28 May 2024

Gags galore in store as all-star Wagga Comedy Fest line-up awaits

| Jarryd Rowley
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Triple M radio duo Jamie and Leigh will be joining Wagga comedian Dane Simpson in shows including The Great Debate at this year’s Wagga Comedy Fest. Photo. Jarryd Rowley.

Wagga Wagga is set to be the comedy hub of the country this June as talents including Geraldine Hickey, Tom Gleeson and Wil Anderson headline a stacked Comedy Fest line-up.

“Located at the heart of our city, the Wagga Comedy Festival will bring world-class comedians, good times and much, much laughter,” Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre manager Claire Harris said.

“We are incredibly proud to be showcasing nationally acclaimed comedians as well as the incredible talent that we have right here in our own community.

“If you miss out on seeing your favourite comedian or act, take a risk and try something new! Some shows are already sold out but there are still plenty of laughs to be had.”

New shows and attractions have been added to this year’s line-up, including Bogan Bingo, which will see hosts look for the biggest bogan in town, as well as The Gong Show, hosted by Wagga comedy icon Dane Simpson.

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“The Gong Show is going to be one of my absolute favourite shows,” Dane said.

“The crowd is in charge of the show and are given paddles. We then have an open mic where people can get up and if you don’t like the joke as an audience member, you hold up your paddle.

“If I see too many paddles in the air, I’m gonna pull that person off the stage. If you can last a full four-minute set and people vote for you as their favourites, you win a cash prize.”

Dane expressed his excitement at the prospect of local talent performing at the festival, saying he was eager to see new people experience comedy.

“There is definitely not one act at the Wagga Comedy Fest this year that is going to be the same as any other,” he said.

“I love getting our community involved in comedy. I think it’s so important. That’s why there are things like The Gong Show and The Great Debate, so we can have local people getting involved in comedy.”

One of the hottest tickets to this year’s festival is The Great Debate, featuring Region Riverina’s own editor Chris Roe.

Sitting on the affirmative team, Chris, the ABC’s Sally Bryant and last year’s MVP Peter Casey will be arguing that ”There has been no good music since 1999”.

Fighting for the negative team are captain Jamie Way from Triple M, Ashleigh Baxter and the Civic Theatre’s own Isobel McCallum.

The debate will be officiated by Miss Wagga Wagga Velika Hayes and Triple M radio host Leigh Ryan.

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“So The Great Debate, as its name suggests, is great,” Leigh said.

“It’s debating that there has been no good music since 1999 and Jamie is captain of the negative team arguing very much against that statement purely off the existence of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe.

“Meanwhile, Peter Casey is the captain of the affirmative team and he will be also arguing purely on the existence of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe.”

Jamie said he was looking at putting on a better showing at this year’s debate after last year’s miserable performance.

“They’ve got some very big brains over on the affirmative side,” he said.

“I didn’t want to mention that we got absolutely demolished by Peter Casey last year, so hopefully Ashley, Isobel and I can put on a better showing this year.”

Plan your weekend of comedy by visiting the theatre’s website here, contacting the Civic on 6926 9688 or visiting the box office.

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