The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is once again upon us. And it goes without saying that I am pretty excited. I’ve managed to gain a reputation around the traps as a Person Who Likes Comedy. As a result of this, I’ve had a lot of questions about my recommendations for this year. That’s a hard question but one which I will now attempt to answer.

The simple answer (and the one which I’ve given most people who’ve asked) is Tim Key.
The slightly uninteresting and unhelpful answer to that question is this: I am excited to discover new things. I love going to a show which I knew nothing about, which I have zero expectations of and walking out with an overwhelming, all-consuming desire to recommend that show to everyone I know. It’s not the big names that are exciting, not the old reliables, it’s the acts that will come out of nowhere to blow me away.
So that’s my biggest tip for MICF (and comedy in general) – take a punt on someone small. Find a show that looks cool, a comic you’ve heard vague positive mutterings about, and give them your dollars. This strategy also offers a lot of bang for your buck; small shows are cheaper. You can see three or even four for the amount you would pay on a bigger name.
Don’t let your poverty stop you catching the lolz; there’s heaps of ways to see comedy without blowing all your savings. If you see shows mid-week, during their preview run or with a group of friends, they can be a lot cheaper. Investigate! Be savvy about where you throw the big bucks. Remember that price really has nothing to be with quality.
With that in mind, here’s a few positive mutterings to help you along. I’ve sorted them (like an online shopping page) from lowest price to highest, to help you manage your comedy budget.
If you’ve got no idea what to see, this show is a great way to see a little handful of people for a little handful of change. So cheap!
Let’s be honest – I know Tom McLean from his YouTube days. But I’m excited to see how that humour translates. I think he’ll be nice and I’d like to be able to say that I like him IRL.
My brother still has the plastic dinosaur Claire Sullivan gave him at her show last year. She’s delightful. Funny and silly and ridiculous and delightful.
Any show with a d20 in the promo pic is ok by me. I’m yet to be disappointed by a project with Ben McKenzie’s name on it, which is saying something considering how many things he does.
I like Laura Davis. She’s sweet and witty and disarming. She’s the kind of comic that is just nice to spend time with.
If you’re looking for something to see at the end of the night, Facty Fact is a great bet. It’s reliably excellent. Last year we saw it twice.
A lot of my favourite musical comedians aren’t doing shows this year. Luckily Gen is here to make sure my festival won’t be totally lacking in quality comedic guitar work.
This show contains a number of comics who, individually, make me happy. Having more than one of them in a single show? Bargain.  
Zoe Coombs Marr grew up in Grafton and I’m always willing to see a comic just because they grew up where I did. On a less biased note, she got impressively rave reviews during last year’s run.
Last year Andy Matthews won us over by literally paying us to be good audience members (long story). He was also a runner-up in Raw Comedy last year. Worth checking out.
I’ve never seen Celia Pacquola do a full-length show, despite liking her stuff for ages. It’s always nice to see comedians from the telly in their natural environment.
Every year, Hannah has managed to completely blow me away. Her show last year has stayed with me in a fairly profound kind of way. It was, without exaggeration, life affirming. She’s completely, definitely worth forking out for.
If you only see one of the shows on this list, go and see Tim Key. I saw him in 2012 (without knowing anything about him) and have been utterly, totally, head-over-heels in love with him ever since. It’s very difficult to explain what it was that I loved so much. Usually I just made admiring noises. I’m super excited about Tim Key.
A while ago I talked to someone who didn’t understand the appeal of David O’Doherty. I ended up saying “a guy with a tiny piano is all I want in life” and then she laughed at me.
This is at the pricey end of the spectrum but experience tells me you get a lot of puppets for your comedy dollar. Plus The Inheritance (their last show) was fabulous. 
But enough about me – who are you excited about?

Sometimes I do reviews on the blog and I’m always happy to promote new comedy. So if you’re a person doing a show and you think I might be able to help you in any way, get in touch

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year