Entertainment Arts Melbourne Comedy Festival stars share their best icebreaker jokes

Melbourne Comedy Festival stars share their best icebreaker jokes

matt okine
Matt Okine likes to bring up conspiracy theories when trying to start a conversation at a party. Photo: Getty
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As the massive beast that is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival prepares to tickle the Victorian capital’s funny bone once more – from March 28 to April 22 – the megastars are swarming.

From international drawcards like Arj Barker, Steven K Amos and Urzila Carlson to local heroes including Wil Anderson, Celia Pacquola and Judith Lucy, demand for tickets has been strong.

With one week to go, we asked some of The New Daily’s favourite funny people for tips on how to break the ice at social occasions.

Cal Wilson

“Once, as I started talking to a guy, I went to take a sip of my drink and the straw went straight up one nostril. I quickly lowered my glass, but the straw stayed in. He definitely noticed, because when I pulled the straw out, my nose started bleeding. In terms of getting his attention, it definitely worked a treat.”

Kitty Flanagan

“I ask, ‘what’s your favourite brand of hummus?’ It’s never worked. I don’t know why I keep trotting it out, I’m just genuinely curious and always looking for a good recommendation.”

Rhys Nicholson

Once I was a plus-one at a party and made a comment about a hideous painting on the wall. It turned out I was saying it to the person whose house it was. She had painted it. It was a painting of their deceased grandparent. I left the party and quit drinking for a month.”

Matt Okine

“I usually bring up the latest posts on the flat earth society forums except in no way am I being ‘comical’. The truth is out there. If it weren’t for homemade YouTube documentaries, people would still blindly believe thousands of years of scientific ‘evidence’. Lol, sheep.”

Urzila Carlson

“I don’t have a line or anything, I just believe in honesty. So if I go in I’ll say whatever I see. If someone parked like a d–k, I’ll ask, ‘who parked like a d–k?’. I try and find the one thing I know we’ll all be thinking.”

Gillian Cosgriff

“When I was five I snuck into my brother’s 15th birthday party and asked everyone individually if they knew how to spell Tchaikovsky, the Russian classical composer. Then I wrote out the correct spelling on slips of paper and handed them out to everyone. I really thought I nailed it at the time.”

Lady Rizo

I have this move where I take someone’s hand to kiss it, slowly bring it to my mouth, look them in the eyes and then flip it to lick my own hand. It almost always gets a good reaction …​ I’m very good in a crowd, darling! I’m the wing-lady you always want.”

Sammy J

I like to strip naked, douse myself in champagne, then scream ‘LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!’ whilst swinging from a chandelier. It went down beautifully at Buckingham Palace. The Queen invited me to her Balmoral estate for an encore performance, but the chandelier broke and killed one of her corgis.”


“I once slid down a banister and landed on a stuffed horse at the bottom of the stairs at Kelly’s, a nightclub in Northern Ireland. The bouncer threw me out. Stupid place to have a stuffed horse. It was a matter of time really.”

Susie Youssef

“If I’m at a party that needs someone to break the ice, there has been a terrible mistake. I don’t really go to parties anymore, thanks to crippling social anxiety. I once said to a guy that ‘you never really know anyone and it’s possible that one of us is a serial killer’.”

Charlie Pickering

“I am good with a big crowd or a small group. Anything in between and I struggle, largely because I’m terrible with names and I panic and call too many people ‘mate’.”

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from March 28-April 22

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