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Pre-festival Recommendations for MICF 2015

Posted on 23 March, 2015

I wrote a post last year listing excellent comedians to catch at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – and now I’ve got friends pestering me for this year’s list. Perhaps this will become a regular missive, perhaps not. Either way, here’s some tips for this year.

Please note, the festival hasn’t started yet, so this is purely based on previous quality, not this year’s shows!

From last year’s list, the following performers are returning: Celia Pacquola, Hannah Gadsby, Justin Hamilton, Michael Workman, Sammy J & Randy and Wil Anderson.

My favourites from last year include Celia Pacquola (nominated for the Barry – aka the best show) and Michael Workman (who should have been nominated!).

Celia Pacquola is actually repeating her 2014 show, so that’s a solid gold pick right there.

Additionally, I can vouch for the following:

  • Adam Hills – one of Australia’s best comedians, who regularly warms the heart as well as many laughs. The video below also includes the Swedish Chef, because he’s also excellent (and relevant to Adam’s skit).

  • Daniel Kitson – His show this year is not stand-up, but something rather different (at least by the sounds of things). One of my most favourite performers ever, but certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. A master of the English language, and a brilliant storyteller.

  • Doctor Brown – utterly odd physical comedy, though I’d recommend avoiding aisles and front-row seats. I’ve also heard great things about his kids show (from adults!). This video should give you some idea of his style:

  • Mark Watson – reliably loveable and funny with a touch of whimsy. Perhaps the English equivalent of Adam Hills.

  • Pajama Men – sometimes a little crude, regularly odd, and always hysterically funny.

  • Tripod – the musical comedy trio are still rocking the festival scene, this year with a show about gaming (and featuring the MSO!)

  • Trygve Wakenshaw – another physical comedian/clown, last year’s show Kraken was daring and hilarious and deserved its Barry Award nomination. No videos online do him justice.
  • Watson – consistently chaotic fun, I was heartbroken when they didn’t have a show last year, and in turn thrilled that they’re back this year (with Liam Ryan now an official member of the group). Videos are far and few between (and don’t really communicate their style), but here’s an intro to perhaps my favourite show of theirs:

I would love to hear of others’ recommendations, but my credit card doesn’t have quite the same level of enthusiasm.