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.


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Deadly Funny

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.


2019 Deadly Funny National Final Front row: Kylan Ambrum, Cy Fahey, Fabian Woods, Tyler Saunders (guest artist), Luca Saunders (guest artist), Leon Filewood (guest artist), Kevin Kropinyeri (judge), Allara Briggs-Pattison (Dhungala Baarka, guest artist). Back row: Dave Human, Micah Kickett, Maryanne Johns, Trent Wilson, Steph Tisdell, Ian Bennell, Kasey Johnson, Yvette Holt, Sam Simmons (judge), Maggie Walsh, Celia Pacquola (judge), Jay Wymarra, Nancy Bates (Dhungala Baarka, guest artist), Caroline Martin (judge)

Registrations and expressions of interest for the 2020 program have now closed

Check back later for more information on participating in and/or attending Deadly Funny events or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date!

Now it its 14th year, Deadly Funny has seen the likes of Steph Tisdell, Kevin Kropinyeri, Andy Saunders, Shiralee Hood and Sean Choolburra join the program as both participants and mentors.

Deadly Funny is a national comedy competition open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over the age of 18. We want you to get behind the mic and work with some of the country’s best First Nations comedians.

To participate, all you need is 5 minutes of funny material. It’s basically storytelling with a punchline. Sign up, come along, run through your material with a professional comedian in a two-hour workshop, and then you’ll get to jump on stage as part of a public performance – it’s that easy!  

Need more reasons to enter? State winners perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and compete for the Deadly Funny crown and a $2,000 cash prize!


  • 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

Unfortunately the 2020 Deadly Funny National Grand Final event was unable to take place. We will be looking at options for rescheduling this event later in 2020, pending the outcome of the current crisis, and all associated regulatory advice. Stay updated on future plans via the Deadly Funny page on Facebook.

Event Date Times Venue Tickets
Brisbane, QLD Wednesday 20 November 2019 4-6pm Workshop
7pm Show
Citipointe Church West
26 Rosemary Street, Inala
Past Event  

Fremantle, WA

Wednesday 4 December 2019 4-6pm Workshop
7pm Show
Fremantle Arts Centre,
1 Finnerty Street Fremantle
Past Event  

Melbourne, VIC

Saturday 8 February 2020

4-6pm Workshop
7pm Show

Northcote Town Hall, 
189 High Street, Northcote

Past Event  
Sydney, NSW Friday, 14 February 2020 4-6pm Workshop
7pm Show

The Factory Theatre,
105 Victoria Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

Past Event  

Canberra, ACT

Saturday 15 February 2020

4-6pm Workshop
7pm Show
Tuggeranong Arts Centre,
137 Reed St N, Greenway
Past Event  
Adelaide, SA Friday 21 February 2020 4-6pm Workshop
8.30pm Show
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute,
253 Grenfell St. Adelaide
Past Event
Port Augusta, SA Sunday 23 February 2020 3-5pm Workshop
6pm Show
Institute Theatre,
52 Commercial Rd, Port Augusta 
Past Event
Darwin, NT Monday 24 February 2020 4-6pm Workshop
7pm Show
12 Smith Street, Darwin
Past Event
National Grand Final Saturday 4 April 2020 4pm  Forum Melbourne,
154 Flinders St, Melbourne


Congratulations to the 2019 Deadly Funny winner Fabian Woods from Western Australia! 

The 2019 Deadly Funny National Final & Showcase was air NITV on Tuesday 3 December 2019, you can watch clips from the 2019 event on YouTube.

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