Melbourne Comedy Festival is an international comedy festival held in city of Melbourne. It is an annual festival which usually lasts for four weeks and starts around April fool’s day (April 1st).
The first Melbourne Comedy festival was held in the year 1987. The Melbourne Comedy Festival is the third largest comedy festival in the world and the largest of its kind in Australia. Since early 1990s the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is held at The Melbourne Town hall but performances are held across the city in different venues.
The credit for Melbourne Comedy Festival goes to John Pinder, who persuaded the Victorian Tourism Commission in 1986 to fund an oversea trip to different comedy festivals to study the viability of holding such a festival in Melbourne. Once he returned from the trip, he presented a paper to the government on the festival and it got accepted. In 1987, the first Melbourne International Comedy Festival was hosted featuring 56 separate shows. . In 2010, the festival hosted 369 shows and 4947 performers presented their skills.
Melbourne Comedy Festival presents an opportunity to various stand-up comedians to showcase their talent. Though the festival is mainly for stand-up comedy shows and cabaret acts, it also plays host to other events like theatre performances, plays, sketch shows, debate, musical shows and art exhibitions. The Melbourne comedy festival is attended by both international and local artists. The festival also has a tradition to try unusual venues like buses or trams to host few of the comedy shows. The most popular show of the festival is the opening night super show, called Comedy festival Gala which presents short acts from world famous and award winning comedians. It is so popular that the tickets are sold weeks in advance.