Milk Bar’s Comedy Festival Picks

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Now in its 26th year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is once again upon us for a month of giggles, guffaws and hundreds of acts in all shapes, sizes and price points – from glitzy international acts to the off-off Broadway show a friend of a  friend is holding in his closet.

Pass by the Town Hall any night and you’re libel to end up with more flyers than at an anti-Kony rally, and while it’s impossible to list all the acts we’d like to see the Milk Bar team’s put together a list of the performers and events we’ll be queuing for this autumn.

Puppets are cool, The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Meet the Feebles and Yoda are testament to this. Who knows, even Jar Jar Binks might have been better if he were a puppet…maybe. Sammy J is also cool, and really funny too. The multi-award winning comic and purple puppet Randy (who, contrary to popular belief, is not based on Grimace) are back with a brand new show ‘Inheritance’ – a tall tale of ancient parchments, royal scandals and flimsy props!
WHEN: 29 March to 22 April
WHERE: Forum Theatre – downstairs, cnr Russell and Flinders Sts
WEB: www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-inheritance-sammy-j-randy-in/

More than just a comedy show, Daniel Kitson’s performances are closer to philosophy than stand-up. Kitson has a mind the size of a small planet which means anything can happen at one of his shows (a few years back Kitson broke up with his girlfriend before the show and spend the night regaling the audiences with his musings on love). His new show ‘Where Once Was Wonder’ covers typical Kitson territory – impossibility, change, not joining in, love, haircuts, loneliness, courage, defiance, knowledge, despondency, cutting the head off a pig, meaning, tattoos and something a Spanish footballer once said.’
WHEN: March 28 – April 15
WHERE: Arts Centre Playhouse, 100 St Kilda Rd Melbourne
WEB: www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/where-once-was-wonder-daniel-kitson/

Yes, he used to be Capt’n Snooze, but Rod Quantock also happens to be one of the festival’s funniest and most passionate Melburnians, as you’ll learn if you go on his walking tour. Laughter, exercise and history = yes. BYO hat, sunscreen, umbrella. Novelty glasses provided.
WHEN: 31 March – 22 April
WHERE: All around
WEB: www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/third-annual-mystery-comedy-walking-tour-rod-quantock-s/

Two local dudes. They dress up and sing and generally do absurd and wildly amusing stuff. If you like Tim and Eric Awesome Show you’ll like this.
WHEN: March 29 – April 22
WHERE: Melbourne Town Hall, Lunch Room
WEB: www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/boneshaker-this-is-siberian-husky/

It’s been scientifically proven that jokes delivered in a British accent always sound pithier, and the UK’s Simon Amstell is a crack shot with one liners. The British comedian/actor/screenwriter is a household name in Old Blighty, where he’s known for his work on Grandma’s House and as a TV presenter on the BBC’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks. This year sees Amstell’s Aussie debut of the dry delivery comic.
WHEN: April 10 – 22
WHERE: Melbourne Town Hall – Lower Town Hall
WEB: www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/numb-simon-amstell/

Simon Keck
Another Simon, but this one from Oz. And yes, he’s a lot ruder and swears a lot. In fact, Simon Keck might just be the rudest comic we’ve seen. And cerebral. And hootingly hilarious. Keck’s show about death and dick jokes is sure to illicit some awkward silences and plenty of shits ‘n’ giggles. Not one for Granny.
WHEN: Wed – Sat @ 8pm, March 28 to April 21
WHERE: Madame Brussels, Level 3, 59 – 63 Bourke St, Melbourne
WEB: www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/cheating-life-simon-keck/

Not everything’s happening in the CBD, and St. Ali proves that even moustached baristas can have a sense of humour (sort of). Throughout the festival the justly famed café will be hosting a series of late night parties, DJs, karaoke, burlesque and free comedy shows.
WHEN: March 28 – April 21, Tues – Sat from 10.30pm
WHERE: St. Ali, Yarra Place South Melbourne
WEB: stali.com.au

Any festival worth its salt needs a hub where punters and performers can blow off some steam over a beer, compare notes and plan their next gig. The subterranean Festival Club at Hi-Fi is the place to do such things, as well as see a bunch of rotating shows every night of the fest for a song.
WHEN:Tues – Sun, March 29 – April 21
WHERE: Hi-Fi Bar, 125 Swanston St, Melbourne (opp Town Hall)
WEB: www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/festival-club/

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