Skip to content

Bent Merriment: Queer Comedy


The word ‘gay’ started out as a synonym for mirth and hilarity – and its modern usage isn’t just a coincidence.

In this discussion, we’ll hear stories from three queer comedians about what they’ve encountered along the way. How did they begin, and how has their comedy developed alongside their sexuality? In which ways does queer comedy operate as a kind of activism? Should it? How are society’s changing values reflected in where the ‘too far’ mark lies?

RRR presenter Geraldine Hickey (Breakfasters), Black Comedy’s Steven Oliver, stand-up comedian Demi Lardner and host Tom Ballard discuss whether whom one bones influences one’s funny bones.


Tom Ballard

Tom Ballard is a comedian, writer, broadcaster, actor, philanthropist and philanderer. In 2009 he became the youngest person ever to win the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Best Newcomer Award. Since then he’s co-hosted the Triple J breakfast show for four years,... Read more

Geraldine Hickey

With an unselfconscious charm and a superb skill for finding the funny in true stories Geraldine Hickey has been described as a ‘deceptively cheery dame who’ll quietly take out your innards.’ She is revered in the industry as a comedian’s comedian and has been shortlisted for the ‘Piec... Read more

Steven Oliver

Steven Oliver is a descendant of the Kuku-Yalanji, Waanyi, Gangalidda, Woppaburra, Bundjalung and Biripi (in other words, biggest mob) peoples. He was born in Cloncurry in North West Queensland and grew up in Townsville before moving to Perth to study performing arts. He has worked with numerous the... Read more

Demi Lardner

Demi has been doing stand-up since she was 16, and in a few short years has scored handfuls of awards – performing her unique brand of funny around the country and abroad. In 2013, she won the RAW Comedy Competition and tied for first place in the national final of So You Think You’re Funny?... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

View our privacy policy
Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.