Melbourne International Comedy Festival acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live. We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' spirit, imagination and rich history of storytelling and humour that is an inspiration to all Australians.

We accept the invitation to walk together with First Nations people towards a more positive future for Australia, as described in the Uluru Statement From The Heart.

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Deadly Funny


We proudly acknowledge the generous support and great humour of all our 2023/4 Deadly Funny Partners - view the full list here

Deadly Funny is over for 2024, but stay tuned! Registrations for Deadly Funny 2025 will open soon!

Make sure you follow Deadly Funny on Facebook and Instagram for all news and announcements!

Deadly Funny 2024

Deadly Funny 2024 national finalists: Ben Moodie, Elliot Rovedi, Tyson Walker (joint winner), Kalah Lovegrove (joint winner), Kirsten Lynch and Zane Harlem.

Cheeky, loud, black and proud – Deadly Funny is back and will be hitting more communities than ever before!

The biggest First Nations comedy competition in Australia, proudly presented by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, returns in late 2023 and into early 2024 to unearth the freshest and funniest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talents from every corner of the country.

Calling all First Nations comedians and storytellers...

Get behind the mic and bring your very own Deadly Funny to the stage! Registrations now open!

Deadly Funny is bigger, brighter and deadlier, with a heat in 20+ communities around Australia and a massive $11,000 of prize money to be shared across the competition. This is your chance to captivate audiences with your unique perspective and deadly humour. Embrace the spotlight, share your stories and make the mob laugh across the nation.

All you need is five minutes of hilarious material. Whether it's stand-up, musical, sketch, physical/dance, character-based, or simply sharing a funny yarn, the stage is yours. You can take part as an individual, duo, or even a trio and will be given an opportunity to sit with a seasoned professional comedian in a two-hour workshop to help refine your ideas and then unleash your talent in onstage.

Now in its 18th year, Deadly Funny has propelled stars like Steph Tisdell, Kevin Kropinyeri, Andy Saunders, Janty Blair, Shiralee Hood, Dane Simpson, Elaine Crombie, Jay Wymarra, Leon Filewood, and Sean Choolburra to great heights, both as participants and mentors. You could be the next comedy sensation!

Need more motivation? All state and territory winners will receive a $1000 cash prize, and will be flown to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2024 for the Deadly Funny National Grand Final where you will compete for the Deadly Funny crown and a $3,000 cash prize!

Stand up, get behind the microphone and bring your very own Deadly Funny to the stage!

Head over to our YouTube channel to watch performances from past Deadly Funny national finalists.

The Rules

  • Open to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders aged 18 and over (if you are under 18, check our the Class Clowns program here)
  • Acts should be 3-5 minutes max!
  • Acts can be 1-3 people
  • Routines must be original
  • Acts can be stand-up, musical, sketch, physical/dance or character based

For info on what the judges are looking for read the Deadly Funny judging policy here.

Sign up 

Registrations are now open! << Click here >> to get registering. More heats are being added all the time!

Are there no heats where you are? Make sure you are following Deadly Funny on Facebook and instagram for all the latest news and updates.

The 2022 Deadly Funny National Final is available to watch now on YouTube >>

Want to try comedy, but not sure where to start?

How do you write material?
What if you bomb on stage?
What is the secret to success?

We think the best people to answer these questions are the comedians who’ve “been there, done that”!

We asked some of Australia’s funniest folk for tips and tricks to get you started on your comedy journey and they’ve given candid answers to tricky questions. Join Rhys Nicholson, Dane Simpson, Cal Wilson, Ivan Aristeguieta, Michelle Brasier, Geraldine Hickey, Claire Hooper and Annie Louey, as they guide you through writing jokes, stagecraft and everything in between.

But first…

Why try comedy? Hear from Ivan, Michelle, Geraldine, Claire, Annie, Rhys, Dane and Cal in this in introductory video on why you should give comedy a go!

To access the full series of video resources simply register for Deadly Funny and we’ll email you all videos, including: how to write material, what not to do, what to do before hitting the stage, what to keep in mind on stage, what are the judges looking for, what if you bomb and how to use the stage.

These invaluable resources are exclusively available for Deadly Funny participants.


Melbourne International Comedy Festival openly encourages participation from people of all backgrounds and abilities, and is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for all. If you need any assistance with your registration or have any questions regarding the physical requirements to compete in the Deadly Funny workshop and competition, please contact or (03) 9245 3700.

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Locations for the first workshops and heats for Deadly Funny have been announced with more information on dates to be added soon. All events will take place prior to the National Grand Final at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April 2024.


The safety and wellbeing of mob is our absolute priority. We will continue working closely with our partners to make sure the Deadly Funny heats can proceed in the safest way for participants and audiences. 




Event Date Times Venue Tickets
Bairnsdale, VIC  Sun 25 Feb, 2024 3pm Workshop, 6pm Show Forge Theatre - Auditorium Past Event
Melbourne, VIC

Fri 3 Nov, 2023

4pm Workshop, 7pm Show

Aboriginal Advancement League

Past Event

VIC FINAL Thu 7 Mar, 2024 4pm Worskshop, 7pm Show Comedy Republic Past Event


Event Date Times Venue Tickets

Newcastle, NSW

Wed 29 Nov, 2023 5pm Workshop, 7.30pm Show Club Macquarie Past Event

Sydney, NSW

Sat 25 Nov, 2023

6.15pm Workshop, 7.30pm Show

Yarra Bay Sailing Club

Past Event


Sat 9 Mar, 2024

3pm Workshop, 5.30pm Show The Comedy Store, Sydney

Past Event


Event Date Times Venue Tickets
Brisbane, QLD Fri 29 Sep, 2023 4pm Workshop, 7pm Show Inala Wangarra Past Event

Cherbourg, QLD

Thu 29 Feb, 2024 4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show
Free community feed from 6pm
Cherbourg Town Hall

Past Event


Fri 1 Mar, 2024 4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show Inala Wangarra

Past Event


Event Date Times Venue Tickets
Adelaide, SA Sat 3 Feb, 2024

4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show
Free community feed from 6pm

Kura Yerlo

Past Event
Berri, SA Thu 1 Feb, 2024

4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show
Free community feed from 6pm

Berri Senior Citizens Club Past Event
Murray Bridge, SA Fri 2 Feb, 2024 4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show
Free community feed from 6pm
Imperial Football Club Past Event
Point Pearce, SA Tue 30 Jan, 2024 4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show
Free community feed from 6pm
Point Pearce Aboriginal Community Hall Past Event
Port Augusta, SA Wed 31 Jan, 2024

4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show
Free community feed from 6pm

West Augusta Football Club/Souths Football Club

Past Event
SA FINAL Fri 23 Feb, 2024

5pm Workshop, 7pm Show

Salisbury North Football Club Past Event


Event Date Times Venue Tickets

Bunbury, WA

Sat 27 Jan, 2024

3pm Workshop, 5pm Show

 The Italian Club Past Event

Geraldton, WA

Thu 8 Feb, 2024

4pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show
Free community feed from 6pm

 Queens Park Theatre Past Event

Perth, WA

Wed 7 Feb, 2024

4.30pm Workshop, 6.30pm Show

Fremantle Arts Centre

Past Event


Event Date Times Venue Tickets
Canberra, ACT Sat 21 Oct, 2023 4pm Workshop, 7pm Show Tuggeranong Arts Centre

Past Event

Darwin, NT

Thu 12 Oct, 2023

4pm Workshop, 7pm Show Darwin Entertainment Centre

Past Event


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Have more questions about Deadly Funny? Check out our FAQs page.