A comic’s guide to the comedy festival

Michael ChamberlinDon’t be overwhelmed by the massive number of shows listed in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival program. Michael Chamberlin is here to help.

The Melbourne-born-and-bred comic is preparing for his 11th stint at MCIF, making him a comedy veteran despite his baby-faced looks. You’ll find Michael on stage at the Imperial Hotel every night of the festival performing his new show Life in Moderation.

And when Michael’s not on stage, these are his the comedians he’s checking out this year.

  1. Jennifer Wong

    1. Jennifer Wong
    2. Forum Theatre Ladies’ Lounge
    3. Jennifer Wong is a funny, funny person. Check out Bookish in iView. The last time I saw Jen (or J-Wow as I like to call her), her show was like a gathering of old friends. We all felt like we should exchange numbers at the end to make sure we all catch up again next year.
  2. Mel Buttle

    1. Melbourne Town Hall, Portico Room
    2. The hilarious Mel, co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off, is a comedy delight. I’ve worked with Mel, had lunch with Mel, maybe/probably/might have bought her a coffee at some stage. I can’t remember. But most importantly of all, I’ve seen her festival shows. All of these experiences were an absolute pleasure.
  3. Class Clowns Final

    1. Class Clowns
    2. Melbourne Town Hall, April 21
    3. This is really cool. High school kids, from all parts of Australia, doing comedy.  Oh, I might add, they do it in front of 1500 people in the biggest venue at the Melbourne Town Hall has to offer. Also, nice to have a show where Fanta is the hardest thing the comedians request in their backstage rider.
  4. Josh Earl

    1. Josh Earl
    2. Melbourne Town Hall, Powder Room
    3. 11:15pm is usually a pretty sweet spot for comics to shout swear words at drunk people in a comedy club, but Josh is going to entertain kids, mums and dads at 11:15 in the morning with his family show Oliver Up A Tree. I’ll take my two nieces and nephew along. See you there. I’ll be the bloke swearing like it’s 11:15pm. And then pretend I didn’t say those words in front of my two nieces and nephew.
  5. 5 for 5 at 5

    1. The Imperial
    2. Imperial Hotel
    3. Five comics for $5 at 5pm – every day of the festival. I’ve seen the queues for it. It packs out every time. It’s not only a sweet 50 minutes of laughs but it also really makes you want to get a job where it’s totally OK to leave work and line up for a comedy show at 4:50pm. Dream big, people!




A comic’s guide to the comedy festival