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

Registrations for Deadly Funny will open soon - events will be held across the country September – November 2024, with the Deadly Funny National Grand Final taking place during the 2025 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Make sure you follow Deadly Funny on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up to the Deadly Funny e-news 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 the biggest First Nations comedy competition in Australia, proudly presented by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, unearthing 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 will open soon!

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 will open soon! Check back later, make sure you are following Deadly Funny on Facebook and Instagram, or sign up to our Deadly Funny e-news, 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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Upcoming Deadly Funny events will take place between September and November 2025, to be announced soon!

Locations and dates for workshops and heats for Deadly Funny will be announced soon. All events will take place prior to the National Grand Final at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April 2025.



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