In pre-COVID-19 times, on Wednesday 25 March we would have been opening the 2020 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
To celebrate the Festival we love – and that brings Melbourne so much joy – we will be sharing a clip each day from Festivals gone by. They will feature artists who would have been appearing at this year’s Festival and often they will relate to the particular Special Event scheduled for that date.
Head to our YouTube channel to laugh your way through hours of comedy archive gold (where you can also subscribe). Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or just stay updated right here.
We are all in this together and we look forward to coming out the other side of this crisis. Until then, we hope to provide you with some light relief in these uncertain times…after all laughter is a great distraction and at best, a wonderful medicine.
Wednesday 25 March: Tonight we would've kicked off our Festival with a bang. The Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow would've raised the roof of The Palais, as Melbourne began to light up with laughs. So, we look back to last year's host Urzila Carlson who has come to know Australians a little too well…
Thursday 26 March: You might not be able to head down to Max Watt’s tonight but we can take you back to Festival Club 2015 for some classic Anne Edmonds...
Friday 27 March: This year would've been his 24th Festival, so it feels a bit weird to not have Wil Anderson jump up on stage every night for the coming month. In 2003 Wil might’ve been missing the best part of the day, but in 2020 Melbourne's missing him!
Saturday 28 March: A Saturday night in with the wonderful Dulcé Sloan? Sign us up!
Sunday 29 March: First Sunday of the Fest means we'd usually be prepping for some Haus Party madness with Otto & Astrid tonight. Here’s some Die Roten Punkte so we can still 'rock ze haus'!
Monday 30 March: Each Festival, Jeez Louise brings us together for a celebration of women in comedy via a panel conversation. Today would've been the Transplaining panel at The Wheeler Centre, and whilst we can't bring you the conversation, we can bring you one of the would-be panellists: Cassie Workman.
Tuesday 31 March: Here’s a ripper from Eleanor Tiernan at Upfront 2018 on the day that would’ve seen the Upfront 2020 cast storm the stage in the Main Town Hall.
Thursday 2 April: The wonderful Judith Lucy was all set to bring back, for one night only, her show Judith Lucy v’s Men this coming Sunday. Sadly we won’t be seeing her live, but you can catch this show, along with nine stellar comedians, when Amazon Prime Video rolls out their Stand Up Specials from next Friday.
Friday 3 April: In this 2005 Flashback, Stephen K Amos (a now Festival favourite) made his second only appearance at the Fest and had an interesting introduction to Toorak.
Saturday 4 April: The Deadly Funny National Grand Final would’ve been hosted by Dane Simpson today, so whilst we can't watch him lead a fantastic lineup of the freshest and funniest first nation talent from across the country, we can give you his first Gala spot from 2018.
Sunday 5 April: He was coming back with a brand new solo show, and took out the RAW final in 2017. Today would've seen the RAW Comedy National Grand Final hit the Town Hall stage, so we're reminiscing with past champ, Zack Dyer!
Monday 6 April: Monday night of the Fest means Comedy Up Late…unless you’re in lockdown. We're starting your week off right with some Brett Blake from last year’s Comedy Up Late!
Tuesday 7 April: He's won a bunch of awards around the world, and we were lucky enough to have him returning to Melbourne for another Fest. So, it just seemed wrong to not give you a taste of the incomparable John Kearns.
Wednesday 8 April: Whilst we can't be singing along to Flo & Joan live, we also can't be stopped enjoying a glass of vino over their (slightly too relatable) tune.
Thursday 9 April: Set to return to Melbourne this Fest, direct from Mumbai, here’s a treat from Anirban Dasgupta!
Friday 10 April: Why not spend your long weekend writing a love song for someone dear to you? We’ll just be over here reminiscing with Sammy J and Randy’s 2010 love song this Flashback Friday.
Saturday 11 April: We're giving you a quick taste of tomorrow night's Comedy Care Package, starring Kitty Flanagan amongst others! Don’t forget to tune in to ABC TV + iview from 8.30pm (Sunday 12 April)!
Sunday 12 April: Today would’ve seen six stars have a smarty-pants arm-wrestle in the 31st Annual Great Debate… so here is a classic argument from Phil Wang.
Monday 13 April: Whilst we won't be seeing this Have You Been Paying Attention? star live this month, here’s a Comedy Up Late gem from Melanie Bracewell.
Tuesday 14 April: Some absolute gold from Cameron Duggan… who knew two bucks could go so far?
Wednesday 15 April: Back when we were allowed to drop in on friends, if you visited Luke Heggie after midday he’d offer you a beer.
Thursday 16 April: She was set to make her Melbourne solo debut at the Fest this year and we didn't want you to miss out, so here's a taste of Rosie Jones!
Friday 17 April: From Winner of Class Clowns, to Best Newcomer, to the Directors' Choice Award! Aaron Chen has done it all - so on the day that would’ve been our 2020 Class Clowns National Grand Final, let's take a look back at where it all began in 2012.
Saturday 18 April: The final Saturday of the Festival is usually when our award winners are announced, so here’s last year's winner of the Most Outstanding Show award – and therefore the carry over champ? - James Acaster.
Sunday 19 April: Closing night is weird when you never opened! Even if it’s the Festival that never was, we’re still going out with a bang.
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