The Competition


Each year hundreds of secondary school students from Years 9-12 participate in Class Clowns across the country – discovering and refining their skills in writing and performing comedy and taking it outside the classroom to a wider audience. 

Class Clowns uses artistic activities such as drama, performance and writing to hone comedic talent, build self-esteem, confidence and resilience, and amplify the voices and perspectives of young people.

Register to participate in Class Clowns 2021 here.

Due to COVID-19, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival was not able to complete the Class of 2020 year in April as planned – events may be re-scheduled, and information for 2020 participants can be found here.


Step 1: Teachers, parents or guardians register students to participate

Step 2: Participants write or develop 3-5 minutes of material, ahead of their workshop and heat

Step 3: Heats are held around the country during February/March, starting with a 2-hour workshop with a professional comedian to help rehearse and refine students’ acts

Step 4: Following the workshop, students have the chance to perform for a live audience at a show hosted by a professional comedian

Step 5: The funniest entrants are selected by guest judges to go through to State Finals

Step 6:  State Final winners are invited to participate in the National Grand Final for a chance to win a cash prize of $1,500 for themselves AND a $1,000 workshop package for their school


•    Class Clowns is open to all Australian secondary students in Years 9-12 or 14-18 years old
•    Students must have a 3-5 minute act ready to go, that they would like to rehearse and refine 
•    A maximum of three people can be part of each act
•    Routines should be original, well-rehearsed, avoid the offensive, and funny! 
•    Any style of comedy is welcome. Sketch acts, stand up, physical, musical, or anything in between!

Upcoming workshop and event dates are regularly announced – click here for our 2021 calendar for heat and competition dates

Not quite ready for a competition? We also offer comedy ‘Crash Courses’ that can be brought to your secondary school or performing arts venue and delivered as part of existing English, Drama and Student Wellbeing programs. Find out more about our Crash Course program here.


'How grateful we are to have had our students share in this fantastic and unique opportunity! We had 14 students take part in Class Clowns from PBC (including 1 national finalist!) and each of them loved the experience of workshopping and performing in front of industry professionals, stepping out of their comfort zone and above all else, making people laugh. They were able to build on what they already had by listening to and using constructive feedback which is a life skill in itself that holds huge value. What an amazing platform for young people to build on their skills and explore this beautiful artform.' 
Erin Hull, Teacher, Palm Beach Currumbin State High School, Queensland

‘Class Clowns is about brand-new talent and ideas, building confidence in young people and watching them experience the pure joy of being on stage’ 
Anne Edmonds, Comedian, Writer, Podcaster

‘It’s wonderful to work alongside the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – Class Clowns Workshop in the Wimmera region. Any program that enhances young people’s perspectives and experiences we are happy to partner with, the comedy workshops introduced another dimension and aspect of performing Arts.’ 
David Law, Indigenous Academy Manager Community Development at Anglicare

‘We love Class Clowns. So much. We get to hang with the next generation of Aussie comics and help them take their talent to the next level.’
Aunty Donna (Sketch Comedy Group)

Still got questions? Check out our FAQs page here.

A Message From The Class Clowns Alumni