Whether you’re laughing at them or with them, it’s definitely worth checking out some of Australia’scomedy venues. Australians aren’t exactly famous for their quick-witted comedians, but don’t be too hasty to disregard what’s on offer. We’ve compiled a list of the best comedy nights out, both cheap and cheerful, to warm you up this winter.
MELBOURNE COMEDY FESTIVAL
What: It’s one of the largest comedy festivals in the world with comedians from across the globe coming to the bars, pubs and venues of Melbournewith wit, charm, and occasional vulgarities. Acts are on every night – check out the website to decide who to see. If you’re not in Melbourne, have a look at the national Roadshow Tour to find out when a selection of the acts are coming your way.
When:April 1 – 26.
Cost:About $22 per ticket. Discount prices available on Tightarse Tuesdays.
SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL
What: It may not be as big as Melbourne’s, but it has 300 shows at 15 venues in 21 days. Comedians of all shapes and sizes are performing at locations including the Sydney Opera House and the legendary Enmore Theatre. Of particular note is the unconventional and controversial show Shane Warne the Musical for anyone interested in some tuneful cricket-related comedy.
When:April 27 – May 17
Cost:About $20-$30 per ticket.
And when the festivities finish? There’s still plenty to get you giggling on your average
week in Oz…
Sydney Comedy Store, Moore Park
When:Tuesday through to Saturday
What:This is probably Sydney’s most famous comedy venue, hosting the best of Australian comedians as well as acts from abroad (book ahead for these). Tuesdays are open mic – watch naïve and hopeful comedians embark on a path to epic comedy greatness or fall on their arse. Ha!
Cost:Between $15 and $30
The Laugh Garage, Park St (also in Parramatta – check website for details)
When:Monday to Saturday nights
What:The Laugh Garage offers everything from big Aussie names such as Dave Hughes to absolute nobodies just giving it a shot. Tuesdays are “Up ’n’ Comers” nights, so if you think you can cut it, why not get up on stage yourself? If you prefer to watch, Wednesdays are “improv” nights – so anything can and probably will happen.
Cost:Mon-Tues $10; Wed-Thurs $15; Fri-Sat $25. Prices may vary for special events.
Roxbury Hotel, Glebe
When:Wednesday night comedians, Friday night improvisation comedy act.
What:Wednesday night’s “Quest for the Best Heat” hosts a variety of regular comics as well as special guests including TV personalities. Friday night’s “Scared Scriptless” exhibits improvisers battling for the most laughs and acting out scenes in a Who’s Line Is It Anyway?-style performance.
Cost:$10 entry, free on Fridays.
The Comic’s Lounge, North Melbourne
What:In accordance with the Melbourne Comedy Festival, the Comic’s Lounge is currently showcasing some of Australia’s most well-known comedians including TV personalities. “Mad Mondays” are only $10 and provide a more interactive and light-hearted evening with local comedians, audience participation and giveaways.
Cost:$25, Mondays $10
Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda
What:“The Epsy” is quite a landmark pub, popular with backpackers and known for its live bands. The pub is frequented by well-known comedians and is known to
have established the comic careers of many great Australians. The Gershwin
Room has a large stage to host live comedy known as Epsy Comedy Gold on Sunday afternoons.
Comix Comedy Cellar 68 Grenfell St
When: Main nights are Friday and Saturday
What: Owned by comedian Dave Flanagan, Comix Comedy Cellar has been going strong
in Adelaide for almost 20 years. It’s in a cosy basement underneath an arcade, has an atmosphere that fuses casualness with nightclub intensity, and also offers
Lazy Susan’s at The Brisbane Hotel (cnr Brisbane & Beaufort St), Highgate
When: Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
What:Lazy Susan’s primarily supports Western Australian talent, but they also have some awesome interstate performers. Fridays are stand-up and Saturdays host ‘The Big Hoo-Haa’, where two teams of comedians go head-to-head in an improv battle – sure to be lots of crazy fun.
Dockside Comedy Bar, Dockside Hotel, 44 Ferry St
When:Open Wednesday to Saturday, though it’s best on Fridays and Saturdays
What:Dockside is Brisbane’s most well-known comedy bar and it’s in a gorgeous waterfront location. They only sign professional comedians,
so you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
And if you really can’t afford to go out, stay in for some cheaper laughs on the
Thank God You’re Here from Wednesday April 29, 7.30pm, Channel Seven
This theatre sports game throws Australian comedians into scenes they know nothing about. Even if the contestants fail miserably, it’s still wicked fun watching them flounder.
Rove Live Sunday 9.30pm, Channel Ten
Australia’s most popular TV interviewer chats it up with celebrities from the world over while his team of well-known co-hosts present comedy segments. Make sure you catch Hamish and Andy.
Good News WeekMonday, 8:30pm, Channel Ten
Well-known Aussie comedians join local and international guests to explore the weird, wacky and wonderful news of the week. A fun collection of “strange but true’” trivia, improv comedyand good ol’-fashioned satire.
The Chaser’s War on Everything ABC, soon
Nowhere else will you see such unashamed affronts on, well, everything – the Chaser team will embarrass anyone and risk anything for a laugh. It’s also some of the most intelligent humour you’ll find anywhere. Rumour has it the show will be back in May
Kath and KimChannel Seven, winter
This international hit brutally exposes the bogan beneath the beauty in Aussie culture. The fifth season is currently in production and should hit screens around the middle of this year.
TV flashbacks: Want more? Hire out Summer Heights High, The Castle, We Can Be Heroes, Frontline or Full Frontal.