Melbourne International Comedy Festival

About the Comedy Festival 2013

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three largest Comedy Festivals in the world along with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival.

At the Melbourne International Comedy Festival more than 455,000 people will revel in a feast of humorous theatre; stand up, street theatre, film, music, visual arts, kids' shows, radio, and cabaret.

Last year Comedy Festival events outstripped attendance attendance at events such as the Melbourne Cup Carnival. It is now the second most attended event behind the Australian Open.
Launched in 1987 by Barry Humphries and Peter Cook, the festival has an average ticket price of just $22, is not only a hugely popular but also extremely accessible event.

After 23 years it succeeds in its aim to showcase the best of local and international comedic talent featuring international and local acts who perform in venues of all shapes and sizes. During the festival the Melbourne Town Hall precinct is converted into a giant comedy hub.

Raw Comedy is a nationwide competition for amateur comedians. Finalists perform in front of a live audience which is recorded and broadcast on ABC.

Class Clowns is a popular festival sponsored competition to find the nation's funniest secondary school student.

The Comedy Festival's annual Roadshow travels the length and breadth of the nation (and even to Singapore) bringing festival highlights to over 80,000 eager comedy lovers; the increasingly popular open mic comedy competition, Raw Comedy, begins in January each year.

The Comedy Festival Opening Night Gala with short performances by many headline and award-winning comedians took place at the massive Vodafone Arena in 2008.

Performing to over 4,000 people were stars from the stage, screen and airwaves including Dave Hughes, David O'Doherty (IRE), Des Bishop (USA/IRE), Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank Woodley, Jason Byrne (IRE), Jeff Green (UK), Mark Watson (UK), Nina Conti (UK), Phil Nichol (CAN), Reginald D Hunter (USA), Rove, Shappi Khorsandi (UK), Stephen K Amos (UK), Tom Gleeson, Tripod, Umbilical Brothers, Wil Anderson, Arj Barker and Julia Morris.
Proceeds from The Gala live performance and the national television broadcast on Network Ten are donated to Oxfam Australia to support their projects around the world.


Melbourne Town Hall and various other venues in Melbourne


90 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000

  • Phone: 03 9417 7711
  • Free Phone: 1300 660 013
  • Fax: 03 9417 5540
  • Email:

Official Website & 2013/2014 Dates