe it, but I think its best to just check out his video.
Danny McGinlay’s Top Six Shows – and they are all local!
Some of the best comedy is produced right here on this landmass.
1. Tom Gleeson – Up Himself
@ Melbourne Town Hall & Victoria HotelTom Gleeson, without question the most in-form comedian in the country right now. He’s on GNW & 7pm every week for a reason. I saw this show in Adelaide and was blown away by his skills, somehow he improves every year. So to see a true master craftsman of comedy or to just laugh your arse off, Gleeson is the man!
2. DeAnne Smith – About Freakin’ Time
@ Victoria HotelDeAnne Smith is the other show I saw at the Adelaide Fringe which had me raving. She’s so naturally funny no matter what the subject matter. Although she’s Canadian she dates an Australian so I reckon we should claim her as Aussie DeAnne now.
3. Jason Chong – Reel Life
@ Melbourne Town Hall – Backstage RoomJason Chong’s show ‘Reel Life’ is a fantastic piece of multimedia stand up. Combining impressive film work, special FX and some bloody great jokes. This show is kinda like the ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ of stand up shows.
4. Steve Hughes – Conspiracy Realist
@Melbourne Town Hall – Council ChambersSteve Hughes is the best Australian stand up you’ve never heard of. He’s spent most of his career in the UK but has moved back out here recently. If you like intelligent, paranoid, drug fueled political theories, this is the man for you. If you want the difference between man & women, go watch Everybody Loves Raymond.
5. Michael Chamberlin – Things I Haven’t Done
@ Victoria Hotel – Acacia RoomMichael Chamberlin was a head writer at Rove & Skithouse and has been performing for over ten years now. His new show is about doing things in life he’s never done before and has had me roaring with laughter backstage at the clubs so I cannot wait to hear the tales on stage.
6. Charlie Pickering – Rodea, Burqa, Circumcision
@ Trades HallI am biased as he’s my best mate. You see him every night on Channel 10’s the 7pm Project but his stand up is his true talent. He’s only doing a small venue so book early!