The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, initiated in 1987 by Barry Humphries and Peter Cook, is an annual event held in Melbourne, Australia. Recognized as one of the world’s largest and most esteemed comedy festivals, it features a wide range of international and Australian comedy talent. The festival occurs over several weeks, typically between March and April, and utilizes various venues across Melbourne, including the Melbourne Town Hall, comedy clubs, and temporary pop-up spaces.

Melbourne Comedy Festival comedians
Always a fine line-up of Aussie comedians at the Melbourne Comedy Festival

Its purpose is to foster community engagement, celebrate laughter, and encourage inclusivity and cultural diversity. The festival also provides a platform for both emerging and established comedians to present new material. Its diverse program includes stand-up comedy, sketch shows, improvisational theatre, and more, with the intent to challenge societal perspectives and stimulate dialogue.

Over its history, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has hosted notable comedians such as Billy Connolly, Eddie Izzard, Dame Edna Everage, Sarah Silverman, and Robin Williams. The festival’s lineup reflects a broad spectrum of comedic styles, from traditional stand-up to more experimental forms like sketch comedy and improv, reflecting the festival’s commitment to the diverse nature of comedy.


For more information about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, including the lineup, schedule, and ticketing details, visit the official website at