First published on 27 Jan 2012. Updated on 24 Feb 2014.
Okay if you’re reading this you’re in Melbourne. Which is good.
If you have never seen live comedy, it's amazing. It’s so much better than it is on TV. It’s like the difference between listening to a CD and going to see that band live. Or the difference between watching sports on TV and going and experiencing a live game. The atmosphere is better, you have people laughing all around you and anything can happen at any moment. It is a genuinely thrilling and incredible experience. Here are five of my favourite places to go watch and perform.
On Errot St. 'Errol' is one of those words, isn’t it? If you say it over it becomes nonsensical. Errol. Errol. Er-rol. You can continue that in your own time. This venue is open seven days a week. SEVEN. That’s pretty much all of them. You can see new comics on Tuesdays ('Young Guns') and Wednesdays ('The Showcase'), which I love. There are some very talented folk coming through at the moment. The venue is packed out at the weekend and on the bill you will recognise many people from your TV and radio.
This place is amazing! It has a relaxed, homely vibe, heaps of couches up the front and awesome counter meals. Janet McLeod is a comedy goddess and programs an amazing bill each Monday. Where else could you see Judith Lucy drop in to perform a surprise set? Boutique comedy with boutique beer. Awesome fun, right near Balaclava Station. International guests often drop by at MICF time. Some of them even marry punters and stay for good (it's happened at least four times).
Thursdays at Softbelly are fantastic. See the likes of Cal Wilson, Adam Richard and Greg Fleet. Adam Hills has been known to drop down to try out some new material. The room is small but has an amazing atmosphere. Get down there early and enjoy a drink and some chips. God I love potatoes. Can I do an article about my five favourite potatoes next, please Time Out?
Right up the top of the Athaeneum is the Ath 2 – home of the Last Laugh. This legendary club is packed to capacity every Friday and Saturday. It's a diverse crowd: backpackers, uni students, hens nights and frocked-up pre-clubbing types all out for a good laugh – and by god, do they get it. Rock'n’roll comedy in an awesome venue. Mingle with people who have just seen opera in the main room on the way out. Tell them a dick joke.
Right. You know the way Collingwood is a weird place? And comedy itself is weird? Well, welcome to the weirdest comedy room ever. Named after the Eddie Izzard routine of the same name and set at the bottom of Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets on Smith Street, the venue itself looks less like the Death Star and more like an Alf Stewart Sex Dungeon – all part of the bizarre experience. If you’re lucky you may catch one of co-curator Trav Nash’s surreal, angry rants. An awesome experience for lovers of unpredictable comedy, every Wednesday night from 8pm.