Comedy! Where and When to Check out the Funny
Australians are known the world over for their often irreverent, often cheeky sense of humour. Even the local lingo makes outsiders laugh. Try hearing Ã¢ÂÂShe'll be applesÃ¢ÂÂ, or Ã¢ÂÂDon't come the raw prawn with meÃ¢ÂÂ, or Ã¢ÂÂGoing down the gurglerÃ¢ÂÂ without smiling (and that's just a few of the ones we can print!).
So don't be surprised to find dozens of venues in any of the main cities around the country where stand-up comedians try to find fortune or fame.
Sydney leads the way. For good, clean family amusement you can't beat Clean as a Whistle, billed as the city's only family-oriented stand up comedy show at the Star Bar Comedy Theatre just off George Street. The show is open to all ages, but all under 18s must have an adult supervisor just in case.
For something occasionally more intense, visit Happy Endings Comedy Club in coolest Kings Cross (in the non-seedy area of this infamous night scene) at El Rocco, just off William Street. There's always a few acts, sometimes top national names, while the venue also has food and a bar.
International acts love to tour Australia, although Billy Connolly tells a hilarious tale about how he was heckled and even assaulted on stage in Brisbane and consequently took a dislike to the entire city.
Don't think only the big cities have comedy. Go to the Civic Theatre in either cairns or Townsville in northern Queensland, for example, where top Australian acts are happy to tour because of the reception they always receive. Recent visitors include Tom Gleeson off 'This Week Live' and Peter Helliar. Townsville also has The Venue, a function and events centre located in the heart of the tropical town that is home of many regional comedy stars.
Across in Western Australia, May is comedy month in Perth, when some of the country's and world's favourite comedians head west for the Perth International Comedy Festival. There are more than 50 events and 150 performances at four venues in Mount Lawley to the north of the CBD.
Melbourne too has its comedy festival, this one staged in late March to early April. Among a host of top acts around the city, there will be the finals of a competition called Deadly Funny, billed as Ã¢ÂÂthe only dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comedy programme for AustraliaÃ¢ÂÂs traditional owners.Ã¢ÂÂ
Even rather straight-laced Canberra hosts comedy acts Ã¢ÂÂ and many Australians reckon what goes on in the federal parliament passes for funny. The country's top politicians have always had an earthy kind of wit about them that you don't hear anywhere else in the world.