What’s hot in comedy in 2017

From comedians who deliberately make you sad to a new wave of feminist humour, comedy festivals are the perfect time to assess the art form's current concerns.

UK comedian Richard Gadd is helping the art form of comedy evolve.

Comedy is a remarkably agile art form, able to respond to contemporary events with far greater speed than a playwright, composer or choreographer, whose development processes can take months, even years before being staged.

With Australia in the midst of comedy festival season – Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) concludes this weekend, while festivals in Sydney and Perth are poised to begin – it’s a perfect time to assess the art form’s current trends and concerns.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts