Melbourne International Comedy Festival is back for 2016. Storming into its 30th year, the festival runs from 23rd March – 17th April and offers scintillating talent, both home grown and from fields afar, performing in venues all over the city. Just in case you need a hand sifting through all the events, we’ve selected a few acts that we’ll be making sure we catch.

Em Rusciano

This lady (we use the term loosely) is Aussie humour through and through. Her themes are parenting related but her comedy is far from mumsy. Rusciano is brash and brilliant in her new show ‘Em Rusciano is NOT a Diva’. Prepare yourself for sequins, sass and plenty of swearing as she takes the audience through her x-rated, warts and all approach to life as a mother. She’s come a long way from Australian Idol!

David O’Doherty

This Irish comedian is returning to Australia with his new show ‘We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At David O’Doherty’ – and his keyboard, of course. Debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, O’Doherty has been touring with it ever since. If you don’t know the name, where have you been? Award winning comedy from a man that is even more continuously hilarious than he is currently hirsute.

Political Asylum

If you like your comedy slightly more highbrow, but not too haughty, then check out this compilation group of some of Australia’s best political comedians. The line-up varies but these guys are topical and sharp and take on the country’s politics in a way that’s all at once intelligent, irreverent and hugely entertaining. They shout, they sing, and they’re guaranteed to make you laugh.

Nish Kumar

With shows that have opened with “I’m a British Asian gentleman” you’d be forgiven for thinking Kumar’s gags may all be tired clichés about race. Don’t worry, they aren’t. Yes, the subject is scattered amongst his content, during which he mocks both himself and those who hold his race against him, but there is much more. He’s fast talking, more nerdy and nervous than smooth and suave and it’s entirely endearing. Definitely worth a watch.

The Big Hoo-Haa

Check these guys out to experience some of Melbourne’s own finest improvised comedy. With a weekly slot at the Butterfly Club in the CBD, they are a well-practiced team of comedians that are all-singing, all-dancing and all-joking. The ensemble cast provides a high octane performance that’s a mix of stand up and improv. Raucous and ridiculous at times, it’s big on audience participation so get ready to give as good as you’re going to get.
For the full line-up and to buy tickets for Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2016, visit