If comedy thrives on the absurd, politicians are a gift to comedians and the laughter-prone folk who follow them. So where do politics addicts go to blow off steam? For one, Political Asylum – a Melbourne regular, devoted to finding the funny in the often funereal march of policy, debate and blunder.
And they’re sending all of their best people to join us at the Toff this July. Stand-up comic and writer Toby Halligan will host an event that offers you the chance to cackle bigly at the funnier side of America’s ruling cadre. Each comedian – and believe me, they’re tremendous people – will be given visual cues as prompts (we think there may be videos – the FBI is investigating). Are attacks on Trump a total hit job, or is he really a bad (or sick) guy? Should we, as many people in the street have suggested, simply be nice?
Only one thing’s clear. If you just can’t stop thinking about alternative facts, ‘wire tapping’ or some particularly salty kompromat, you’d better grab your ticket – don’t even wait. It should be EASY D! And missing out would be your worst call by far.
With Mathew Kenneally, Isabel Angus, Claire Hooper, Demi Lardner and Gerard McCulloch.
Presented in partnership with The Toff in Town.
Toby Halligan writes for Channel 10's The Project and SBS's Legally Brown, and has appeared on ABC's Strictly Speaking. His debut comedy show, Electile Dysfunction, was nominated for the best newcomer award at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and he regularly performs with Australia’s preeminent live political stand-up comedy group, Political Asylum. He is the co-author of the popular Diary Leaks website and his writing has appeared in Mamamia, the Monthly and the Age.
Mathew Kenneally is a stand up and political satirist. He is the founder and producer of the monthly comedy room Political Asylum. He moonlights as a lawyer and political columnist. Occasionally he muses on the AFL, just to prove he really is Victorian. His work has featured in NewMatilda, The Monthly, and the Big Issue.
Gerard McCulloch is head writer for the ABC's The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, having previously written for The Project, Dirty Laundry Live, Rove and more. Onstage, he’s earned a Best Newcomer and a Barry Award nomination at Melbourne’s comedy festival, a Melbourne Fringe Comedy Award, and had a sellout show in Edinburgh; offstage, he has a degree in Arabic. Be alert, not alarmed.
Isabel Angus is a multi-award winning writer and performer who has written and performed productions in a range of festivals around Australia. Isabel has been one half of theatrical comedy duo Isabel and Rachel, whose previous works include Isabel and Rachel’s EDGE!, which claimed various accolades, including Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe Festival (2013) and a Weekly Award from the Adelaide Fringe Festival (2014).
Penny Parsins is Isabel’s latest comic character from her recent solo show BLISS at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Taking a subversive look at the absurdity of extreme fitness and wellness culture, Isabel’s alter ego Penny is an internet-accredited fitness trainer and self-appointed life guru. Penny is an extreme #fitspo fanatic and entrepreneur who offers #authentic demonstrations from her unique brand of wellness, Perfect_Penny_Body_Bliss™. This is also the name of Penny’s professional Instagram account (which she would like you to follow asap for daily #fitspiration).
Claire Hooper started on the stage, crafting engaging, innovative live shows that blended stand-up, theatre ... and some hammer dancing. For four years, Claire shared a set with Paul McDermott and Mikey Robbins on the iconic comedy show Good News Week as a team captain. In 2015, Claire scored her dream job as co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off for Foxtel’s LifeStyle Channel; she's back on set for a third series in 2017.
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? in Edinburgh. In 2016, she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and then went on to win Best Newcomer in the same year at the Sydney Comedy Festival. She returned to Melbourne this year to win the Director's Choice Award.
Demi hosts and produces the podcast We Are Not Doctors with fellow comedian Bart Freebairn, playing listener voicemails and dishing out sometimes great, often terrible advice.