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

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DEADLY FUNNY HOME   |   SIGN UP   |   EVENT CALENDAR   |   FAQS   |   PAST EVENTS

Cheeky and loud, black and proud, Deadly Funny is Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s national comedy competition unearthing the freshest and funniest First Nations talent from across the country.

What is Deadly Funny?

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 Australia’s finest First Nations comedians and storytellers.

Entering its 16th year, Deadly Funny has seen the likes Steph Tisdell, Kevin KropinyeriAndy Saunders, Shiralee Hood, Dane Simpson and Sean Choolburra join the program as both participants and mentors – and you could be next!

To participate, all you need is five minutes of funny material. Material can be stand up, musical, sketch, physical/dance or character based, or simply the telling of a good yarn. You can participate as a solo, duo or trio. Sign up, come along, run through your ideas with a professional comedian in a three-hour workshop, and then jump on stage for a public performance.

Need more reasons to enter? Those who progress from their heat will be flown to Melbourne to perform at the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and compete for the Deadly Funny crown and a $2,000 cash prize!

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 for Deadly Funny 2022 are now open!

Head here to sign-up.


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.


Accessibility

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 deadlyfunny@comedyfestival.com.au or (03) 9245 3700.

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Calendar

DEADLY FUNNY COMPETITION CALENDAR    

Deadly Funny workshops and heats will take place prior to the National Grand Final at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April 2022.

Event Date Times Venue Tickets

Brisbane, QLD - Meanjin

TBC TBC TBC  
Townsville, QLD - Thul Garrie Waja/Currumbilbarra TBC TBC TBC  
Thursday Island, QLD - Waibene TBC TBC TBC  

Fremantle, WA - Walyalup

TBC TBC Fremantle Arts Centre  
Sydney, NSW - Djubuguli/Cadi Thu 17 Feb 3.30pm workshop
6.30pm performance
The Comedy Store  
Melbourne, VIC - Naarm Sat 19 Feb 4pm workshop
7pm performance
Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre Buy tickets
Canberra, ACT - Ngambri TBC TBC Tuggeranong Arts Centre  
Darwin, NT - Garramilla Wed 23 Feb 4pm workshop
7pm performance

Darwin Entertainment Centre

 
Katherine, NT Thu 24 Feb 4pm workshop
7pm performance
Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre  
Alice Springs, NT - Mparntwe TBC TBC TBC  
Adelaide, SA - Tarntanya Sun 27 Feb 4pm workshop
7pm performance
Tandanya - Inparrinthi Space Buy tickets
National Grand Final April 2022 TBC 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival   

Check back later for more information on Deadly Funny events dates or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date!

COVIDSafe Comedy - for more information on the Festival's COVIDSafe practices and to read a copy of our COVIDSafe Plans click here.

 

Deadly Funny is supported through the Australian Government's Indigenous Languages and Arts program.

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