Deadly Funny


2017 Deadly Funny finalists with hosts Sean Choolburra, Shiralee Hood, Kevin Kropinyeri and Andy Saunders, with a special guest Jalen Sutcliffe.

Registrations for the 2018 competition are now open! Click here to register.

Cheeky and loud, black and proud, Deadly Funny is Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s national comedy competition unearthing the freshest and funniest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent from across the country. Local heats for the 2018 competition kick off in November 2017, and will also feature a star-studded comedy line-up of Australia’s best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comedians.

Heading in to its 12th year, Deadly Funny is a significant and vibrant part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This one-of-a-kind comedy event is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 and over.

To participate, all you have to do is have up to 5 minutes of funny material. It’s basically storytelling with a punchline! Entrants will take part in a private workshop with a professional comedian, followed by a public live performance. Special guest judges will decide who travels to Melbourne for the National Grand Final, where $2000 is up for grabs!


  • Open to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders aged 18 and over (if you are under 18 go to
  • 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


Adelaide Heat

Wed 1 Nov     

4-6pm (workshop)
7pm (performance) 

Lion Arts Centre
North Terrace, Adelaide


Perth Heat

Thu 2 Nov

4-6pm (workshop)
7pm (performance) 

Fremantle Arts Centre
1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle


Sydney Heat

Thu 9 Nov

3.30-5.30pm (workshop)      
6.30pm (performance) 

Redfern Community Centre
29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern


Melbourne Heat   

Fri 10 Nov

4-6pm (workshop)
7pm (performance) 

Northcote Town Hall
189 High Street, Northcote


Brisbane Heat

Mon 13 Nov

4-6pm (workshop)
7pm (performance) 

Citipointe Church
26 Rosemary Street, Durack


Canberra Heat

Fri 17 Nov 

4-6pm (workshop)
7pm (performance) 

Tuggeranong Arts Centre
137 Reid Street, Greenway


Darwin Heat





Hobart Heat





Click here to register for a 2018 Deadly Funny heat

Interested in our comedy workshop program for Indigenous young people aged 12 to 18? Click here for more info on Deadly Funny Kids.

Deadly Funny 2017

The 2017 Deadly Funny National Final & Showcase was hosted by Sean Choolburra, Shiralee Hood, Kevin Kropinyeri and Andy Saunders, with a special performance by 2016 winner Jalen Sutcliffe. Congratulations to the 2017 Deadly Funny winner Ghenoa Gela!

Click here for more videos from the 2017 National Final and Showcase. You can also check out the images from the 2017 Deadly Funny National Final and stay connected through the Deadly Funny Facebook page.