With a host of stupendously good internationals and world-beating locals, the Sydney Comedy Festival is the best entry point for anyone who needs a little help being the funny guy in a group situation.

As the festival launches, we ask a bunch of funny people from our backyard (excluding Cal Wilson, who’s actually a Kiwi but we’ll let it slide because, Crowded House) about how to be the most entertaining person at a dinner party, then got their picks for the festival for good measure. If you have a lot of loud, dominating friends, whip out one of these jokes and you might steal the floor.

What's the best way to be funny at a dinner party?

Jordan Raskopoulos of Axis Of Awesome

Try and eat some of the glassware. Folks’ll be all like, “dude, you’re eating glass” and you can be all like, “I know, it’s delicious!” then you can choke on your own blood and bits of your tongue.

Steen Raskopoulos

People talk a lot at dinner parties. Everyone is scared of silence so most of the time people will just talk for the sake of it. I think the best way to be funny is to just remain silent until you have a killer line, then you say it and not speak for the rest of the evening. Everyone will go home and be driving in their cars going, “How funny was that line from (insert name here). They are so funny.”

Alice Fraser

Putting food on your face (like a whole lump of schnitzel or some broccoli) and then when people try to tell you that you have food on your face be really oblivious (e.g. wipe the other side of your face) hilarious. Keep doing it until it becomes funny.

Frenchy

Well it depends on the type of dinner party, obviously, but generally nudity is always funny. I’m just basing this on when I take my pants off in the bedroom and how much girls laugh.

Cal Wilson

Inadvertent slapstick always works for me. Standing round chatting the other night, I took a sip out of a glass without realising there was a straw in it. The straw slipped straight up one nostril. I went “Oh!” and pulled the glass away. Straw stayed in my nostril. I was holding the glass in one hand, plate in the other, couldn't pull out the straw. The guy I was talking to just carried on like he hadn't noticed, as though he thought I was doing a rubbish elephant impression on purpose.

Give us one tried and tested joke that always brings the house down at said dinner party.

Jordan Raskopoulos of Axis Of Awesome

I had a plumber over recently and I wanted to make a joke about plumbing but couldn't think of one. The plumber said to me, “It”s okay, don’t faucet.”

Cal Wilson

The one I'd actually tell, I don't think you’d be allowed to publish.

Here’s one I loved as a kid: What’s green, has four legs, and if it fell out of a tree, could kill you? A pool table. Sure, it’s not the best, but invite me round for dinner, and I’ll tell you the proper one.

Frenchy

There were two cows in a field. One said, “Did you hear about mad cow disease?” the other cow said, “What do I care, I’m a helicopter.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA. Brilliant, ay? After you tell this joke you then you have to laugh insanely until everyone awkwardly joins in. It’s great fun.

Alice Fraser

“Have I got something on my face?!”

Which Sydney act is your pick of the festival?

Axis of Awesome (Jordan)

Susie Youssef. She has a great show and you should see it. We have a great show too, but people already know about it so go see Susie.

Steen Raskopolous

Susie Youssef. She is an amazing sketch and stand-up comedian and her show is hilarious.

Cal Wilson

Comedians are like chocolates, you can never pick just one. The nights you're not seeing me (flutters eyelashes, winningly) you should check out Alex Edelman, and Alice Fraser.

I realise they both start with A, so it seems like I've just looked through the start of the festival guide, but they are both corkers. If you’ve got kids, take them to Captain Fun Pants and the Mystery of the Fun-o-matic Fun Wand. It’s joyful mayhem and fart jokes – what more do you need?

Frenchy

There are so many good shows there! I haven’t seen them all, obviously, so here is just a few of my favourite shows/people:

  1. Darude with his show, Sandstorm.
  2. Vennu Mallesh with his show It’s My Life Whatever I Wanna Do (YouTube him and thank me later).


Alice Fraser

I feel this is a trick question. I like me most. If I liked someone else more, I’d steal their act and do it in a wig with a pun name like a Beatles cover band. Otherwise, see Penny Greenhalgh or Damien Power or both. Also me.

Sydney Comedy Festival runs from April 20 until May 17, at venues across Sydney. For full venue list and lineup, visit sydneycomedyfest.com.au.