6 Red Hot Shows You Need To See Before Melbourne Comedy Festival Finishes

Noticed an influx of increasingly dishevelled-looking young people all curiously congregating outside Melbourne Town Hall trying to stuff small pieces of paper into your hand lately?
These people are comedians. It is the final week of the four-week marathon known as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Take pity on them. They are all exhausted, mildly malnourished, probably unwashed, and very, very hungover.
The glorious festival that takes over the entire city – with some 500-odd shows operating throughout – has but a handful of days remaining.
Last Thursday we went behind the scenes with Steen Raskopoulos (whose show ‘The Coolest Kid in Competitive Chess‘ is winding up this week at Town Hall) to see how comics are coping with the on-going fest. Turns out things are getting weird. Really weird. Check it out below.

Luckily for all of you, one more week of shows means there’s still a few more days left to go see some truly incredible stuff before it all packs up shop for another year.
These five shows should set you off on the right foot to barrelling your way through the last days of the fest. Cop it!

Victoria Hotel, 9:45pm

The outrageously young psycopath just scored a Barry Award nomination for his follow-up show to last year’s Best Newcomer Award-winning effort, which is as good an indication as any that it’s one of the shows of the festival. Don’t let the walk-outs board he keeps a running-tally on deter you. If you can stomach it, you’re in for a bloody treat.

LAURA DAVIS – ‘Cake in the Rain
Fort Delta, 10:00pm

A now-veteran stand-up at the height of her powers, Laura is in scintillating form at the moment. Her show is a madcap, high volume, deftly controlled masterwork from a comic genius who should be playing to much, much bigger rooms.
Davis is great. The show is excellent. Go see it.

The Butterfly Club, 8:30pm

The festival announced their annual award nominations for the year, and among those listed for the Golden Gibbo – the award given to independently produced shows that push the boundaries of what comedy can achieve – was a familiar name in Clara Cupcakes.
This is the second Gibbo nomination for Cupcakes, and for a show that’s as silly as it is cleverly put together. Expect no subtleties, but expect a very good time.

DEMI LARDNER – ‘Look What You Made Me Do
Melbourne Town Hall, 7:00pm

Every year at the Festival the hype train fires up over one specific bit. This year, it was Demi Lardner‘s spot at the Comedy Festival Gala. Lardner absolutely destroyed with one of the most elaborately silly bits we’ve seen in a good long while, and that alone should be enough to get you in the door.
I’ve been signing that godforsaken jingle in my head for the past two weeks and I dare say it won’t be leaving anytime soon.
NICK CODY – ‘On Fire
Melbourne Town Hall, 9:45pm

If you’re more in the mood for a straight up-and-down stand-up show, go see Nick Cody. His show title is not a misnomer, the charming lad from Hoppers Crossing really is on fire.
Conan O’Brien cottoned on to how good he is last year, and this year’s show proves he’s only getting better. It’s in the big room at the Town Hall this year, but next year he’ll be in a theatre. Get involved.

AARON CHEN – ‘The Infinite Faces of Chenny Baby
Victoria Hotel, 9:45pm

Meta-comedy, anti-comedy, surrealism, whatever you want to call it. Aaron Chen is weird-as-shit and incredibly good at it. Back in the day he scored the rare double of making both the Class Clowns national final (which he won in 2012) and the RAW Comedy national final (in 2013).
Profoundly fucking strange and brilliant in every sense of the word.
Go see those shows! And also Bridie Connell and Guy Montgomery and Carlo Ritchie and Gillian English and Hannah Gadsby‘s fucking BEAUTIFUL show. And so many others!
You’ve only got one week left. Go make the most of it, folks!
Tickets for all shows are available via the Comedy Festival website.
(AUTHOR’S VERY SELF-INDULGENT POST-SCRIPT: Hi. Cam here. My show WrestleBrainia has one date left, this coming Sunday at the Imperial Hotel at 4pm. It’s very fun. You should come along. Yesterday a man got hit in the head with a chair and bled for half an hour.)

Photo: Melbourne International Comedy Festival.