Melbourne International Comedy Festival's Huge 2023 Program Is Dishing Up a Month of Chuckles

Get your comedy kicks with a hefty lineup of more than 600 shows, featuring sidesplitting talent from around the world.
Libby Curran
Published on March 16, 2023

The giggliest time of the year is back this month, as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival kicks off its 2023 instalment in a blaze of witty punchlines. Descending on the city from Wednesday, March 29–Sunday, April 23, this year's fest is set to serve up more than 600 shows, guaranteeing a huge month of laughs.

The fun kicks off with the famed Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow, this year hosted by the internationally acclaimed Hannah Gadsby at the Palais Theatre and featuring a jam-packed lineup of hilarious guests.

Other big-ticket highlights to follow include the national grand final of esteemed open mic competition RAW Comedy; Upfront's one-night showcase of stereotype-smashing female and non-binary comics; and the Deadly Funny National Grand Final, which is set to spotlight the country's funniest First Nations talent.

As always, MICF will see comedic heroes flying in from all corners of the globe, taking the stage for sidesplitting solo shows and special events alike. Among them are celebrated British stars like Paul Foot, Carl Donnelly, Josie Long and Rosie Jones, plus Irish funnymen David O'Doherty and Dylan Moran, Emmy Award-winning US stand-up artist Sara Schaefer, Icelandic icon Ari Edljárn and Glasgow's Larry Dean.

Homegrown heroes pack out the program, with big-name guests aplenty — Tripod, Claire Hooper, Lawrence Mooney, Kirsty Webeck, Wil Anderson, Akmal, Rhys Nicholson and Alex Ward are all there, along with the likes of Lano & Woodley, Dilruk Jayasinha, Osher Günsberg doing Night Time News Network National News, Dave Thornton, Diana Nguyen and stacks more.

Of course, the rising stars of Aussie comedy will also get a huge look-in across the month, with MICF offering loads of opportunity for punters to scout out fresh talent. Check out the next generation of comic geniuses with a show at Comedy Zone, or stick closer to home and get your comedy kicks at one of the famed Neighbourhood Sessions.

Meanwhile, Best of Comedy Zone Asia will deliver a lineup of emerging and celebrated talent from across Malaysia, India, Singapore and more. And, Headliners is set to dish up a hilarious taste of the US comedy circuit, featuring The Lucas Brothers, Patti Harrison, Sheng Wang and Shalewa Sharpe.

Jim Lee

Melbourne International Comedy Festival will take over venues across the city from Wednesday, March 29–Sunday, April 23. See the full program and grab tickets over at the website.

Top image: Jim Lee.

Published on March 16, 2023 by Libby Curran
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