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Discussion topic: Canberra comedy – how can we improve?

By headgroggogwog - 12 August 2010 12

G’day rioters

I’m a local amateur stand-up comedian involved with the good people from Comedy ACT. We run the open-mic comedy night at the Front, the long-running and successful Civic Pub comedy club and the most recent addition the Tuggeranong Arts Centre Comedy Club, which has had a run of strong crowds over the past three months.

Driven by a committed nucleus of performers, technicians and supporters this group has grown from a handful of hopefuls scratching for places to tell jokes to the heart of a burgeoning arts community. 

We want to keep building so the point of this post is to get some community feedback about stand-up comedy as an art-form, specifically, in the context of the local scene. Please give us your honest feedback (sparing bagging out individuals if possible…). Possible lines of comment: 

Have you heard about the local comedy gigs in the ACT? Would you go along to see them/go back/bring other people? Did you enjoy it?

What did you like/dislike and what can we do better? (Too rude, too much swearing, audience participation, just not funny)

What would you like to see more/less of? (Musical comedy, avante garde, competitions, impro, etc)

Do we need more venues/comedians/courses? We’re talking about getting another venue happening in Belconnen – would you support this?

Have you ever though you might be ok at stand-up?

We’re talking here about local scene, places like the Canberra Theatre and Street Theatre do a great job bringing big-time acts like Arj Barker and Ross Noble and we hope to build upon and draw from the great support these acts bring to improve on a local level. 

Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading this – check out www.comedyact.com.au

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12 Responses to
Discussion topic: Canberra comedy – how can we improve?
headgroggogwog 12:05 pm 16 Aug 10

Thanks for the comments – particularly the serious (and thus far more useful) ones. Appreciated nonetheless.

VG – you’ve hit the nail on the head and at the heart of it if it’s not funny – it’s not really comedy, just poorly crafted and vulgar spoken-word poetry. Comedy can be a bit of a chicken-egg scenario in that it’s all to do with the relationship with the audience. Feedback is laughter, and if there’s nobody there to laugh, how do we know if it’s funny?

The idea about using Irish Club more regularly outside of Green Faces has validity, especially considering the success that competition has had in the past. It’s definitely the most well-known comedy venue in Canberra despite only operating for a couple of months a year. As someone said, Green Faces works well because the big names (Robbins, Chopper, Corrine Grant) draw the crowd that gives the amateurs a chance to impress the audience. To this end we are doing our best attract national standard performers to out venues and have them supported by locals.

For the record, Geoff has done a great deal of work for the Canberra scene.

Keep the feedback coming, please.

Doc Dogg 3:12 pm 14 Aug 10

I love a good comedy night, but I find most of them are on too late. The best one I’ve been to was in country SA at a local lounge bar. It started at 6:30 on a Friday and had a couple of local guys, a few better known guys and then a headliner. The venue was set up so that we were all seated on bar stools surrounding the comedians and they had full run of the place so they could walk between people and interact. It was similar to the Monkey Bar in Civic, venue wise.

My favourite was Ahn Do, he grabbed the room by the balls and made us laugh until we were sore. He interacted with the audience, but didn’t single anyone out or make fun of anyone. It was an enjoyable night. It cost $15 for 2 hours of comedy and left the rest of the night to tell all your mates the jokes at the pub.

If there was a comedy show on in Belconnen on a Friday night starting at 6:30 I’d be there 🙂

vg 9:17 pm 13 Aug 10

Canberra comedy – how can we improve?

Be funny, or if you think you’re funny…..funnier. The best comedians I have seen have been funny

Pork Hunt 7:04 pm 13 Aug 10

Pork Hunt said :

Did you hear the one about the dyslexic devil worshippers?

They made a pact with Santa…

ConanOfCooma 8:15 am 13 Aug 10

I live in Macgregor said :

I used to be a regular at the fantastic comedy comps they ran at the Irish Club in Weston. Then my wife became pregnant and couldn’t bear the cigarette smoke so we stopped going. Are the venues smoke-free? if they are that would be a plus for us as we are both non-smokers.

Where have you been for last few years, under a rock? You can’t even look at a cigarette indoors anymore.

Buggles 12:23 am 13 Aug 10

Have been to Green Faces at the Irish Club twice this year, and had a blast. Has anyone thought of approaching the Irish Club to see whether they’d be interested in maybe away form the Green Faces season, having a monthly local comedy night. Could even maybe have it hosted by an inter stater, much like Green Faces do. Last week with Heath ‘Chopper’ Franklin hosting was a cracker of a night

KTQ 10:59 pm 12 Aug 10

I’ve been to see stand up comedy at a small theatre beside the Canberra Theatre (think it was called The Courtyard Theatre) but it wasn’t local comedians.. The venue would be good for local talent as it’s reasonably small – only problem the night we went was that the aircon wasn’t working but the Comedian helped out by throwing water (from his water bottle) over the audience !!

The only other venue I hear advertised is Green Faces at the Irish Club,that’s supposed to be a good night out. I’d go to see local comedians if I knew about them (schedule permitting).

Pork Hunt 6:56 pm 12 Aug 10

Did you hear the one about the dyslexic devil worshippers?

I live in Macgregor 3:09 pm 12 Aug 10

I used to be a regular at the fantastic comedy comps they ran at the Irish Club in Weston. Then my wife became pregnant and couldn’t bear the cigarette smoke so we stopped going. Are the venues smoke-free? if they are that would be a plus for us as we are both non-smokers.

Thumper 1:16 pm 12 Aug 10

And in other news a priest who has performed over 2,000 exorcisms was today eaten by a green boogyman.

sorry ’bout that…

colourful sydney rac 1:00 pm 12 Aug 10

Sending Geoff Setty back to Perth would be a good start.

Hank 12:42 pm 12 Aug 10

That wasn’t funny.

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