Launch of the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy FestivalLeft – Judith Lucy and Denise Scott. Photo – Jim Lee

As emcees of the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Launch, Denise Scott & Judith Lucy aka Comedy Legends, held court – plonked onto a double bed sporting matronly night attire and espousing the merits of a bendy straw. Denise, speaking on behalf of them both, quipped, “that although they felt surprised and humbled to be asked to host this event, it would have been a f***ing disgrace, if we hadn’t!”

And with that, they were off … reminiscing about their one night together in Adelaide. Fuelled by arthritis, a bit to drink and a couple of Endones. But it wasn’t all about them or past indiscretions or their upcoming show, Disappointments. Selflessly, they veered the conversation towards the next 3 weeks and introduced Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Georgina Nicholson; who not only performed the Welcome to Country ceremony, but also dabbled quite nicely in a little improv herself, at the newly renovated Forum Theatre.

Amongst the throng of the Festival board, including Director, Susan Provan, government dignitaries – Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle and The Hon. Martin Foley MP (Minister for Creative Industries), artists, managers, publicists and the press, Chairman Bill Shannon, spoke with much affection about the “happiest month in the year, in the happiest place in the world.” Of a festival that has something for everyone’s comedic taste and made special mention of the emerging talent on offer – the Class Clowns, RAW Comedy and Deadly Funny finals, as well as the LOL Squad and the Very Big Laugh Out! free family entertainment at Fed Square.

Whilst revered Festival Director, Susan Provan, proudly boasted of its home grown roots and “one that celebrates irreverence, applauds the ridiculous and greets different points of view with debate not deportation. The world’s comedians are here to interpret, illuminate and entertain.” It was met with thunderous applause.

The MICF has now become Australia’s largest ticketed cultural event – with expectations for live audiences this year, tipped to reach 800,000 and capturing millions more, via national broadcasts and televised events.

With a mind boggling 2000+ performers (140 of those making their Melbourne festival debut), over 550 events across a 100+ venues, you’d have to be completely bonkers not to experience it.

The 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs until April 23. Visit the MICF website»


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