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Our Top Picks For The Comedy Festival

Going to comedy shows and laughing for hours on end is really hard work, so thankfully, we’ve done all the hard work for you and reviewed a number of comedy shows going on in Melbourne at the moment. Yes, we know this was a hard thing for us to do so have some sympathy as you continue to read on. Let us assure you, our cheeks are in agonizing pain from all the laughter…

The Stevenson Experience
Identical As Anything 


Do identical twins feel each other’s pain? Do they use each other’s identity and switch places? Are ALL parts of their anatomy identical?! Expect all these questions and more answered at Identical As Anything.

Benjamin and James are the identical twins that make up the Stevenson Experience; the high energy musical comedy act based around their sibling rivalry.

Ben, the younger of the twins by 15 minutes, is a gun on the keyboard. James… not so much, but Ben will point that out and have a dig at his less musically-inclined brother before you have a chance to doubt him.  The twins bounce off each other like only twins can, as they share their jealously and spite of each other through razor sharp wit.

Their comedic timing is second to none and they seamlessly alternate between performing their original songs, standup, and audience interaction.  Almost every line of their songs has a joke entwined into it, either with clever word play or just straight up telling it like it is.

I left the theatre kind of wanting to text my brother and tell him that he sucks and kind of wanting to meet the twins’ Dad.  There’s no twins like James and Ben, and no comedy show like the Stevenson Experience.  I’m calling it now, you’ll want to get yourself to one of their shows ASAP before the rest of the Australia does, I predict they’ll be on the big stage in no time.  Well, James will.  Ben will be 15 minutes behind.

Catch the Stevenson experience in Melbourne until the 23rd of April, or in Sydney on the 19th of May.

For all tour dates and ticketing to The Stevenson Experience, click here.

Frenchy: Unleashed


Chances are you have heard of Frenchy.  You may know him from his Youtube video ridiculing his own history of failed relationships, or be one of the 1.4 million people who follow him on Facebook, but Frenchy Unleashed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival proves the young Aussie larrikin is so much more than a social media star.

Frenchy packed the Anthenaeum theatre in Melbourne, effortlessly working the crowd from start to finish, who hung on to every word.  Not for the faint of heart, his charm and self-deprecation means he can get away with a lot.  He began the show by listing several offensive yet inventive ways people describe him (Big Bird on crack?), and this disparagement of himself continued throughout, softening the severity of his inappropriateness.  Despite his ‘bogan from Wollongong’ facade, his quick retorts and rapport with the audience revealed his quick wit, never missing a beat to poke fun at them (and himself) wherever possible.

He sings, he raps, he Tinders.  He may even do an impromptu shoey on stage out of a stranger’s dirty sneaker when he’s put up for the challenge.  He pushes boundaries and nothing is off limits… I wonder what would happen if someone brought a tattoo gun to his show?

Frenchy is an acquired taste, but if you’re up for some offensive yet quality humour and savoury yet sharp comedy, then Frenchy Unleashed is one to see. Catch him in Melbourne, and very soon – Sydney.

For all tour dates and ticketing to Frenchy Unleashed, click here. 

Neel Kolhatkar


Neel Kolhatkar has been on the scene for some time now, infiltrating the social media spheres with his humorous videos and intelligent vocabulary. The Sydney-sider (but now Melbourne uni-goer) rose to fame through his YouTube videos, poking fun at Australian culture (or lack thereof) and his take on the main personas one can find in everyday Australian life. His ability to resonate with mostly millennial’s has put him ahead as a well-known YouTuber, a famous young Australian and now, a local comedian.

Neel’s sense of humour is one that couples some serious societal concerns of modern Australia, with some not so serious jokes and accents… What better way to inform young Australians about politics and the media than with some crude humour? It worked for me!  His quiet sense of humour, intelligent remarks and satirical jokes (and of course, the Pauline Hanson impersonations) made his show a stand-out.

