Comedians’ guide to the best laughs in Australia
Explore the best of Australian comedy with the original Aussie larrikins, the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars.
Meet the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars, a collective of some of the best Indigenous comedians in Australia – Indigenous meaning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. The group has been performing for five years (10 in dingo years) and call themselves the Allstars because “we’re humble like that”, jokes stand-up comedian Steph Tisdell.
When they’re not starring in music videos, they can be found cracking up Australia in the best comedy venues, festivals or road-shows across the country.
Comedy is an important and influential art form across the world, connecting audiences from all backgrounds and cultures. The Aboriginal Comedy Allstars are championing this perception and an unexpected part of Aboriginal culture, with big belly laughs and a mandate of bringing people together at their cheeky shows. As Andy Saunders says, “First and foremost I like to make people laugh, and then I like people to think and discuss on their way home.” Here, the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars introduce themselves, their culture, and their top picks for a barrel of laughs in Australia.
"We do have a mandate; it’s about bringing people together. There’s nothing better than sharing the freshest new comedy in Australia from the oldest culture in the world."
My beautiful nation of Biripi is on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. If it's not God's country, it's at least his first cousin's country, or where he keeps his holiday house.
My pick of the best comedy festival to experience in Australia... is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – it is so eclectic and full of life. Energy is high, and it’s unpredictable what’s going to happen, which is really exciting on a lot of levels.
In terms of performing, the oldest theatre in Tasmania’s capital of Hobart, the Theatre Royal, is unbelievable to perform in. It has so much vibe and history and makes you want to perform better because you’re in such a significant building performing to a big audience.
I belong to the Ngarrindjeri Nation of the Lower River Murray, Lakes & Coorong region of South Australia. I'm from an Aboriginal Community called "Raukkan" which means "The Ancient Way". There are few Dreaming stories from my region, but one of the main ones is of a Giant Murray Cod that created the River Murray.
My favourite venue and festival to experience comedy in Australia… well, there are two famous and iconic venues that I love performing in, so they’d be my picks.
I’ve had the pleasure of performing to a full house at the Indigenous awards night at the Sydney Opera House. To anyone visiting Australia, they must visit the Sydney Opera House; it is such an Australian icon on the amazing Sydney Harbour.
I've also performed to a full house at the famous Palais Theatre in St Kilda, on the opening night Gala of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This is one of my most memorable comedy experiences.
I am a Dulguburra Yidinji woman from Far North Queensland.
In terms of my favourite venue or festival to experience comedy in Australia, this sounds lame, but I reckon at home with my brothers. But apart from that, and this time without sounding like a diva, it has to be the Palais in St Kilda, Melbourne.
When you’re visiting Australia, make sure you go and see a show at the Palais; it's grandiose and stunning both inside and out!
"We’re absolutely about storytelling and championing a voice that doesn’t always get championed. We’re making a noise for people who haven’t necessarily been heard or listened to in the past."
Comedy is great in Australia, there’s something for everyone. It’s very diverse, and it embraces many different comedic walks of life. Australians can make anyone laugh regardless of your background. Our comedy is relatable to everyone, and you’ll leave thanking yourself that you opened yourself up to the experience.