Melbourne Comedy Festival 2017: This Year’s Must-Sees

Over 500 shows will be jostling for attention at this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival, so choosing which ones to spend your hard-earned cash on can be a real challenge. That’s where this list comes in: the ten must-see shows of this year’s festival, the gems that are absolutely guaranteed to give your money’s worth.

  1. Sarah Chandelier, Diary of a Mad Abattoir Receptionist. Chandelier, eight-time winner of the Herald Sun’s Best Newcomer Award, spins a wacky hour from her time answering phones at a slaughterhouse. The Guardian calls her “refreshingly inaudible”, and this show is sure to be every bit as good as previous hits Diary of a Mad Crampon Firm Investor, Diary of a Mad Spelunker, and Diary of a Mad Blastocyst.
  2. Greg Ondulick, What I Reckon. Viewers of Channel Ten’s The Project are already familiar with Ondulick’s laconic delivery and hilarious dry observations on modern life, so tickets are sure to sell quickly for this show, featuring his ruminations on issues such as men, women, men and women, the differences between men and women, and wanking.
  3. Bouncy Boys, The Big Bouncy Boys Bonanza. These wild and crazy lads, who have take the comedy scene by storm with their madcap antics and nauseating violence, bring a brand-new collection of sketches and bloodshed to the stage. With a new ABC iView series to premier later this year, this is your chance to see the Bouncy Boys before they become vaguely remembered by several people.
  4. Sasha and Bindi, Sasha and Bindi’s Retail Therapy Hour. Sasha and Bindi, the twisted twosome behind last year’s Sasha and Bindi’s Tadpole Murdering Hour, bring a fresh batch of anecdotes about shopping and inexplicable clicking noises to the festival.
  5. The Special Guests, Special Guests Presents. A mysterious show, about which only two facts have been publicly released: it will be performed entirely in Dutch; and three people have been murdered during rehearsals.
  6. Andy Thatcher, Thatches Win Matches. Comedic arsonist Thatcher sets fire to a whole new set of objects in his latest show, weaving his creative pyromania in and around a labyrinthine narrative involving his mother’s clinical depression and the time he fell down a well and adopted the dunnart he found at the bottom as his legal heir. Fans of Thatcher’s role as “Little Paul” on 800 Words won’t want to miss this one.
  7. Esteban van Hepburn, Ethnic! Esteban, known to all listeners of community radio 2PL’s 3am-5am shift as the voice of Happy Glenn, Master of Hounds, has long been known for his mastery of accents and hats, and he brings both to bear in this earthy yet cerebral celebration of all things racial.
  8. Annie Mullblain, Annie Are You OK? Mullblain has gained a strong reputation on the local scene for devastating one-liners and a generous excess of saliva, and there’ll be plenty of her trademark rants against the New World Order and piquant theories regarding the matrilineal heritage of Larry Mullen Jr in this show, which explores Mullblain’s love of Michael Jackson, of whom she has never heard.
  9. The Nudes, Nude Up! The comedic potential of nudity has rarely been fulfilled with such wit and social commentary as by The Nudes, the five-man, eight-woman, six-duck collective that set the Edinburgh Fringe alight last year yet was never apprehended. You can expect plenty of shaggy-dog stories, a generous helping of political satire, a few trenchant marionette-led sketches, and some genuinely hilarious live unsimulated sexual intercourse.
  10. Mary-Anne Unclestabber, Songs My Mother Threatened To Sing To Me. Mary-Anne Unclestabber had what might be called an unconventional upbringing, and she brings her story vividly to life in this three-hour show consisting entirely of the disturbing sound of her crunching small animals between her teeth while crying.