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Comics' Corner - October

Showcasing Top End comics and local stand-up performers

By Will Crawford

Laugh It Off

With the Darwin Festival over, you might have thought that the only entertainment left until the end of the year was watching your colleague perform karaoke ‘It’s Raining Men’ at the work Christmas party, then tell their boss that their current role is soul destroying, they have little motivation to continue and suggesting they go halves in a Spanish food truck called Viva La Feeda…

But – every year Laugh It Off brings together a motley collection of dangerously funny comedians.


Not since the Dirty Dozen has such a collection of frighteningly talented mercenaries been assembled. I took a closer look at the outrageous talents of the 2018 Laugh It Off crew.


Justin Brown is a comedy fugitive from Townsville who escaped to the Top End a year ago. Hot off the back of his sold-out Darwin Fringe show, 50 Shades of Brown, which close friends described as “not s…t”, Brown has opened for Urzula Carlson and performed all around Australia and Hong Kong. He constructs self-deprecating stories, combining dry observations with unique travel experiences that make you laugh and feel strangely uncomfortable at the same time.

Peter Cortissos is known for his quirky, awkward and energetic comedy, and has been performing since he was five years old. He is a graduate of the Adelaide College of the Arts and is a founding member of Adelaide’s award-winning sketch comedy troupe The Golden Phung. Cortissos claimed the title of Top End Comedy’s Comedy Survivor at the 2017 improv night.

Will Crawford (if I may say so) combines cheeky storytelling, caustic one-liners and surrealist journeys into his private life to shine a light onto life’s embarrassing underbelly. He got his comic breakthrough at aged eight in a home-video impersonating Craig McDermott. A veteran character comic, Crawford loves writing comedy on the bus on the way to work and welcomes loud, obnoxious conversations that involve over-sharing from which he can eavesdrop and mine new material.

Scott McGowan migrated from his native Botswana in 2004 with a jar of chicken salt and a great fringe. He studied local Northern Territory politics and realised Darwin was a great place to do comedy. In 2008 McGowan won the prestigious NT Raw Comedy final and performed at the Melbourne Town Hall to 1150 punters as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He wore an amazing jacket. McGowan has shared the stage with the likes of notable comics Greg Fleet, Eddie Iff and Josh Thomas. The fringe is gone – along with most of his hair – but the jokes keep coming.

Nicole Stevens is the MC, producer and marionette of this rag-tag comic collective. Her quick-fire wit and clever observations are simultaneously effortlessly cool and all types of awkward. Stevens is a master of weaving side-splitting humour into tales of the foibles along the path of life. The winner of the Darwin Fringe Festival People’s Choice Award 2018 for her sold out full-length, original musical comedy show, she looks a lot like her mum and hates tpyos.

Catch five of Darwin’s hottest comedy supernovas before their respective gravitational fields collapse.

Laugh It Off  TUE 16 – FRI 19 OCT | 7-9PM | BROWN’S MART | $20 | $15 CONC, GROUP 8+ |

October comedy gigs:

First Thursday Comedy THU 4 OCT | 7.3OPM | BROWN’S MART | $10 |


Will Crawford is an up-and crawling comic. He moonlights as a land rights lawyer and policy activist.

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