Hardy HAR-HARs at The Big HOO-HAA!

Posted on 23 February 2012

The Big HOO-HAA! has been a proving ground for a number of Australia’s favourite comedians, including Tim Minchin (So Rock), Claire Hooper (Good News Week) and Xavier Michelides (Rove). Melbourne Big HOO-HAA! was founded by Michelle Nussey. Last year she was crowned Theatresports National Champion. The Big HOO-HAA! continues to be a proving ground for our next generation of comedy talent, but it’s something of a hidden gem.

I made sure to see The Big HOO-HAA! after enjoying Nadia Collins’s improvisational performance in Dungeon Crawl. I’m glad I did.

The Big HOO-HAA! is held at the Portland Hotel on Thursdays, except through the comedy festival when they will be performing at The Roxanne Room. The space was genuinely cosy, not just small but conducive to audience camaraderie. Even so, I was surprised the room wasn’t filled. Maybe people are saving up for the festival?

MCing the night’s events was Rob Lloyd. Recently, he’s been playing off his resemblence to Dr Who actor, David Tennant, in his show Who Me. People should note, he was winning awards for his comedy before this lucky coincidence. His good-natured confidence and poise put the audience at ease. He also kept the room’s energy dynamic and interactive.

We were then introduced to the night’s improvisers, who were lined up into two teams for competition: The Hearts and The Bones. Then with the help of the audience, they played a number of improvisational game standards, which provided the framework for some brilliant sketch work.

The format itself was nothing new, it is a tried and true way to generate a fun evening. What makes The Big HOO-HAA! is its people. That night we had Moosehead Award recipient Adam McKenzie, Nova radio announcer Matt Saraceni, Los Angeles Upright Citizens Brigade alumnus Adam Kangas. Less familiar, but equally likeable would be the charming Emmet Nichols. Robert Lloyd and Nadia Collins who were doing television quality work. They all need to be seen now, before they get swept away by the media.

People forget that everyone has to come from somewhere. We see performers on the television, in movies, or hear them on the radio, and we are seeing a polished end product. Places like The Big HOO-HAA! are where comedians develop their comedy chops. Let me tell you, it’s A LOT of fun watching someone go from zero to hero. Go see The Big HOO-HAA! one evening, see it a whole lot of evenings. It’s where things are happening.

The Big HOO-HAA!
Thursdays 8pm
Portland Hotel
127 Russell Street
Melbourne City
Tickets at the door
and Try Booking

More about their show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Peace and kindness,


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