#ObjectifyNeel is Neel’s way of prompting more sexual objectification of ‘brown men’. His comedy show pays constant heed to the fact that he wants to be more sexually objectified, with the call to action being a social media hashtag that includes some very dirty jokes aimed at boosting Neel’s self-esteem and the need to be objectified. Check the hashtag on Instagram to see some hilarious #ObjectifyNeel jokes for yourself…

Although as millennial’s we can’t all afford houses due to our smashed avo habits, I think a ticket to one of Neel’s shows would be money very well spent (not that smashed avo isn’t). His next few shows will be featuring in Sydney very soon as well!

For all tour dates and ticketing to #ObjectifyNeel, click here. 

Khaled Khalafalla


The new kid on the comedy scene is none other than Khaled Khalafalla – his dashing good looks and witty charm allows him to resonate with his audience and connect with them on a personal level. His humour is relentless, quite savage and brutally honest. His ability to speak his mind, voice his opinions and share his musings on life, all lead him to think up some pretty funny material to showcase on stage.

He’s been on radio, TV and done national and international tours with big comedy names like Jim Jeffries. He was also the national runner-up pf RAW comedy in 2011, which set him up to be the next big thing. Since then, you’ve probably seen him on TV in ‘Upper Middle Bogan’ and in the film ‘Ali’s Wedding’. I mean, with looks that good and obvious charm to accompany it – he’s destined to be a great comedian.

His impromptu jokes and quick comments aimed at audience members produce guffaws of laughter. A common topic for Khaled is race, ethnicity and religion. Khaled’s not afraid to talk about the big racial issues plaguing Australia at the moment and enjoys shedding some humorous light on serious topics. Khaled’s offensive-style of humour is what makes his material interesting and contemplative. His one-liners are definitely the key parts of his shows, so watch out for them. His favourite pastime is also relating back to his Arab family’s antics that shock and make you want to hear more all at once.

Check out this witty go-getter at one of his Melbourne shows soon.

For all tour dates and ticketing to Khaled Khalafalla, click here. 

Comedy Pub Crawl

Whoever was the genius behind the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Comedy Pub Crawl deserves a medal.  Combining two of Melbourne’s favourite past times, laughing and drinking, the Comedy Pub Crawl takes the audience across the CBD, stopping at four different venues with five different comedians.

Scotsman Alan Anderson is the host of the tour.  If you aren’t keen on audience participation, then it probably isn’t a good idea to sit in the front row.  Anderson has no problem dragging people up on stage and making them sing, regardless of how reluctant and uncomfortable they may seem.

The line-up of comedians is a surprise. Without giving away the fun of the mystery, we can guarantee your sides will be aching by the end of the night.

By the time you arrive at the fourth and final venue, you’ll be well and truly boozed.  The secret is not getting too drunk along the way so you actually remember the last comedian, who will leave you in stitches.

The crawl will cost you $35.30, which is pretty incredible value for money considering the amount of comedians you get to see.  There’s also drink specials on at each venue ($5 Stella Artois stubbies at the Exford, anyone?), making it perfect for those who want to experience the comedy festival on a budget.

A pub crawl with a twist that’s not to be missed!

For all tour dates and ticketing to the Comedy Pub Crawl, click here. 

Festival Showcase: The Late Show

Not sure who to check out during this years Comedy Festival? Why not get six for the price of one!

The Joint bar on Flinders Lane offers a daily gala of some of the freshest and best acts at the Comedy Festival. Head down, grab a sweet drink deal at the bar, and then head upstairs to where the magic happens.

Each night will host a different group of comedians, who will each give you a taster of their own show. It’s great value for money, especially if you’re not a Comedy Festival veteran.

The best part is, you don’t know who or what you’re going to get, so you’ll be constantly left wondering, ‘what’s going to happen next?’ You’ll be genuinely surprised at the laughs that will be coming out of you.

Tickets are $20.30 on regular nights, and $15.30 on Tightarse Tuesdays.

Getting an awesome deal and many, many laughs. Priceless.

For all tour dates and ticketing to Festival Showcase, click here.

