Comedy Festival

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at The Wheeler Centre

Clicks vs Tix

In 2018, what defines a globally successful comedian? A sold-out festival show? An Edinburgh Comedy Award? A Barry Award? Millions of YouTube hits? A chart-topping podcast? A Netflix special?

For this conversation, we’re bringing together panellists from across the comedy business and across the globe. They’ll discuss how the barometer for success in comedy differs across local scenes and cultures. Talking sponsorship, streaming, self-publishing and critical versus popular acclaim – our panel of industry heavies will share their views and insights on the changing nature of comedy.

How do ideas about the longevity of material vary from one country to the next? And why do different comic voices, and comic cultures, suit different platforms?

With Geraldine Hickey, Phil Wang, Sorabh Pant and Zach Ruane. Hosted by Jodi Crocker.

Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Comedy Festival.


Portrait of Geraldine Hickey

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 ‘Piece of Wood’ award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival multiple times. A veteran of many seasons of The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, she is also a regular on the club and pub circuit around the country.

Portrait of Jodi Crocker

Jodi Crocker

After almost 20 years in public relations, Jodi founded Social Set Media in June 2017 after seven years at, arguably, the biggest show in town – Crown – where she was Head of Media Relations and Social Media for the non-gaming portfolio in both Melbourne and Perth.

Combined with ten years as a freelance public relations professional specialising in arts and entertainment – theatre, film, comedy and venues – some of the clients Jodi represents across multiple industries include the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Atlantic Group, George Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment and a range of reputable chefs including Raymond Capaldi and Donovan Cooke, prominent Red Hill Wineries including Montalto and Tuck’s Ridge, the iconic Riewoldt family charity and events for Maddie’s Vision.

Portrait of Phil Wang

Phil Wang

Phil Wang is a son of the British Empire. But in a world intent on building walls and bolstering borders, what is a Commonwealth man to do? Some blistering new comedy gold – that’s what.

As a Malaysian-born son of Chinese and British parents, Phil Wang has a unique and nuanced view of ethnicity and identity. In Kinabalu, he explores his ‘immigrant patriotism’ with equal parts silliness and sophistication.

Fresh from a sell-out UK tour, award-winning Phil returns to Australia with his signature cerebral charm and personal/political comedy. Since wowing Melbourne audiences in New Order in 2015, Phil has gone on to appear on Live at the Apollo, Would I Lie to You? and Have I Got News For You.

Portrait of Sorabh Pant

Sorabh Pant

Sorabh Pant is one of India’s best loved and most travelled comedians – with over 1000 shows in 60 cities across 15 countries – though he does it only for the frequent flyer miles. He’s a comedian, an author and a full-time Vinod Kambli impersonator.

He's best known for his incredible energy and overt expressiveness – don’t worry, these are good things – which make him a corporate favourite. He’s done 300+ corporate shows with a clean version of his comedy that appeals across all boundaries – and helps feed his wife and son.

He’s also opened for Wayne Brady and Rob Schneider, whose official statements were that their drinks were spiked. He has also terrorised children and adults alike on TV, with shows on Pogo, Star World, CNBC, ET Now and others. Aside from this, Sorabh is also the author – yes, he can read and write – of the novels The Wednesday SoulUnder Delhi and a forthcoming mythology/history novel.

Comedy Festival

The Wheeler Centre is delighted to partner with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. No jokes.


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