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Hometurf Hilarity

Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s (MICF) open mic comedy competition Raw Comedy has launched the careers of some of the most recognised names in the Australian comedy landscape including Hannah Gadsby, Celia Pacquola and Luke Mcgregor.

For a huge 27 years, stand-up hopefuls have battled it out for a spot in the national grand final, held as a feature event of the MICF with the chance to compete at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

By Kate Conway

In 2016, Darwinite Dave Woodhead was a national finalist, and this month, the talented writer, actor, producer and triple j host returns to where it all began as emcee of the NT final. Woodhead says the high stakes and competitive nature of the event is what has made it such an enduring fixture on the comedy calendar.

“There is nothing else like it. It’s the biggest opportunity a new comedian can get, to make it into the national finals,” he says.

“I think the element of competition is uniquely Australian – I don’t think there are many other countries that treat comedy like a competition. In Australia, we have a competitive spirit with our love of sport, so we’ve tried to turn stand-up into a sport.”

Returning to Darwin for the first time in six years, Woodhead says he’s keen to soak up the energy of audiences on his home turf.

“I am just very excited to be back in my home town. I’ll be telling jokes, having a good time and getting you through the night,” he says.

“I’m not saying this just because I am a Darwin boy and I grew up there, but Darwin audiences are probably the best in the country. I don’t think people give them enough credit, they are very in tune with comedy, they understand humour and they laugh loud.”

After two heats of cutthroat competition, expect the NT final to be the best of the best. Round up your mates, take a seat, and bear witness as local emerging voices give it their all.

Raw Comedy NT Final
COST $35

Thumbnail: Alexandra Hudson, Photo: Jim Lee
Header & inset: Dave Woodhead

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