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Comics' Corner – December

Showcasing Top End comics and local stand-up performers.

by Will Crawford.

I’ve been struck by the incredibly high calibre of comedians performing in Darwin this year. The highlights for me include Chris Little’s and Justin Brown’s shows at the Hotel Darwin Comedy Garden during the Darwin Fringe Festival; Nicole Stevens’ and Amy Hetherington’s sold out shows, and the wildly successful Laugh it Off, at Brown’s Mart; and the sold out Darwin and Alice Springs comedy showcase, You Wouldn’t Believe Me Mate, in November. Thus this month’s Comics’ Corner is an ode to the local Darwin comedy scene.  

In recent years, Darwin has experienced a comedy bush fire and Top End Comedy’s (TEC) monthly First Thursday shows at the Happy Yess at Brown’s Mart has been the accelerant. The room is quite simply the perfect comedy venue – an intimate space where the audience can hear a comic’s every breath, feel each bead of sweat and taste every spittle. There is no more exciting a room in which to see live comedy. 

TEC’s First Thursday series has launched the careers of some serious comedy heavyweights. It’s debuted the gritty stand-up of SBS Black Comedy star David Woodhouse, the loveable whimsy of Amy Hetherington, the insanely talented improvisational skills of Danielle Andrews, the dynamic and quirky insight of Ange Wu (aka Wanton of Destruction), the awkward musings of Ryan McArthur, the deadly one liners of Richard Fejo, the comic yarning of June Mills, the golden tonsils of Hot100’s Ben Stevenson, the raucous stories of Brad Scott, the absurd storytelling of Angus Robertson, the musical genius of Benjamin Jones, the kung fu comedy of Bryant Clark/Clark Norris, the Seinfeld-esque sharp observations of Garry O’Sullivan, the storytelling of Justin Brown, the surreal tales of Phil Denson and the killer character comedy of Andi Egan – to mention but 16. 

Without First Thursday, many of these comedians may not have emerged, or continued, their comic careers. A huge shout out to the teams at TEC and Brown’s Mart who have carved out this wonderful, creative hub where new comics can share the stage with more experienced colleagues. 

Another venue of note this year is The Beachfront Hotel. On the last Thursday of the month, this venue has played host to TEC’s LOL Comedy show where Darwin’s leading comedians are given longer sets to push the envelope of their creative output. 

In December, TEC brings together a selection of local comedy legends to experiment in the comic petri dish of First Thursday at Brown’s Mart. This month’s exceptional line-up includes Nicole Stevens, Ange Wu, Cassandra Ellis, Tom Sheridan, Darren McCallum, Garry O’Sullivan, Will Crawford and Amy Hetherington.  

The final LOL Thursday for the year hosts the theme ‘The 12 Comedians of Christmas’. Drop on by to farewell the year with a few big laughs. 

If you have a resolution for the New Year, make it to get out there and see some amazing local stand-up comedy.

Local comedy in December:

First Thursday Comedy –  Awkward Christmas | Thu 6 Dec | 7.30pm | Brown’s Mart 

LOL Thursday –  The 12 Comedians of Christmas | Thu 20 Dec | 8pm | The Beachfront Hotel 

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

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