Dracula’s Cabaret


This year’s show at Dracula’s Cabaret see’s all the crowd-favourites from the past 10 years meshed into one massive performance.  The fantastic acting and theatrical performances were a standout, with their mixture of old and new songs coordinated with dancing and acting – there was an eclectic mix of everything on stage. There was also a fantastic comedic commentary to go along with each ‘skit’; not to mention the cross-dressing, gender-bypassing antics of the duo that is known as Diamond and Fingers and with live music from Jette, Ivy and Rebel to keep everyone entertained as well. The décor, the staff and the show itself all contributed to an entertaining night, filled with laughter, shock and awe.

Accompanied by a three-course meal and a range of spooky themed cocktails to purchase, that are not for the faint-hearted. One could also grab a Dracula’s Plasma Cider or Dracula’s O Negative Beer, which are all brewed by Dracula’s and local breweries they are partnered with. It was great to see a human head (not real of course) filled with jelly shot syringes – clearly not for the squeamish. But with waiters and waitresses with names like Knives and Foetus there to serve you alcoholic bags of haemoglobin and run around holding a toy baby by the feet, there really was never a dull moment.

A taste of the kind of humour at Dracula’s can all be encapsulated in one memorable joke from the night:

“Is anyone here from Tasmania?”
“Oh you are!?”
“Give me six!”

As Fingers throws up his palm for a high-five at the Tassie audience members…

If you’re after comedy, theatrics, food, drink and unnerving antics – then Dracula’s might just be up your alley.

For ticket prices for Dracula’s Cabaret, click here. 

The Wine Bluffs
Damien Callinan & Paul Calleja


We recently had a chat to Damien and Paul from comedy act – The Wine Bluffs – about all things wine, sophistication and etiquette (or bluffing your way through it, for that matter). This is for all you wine-lovers out there, so take heed.

  • Your show takes the micky out of “wine wankers”… Have there been any stand out ‘WW’s’ you have met during your performances/lives?

There sure has. One of our favourites was a couple who bought an old railway tunnel and turned it into a wine storage facility…and they had the pics to prove it. So, if there ever is a near world ending event like a nuclear war, never fear, somewhere in the side of an Adelaide mountain there’ll be heaps of quality wine being kept safe and secure.

  • What are your top tips for people who live, breathe and dream all things wine but don’t want to come across as ‘WW’s’?

Face it you’re a wine wanker. There’s no getting around it. You should embrace your wine wankery! Next time you’re on a tram, just stand up and shout it out! My name is Graham and I’m a wine wanker! Then wait a minute and guaranteed, at least 4 other people will stand up and do the same.

  • Vice versa, how do you bluff your way to convince people you’re a connoisseur of the fine drop even though you had no idea there was more than 1 type of white wine (usually Sav Blanc drinkers)?

To bluff convincingly, you need to sound confident when describing the wine you’re tasting. The key is to talk about anything other than the wine. Stick your nose in the glass, get a good whiff and then pick a totally unrelated topic e.g. cars. “I’m getting a bit of glovebox, some damp carpet, and a couple of stray French fries”.

  • Does drinking from a nice wine glass really affect the “experience”?

 Hell yeah! We only use ‘Riedel’ glasses (pronounced reedle as in needle). We’ve had many an argument with people about the pronunciation. One friend was so angry he wanted to glass us but with Riedels starting at $75 a glass, we managed to convince him to put it down gently. We then made him drink out of an old jam jar like a hipster.

  • Finally, how you both feel about people who insist on “letting a wine open up and breathe”?

 We’re big on letting wine breathe. It’s important to aerate your wine. When we have a young red, we will decant the bottle first then tip it into a little blow up pool and splash around in it for a bit. We then both gargle the wine to the tune of dueling banjos before spitting it into the glasses of our guests.

For all tour dates and ticketing to The Wine Bluffs, click here.

This article is a work in progress, so check back soon to see what other comedy shows we’ve reviewed! 


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