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.

Browse Shows

Quick Links

Newsletter

Navigation

Sitemap

Social

COVIDSAFE COMEDY - click here

0
0
Sign In
{{ cartMsg }}
Dismiss
{{ cartMsg }}
Dismiss

Introducing the Cast of Comedy Zone 2022!

 

Each year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival scours the country to discover the next wave of big names in Aussie comedy – with a fresh line up of new faces coming together annually to form that year's Comedy Zone

The brilliant cast of 2022 Comedy Zone are: Prue Blake (VIC), Patrick Golamco (NSW), Nick Schuller (ACT), Jay Wymarra (QLD) and He Huang (VIC).

These bright stars are officially on the grid – you’re looking at the future of comedy. Expect electrifying sets and limitless laughs from the next (synth) wave of Aussie comedy stars, with a dazzling line-up of comedians hand-picked by the Festival.

We had a chat with these rising stars to get to know them, their comedy, and what makes them tick.


Prue Blake (VIC)

Prue is a strong, confident underachiever by choice… or she was before she became the RAW Comedy National Champion! Her style is observational, intelligent and cheeky. Prue has been described as both "dashing" and a "disillusioned feminist" by The Age.

Hey, Prue! Describe your comedy in three words.

Cheeky, sneaky…and authoritative. 

What does being cast in Comedy Zone mean to you?

I’m so excited to be in the cast of Comedy Zone because I absolutely love being an alumnus. It’s a dream to be part of something that has helped launch the careers of so many of my favourite comedians and to get to hang out with my new favourites every night for a month. 

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 Festival?

Even though getting to perform every night for a month straight (minus Wednesdays) is my idea of absolute heaven, I think the thing I am looking forward to most is getting to see heaps of great new shows! 

You’ve mentioned that you participated in a ‘Confidence Course’ growing up. Did it prepare you for the world of comedy?

You would think that a Confidence Course would be just the thing that a budding comedian needs. But the one that I did at school was less about performance and more of a Tough Mudder-style physical endurance event.

This was not good for me, a very indoorsy child. It culminated in me jumping off a small ramp and breaking my leg. Though, having to endure months of doctors saying, 'That wouldn’t inspire much confidence would it?’ whenever I told them how I broke my leg probably gave me the resilience I need for the highs and lows of performing comedy every night.

 


Jay Wymarra (QLD)

Whether performing stand-up comedy, acting or gracing the stage as fabulous drag queen, Rhianna Mation, Jay Wymarra, a Deadly Funny National Finalist, is a crowd favourite and a formidable presence. He is a unique voice and a staunch activist for the rights of people across all spectrums and fandoms.

Hey, Jay! Describe your comedy in three words.

Black, Queer, Cheeky

What does being cast in Comedy Zone mean to you?

Honoured. Knowing I'm going to be in Comedy Zone makes me feel as if I'm about to enter an initiation ritual.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 Festival?

I always look forward to feeling the joy and excitement of being a tiny piece of the Festival. It is akin to feeling anything is possible.

You’re a huge fan of Lord of the Rings. Do you think that Frodo and Sam are just friends, or…?

All I'm saying is if me and a "close friend" left home on a doomed mission for six months, we'd definitely shag along the way.


Patrick Golamco (NSW)

National RAW Comedy Runner-up Patrick is soft-spoken Chinese-Australian comedian and proud IT nerd. When he was ten, he used to put on one-kid shows with stuffed toys for his two younger sisters. They got a few laughs and it inspired him to do comedy.

Hey, Patrick! Describe your comedy in three words.

Concise, awkward mumbling

What does being cast in Comedy Zone mean to you?

I feel very lucky and honoured but a little intimidated as so many big names have gone through Zone. Also, in terms of the festival circuit, Melbourne International Comedy Festival is known as the ‘hard one’, as the quality of the shows are so high. So, the opportunity to be part of a full run at the Festival is a ginormous deal for me.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 Festival?

Seeing all the shows, especially stand-up and musical comedy! I remember my first time discovering the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I was hooked. I saw seven shows in a day. Got a migraine, but it was worth it!

Your family has a Tetris tournament which you’re the champion of. Tell us about it – how tense does it get?

It's actually been a while since we played, but my sisters and I did go through a hardcore Tetris phase in our teens/twenties with a monthly tournament. It was just whoever could get the best score by the end of the month.

Lots of intense screen staring and even a bit of holding down the space bar (which makes the pieces go down to sabotage someone's game – until it was banned). The best thing to come out of it was, my sister who studied industrial design and I created a trophy for it which we are still very proud of and is now a family heirloom.


He Huang (VIC)

He Huang is originally from Chongqing, China. She began stand-up comedy four years ago and has performed in China, Bangkok and Cambodia before gigging in Melbourne and making it to the 2021 RAW Comedy National Final. Her comfort foods include hotpot, chunky fries, Doritos, phở, Korean tofu soup, sunflower seeds and chicken feet.

Hey, He! Describe your comedy in three words.

Racial, cultural and sassy.

What does being cast in Comedy Zone mean to you?

It means being appreciated by the industry!

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 Festival?

Learning from the greats.

You’ve told us you love street food around the world. What’s one meal that lives on in your mind/in your tummy forever?

Favourite street food so far has been a spicy green mango salad from a random vendor in Bangkok.

 


Nick Schuller (ACT)

Nick Schuller moved to London right before the start of a global pandemic, so you know his timing is impeccable. He's been a RAW Comedy State Finalist twice, and has supported some big names in comedy, including Tom 'Gold Logie' Gleeson. He also went to school with Emma Watson.

Hey, Nick! Describe your comedy in three words.

Dry and satirical

What does being cast in Comedy Zone mean to you?

It’s such an honour to join the ranks of Comedy Zone alumni. Some of the biggest acts in the world have done Zone and it’s crazy seeing my name on the same list as theirs.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 Festival?

Trying to do as many spots as possible without losing my voice or my mind.

It seems you’re a man of many interests and talents. You’ve gotten yourself a law degree, a chemistry degree and now you’re doing stand-up comedy. Which is the most difficult prospect?

Getting a chemistry degree is definitely the hardest. Law and stand-up are very similar, you just have to look confident and pretend you know what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, confidence can’t help you figure out if the chemical you’re working with is cellulose or cyanide. 


You can catch our Zoners at this year's Festival:

31 March – 24 April
Mon-Tue & Thu-Sat 9pm, Sun 8pm
Trades Hall - Common Rooms Bar