Festival of Critical Comedy

November 11 & 12, 2023

12 PM – 7 PM

Testing Ground Emporium

432 Queen St, Melbourne

Right the near Victoria Market!

Tickets just $10 at the door for the full program each day

Critical comedy is designed to educate, make you think, raise hackles, speak truth to power and rail vociferously against the rampant hypocrisy of those who deign to rule over us all.

Awkward Giraffe have produced and curated a jam packed line-up of comedians who revel in living on the fringe of Melbourne’s mainstream comedy crucible. They are revered and reviled in equal measure for kicking against the pricks and being damned funny while doing it.

“Critical comedy is comedy which promotes thought. It creates new mind. It’s thinky stuff which dominates the subversive paradigm. This makes it potentially troublesome.” – Jeremy Dixon, Curator

Awkward Giraffe: “For Comedy that sticks its neck out”

Awkward Giraffe was formed in the aftermath of the untimely death of Eurydice Dixon in 2018 and strives to keep her spirit alive in the comedy community.

Scroll down for the full program

Limited free tickets available here

The Testing Ground Emporium next to Melbourne’s Vic Market

Saturday 11 November

Doors open at 12noon.

MC Tony Magnuson

1.00 PM – Sofie Prints – Apophenia  

As part of the Awkward Giraffe Festival of Critical Comedy I have written a 45 minute show Stand Up comedy show. You’ll find it really funny and thought provoking if we share the same sense of humour. If not less so.

2.00 PM – Kalieb Hyland – Problem Child

Prepare to burst into laughter as Kaileb Hyland takes the stage in his uproarious stand-up comedy debut, ‘Problem Child.’ Hailing from Melbourne, Kaileb fearlessly explores his own life’s mishaps, painting a hilarious tapestry of personal misfortunes that have often landed him in hot water.

With a razor-sharp wit and an unfiltered perspective, Kaileb delves into the turbulent world of modern dating, offers biting commentary on navigating today’s society, and fearlessly tackles topics like race, religion, and sexism. ‘Problem Child’ is a comedic rollercoaster that will leave you in stitches while challenging your perceptions. Get ready for a wild ride with this trailblazing comedian.

3 PM – David Woods – The Pan Germanic Laughter Competition

The Pan Germanic Laughter Competition created by Ridiculusmus (aka Jon Haynes and David Woods) featuring Jeremy Dixon and David Woods. A Dada inspired immersive provocation on humour and its expression in the form of laughter. Borrowing the structure of the original Dadaists’ Pan Germanic Poetry competition in which a cacophany of simultaneously recited nonsense poetry was judged for its artistic merit and first performed in the grounds of Gransha Psychiatric hospital in Derry Northern Ireland where one of Ridiculusmus’ collaborators was residing at the time. 

3:15 – Slappy TeeTraumedy the Musical

Music, trauma, comedy. What’s not to like?

4.00 PM – Tristan Haze – A Bit of Absolute Drip Drop

Where were you when you were first born? Were you, or were you not, a baby at that time? These and other questions will be broached as Haze takes the stage, and they will be pursued doggedly. Relax and buckle up, because this rocket ship is on a collision course and is about

5:00 PM – Marc Oszhka – How should I know?

What’s goin’ on? How should I know.? That’s what it’s all about. Finding out what it’s all about coz who knows? You ? Me ? How should I know?

Sunday 12 November

Doors open at 12noon

MC Sofie Prints & Tony Magnuson

2 PM – Sean Collier – Radicalised by youtube 

In an era of increasing polarisation, mistrust and absurdity, we must ask ourselves the question – what has the internet done to us? Join us for a confused odyssey of comedic self reflection into the very heart of this issue, as Sean grapples with big questions, hard truths and his own imbecility

3 PM – Kirk McKenzie – Beginners guide to starting a prison gang

Kirk McKenzie went to prison to find out how to start a prison gang. He can teach from lived experience. As opposed to all those other wankers who watched the Shawshank Redemption and then pretend they know what they’re talking about.

Kirk is the real deal. Like Chopper. But alive. With ears.

4 PM – William Wang – Problem Only Child

Comedian Wang, a Chinese-English speaking stand-up comedian in Australia, is bringing his unique brand of observational humour to the Festival of Critical Comedy Born in ZhengZhou, a city of 10 million population in China, Wang moved to Australia in 2016 and has been captivating audiences with his unique blend of Chinese traditional stand-up comedy – Crosstalk (相声) and Western humor ever since.

In his show “Favourite Only Child,” Wang will talk about his past experiences in China and how they seem strange to him now, his struggles to do stand-up as a second language and how his parents think about it, online dating, his love life, air pollution in China, and his experience of doing drugs for the very first time.

“I can’t wait to share my unique perspective with the Festival of Critical Comedy” says Wang. “My comedy is a combination of traditional Chinese crosstalk and Western humor, and I’m excited to see how it resonates with audiences.”

5 PM – Can Critical Comedy Can Save the Planet?

A comedy debate where Sofie Prints and Kieran Butler lead two teams who will tackle a question nobody asked and provide an answer that nobody cares about.

Current odds

Negative Team Butler – 5/4

Affirmative Team Prints – 250/1

Over the weekend – Atlanta Peabody – Interviews/Vox pop

Atlanta Peabody is a hard hitting crack reporter from The Philadelphia World Review and presenter of The Extreme Accordion Show.

Atlanta’s alter ego is Sofia Chapman. Sofia is a writer, filmmaker and professional accordionist with the band Vardos. Sofia has co-produced many plays at Midsumma Festival of Queer Arts at La Mama Theatre.

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