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Final Comedians Announced For The Best Foods Comedy Gala

NZ Comedy Festival & Best Foods Mayo present

Best Foods Comedy Gala

Hosted by Chris Parker

Rounding out an already stacked line-up of comedians from across Aotearoa and beyond, the Best Foods Comedy Gala adds the final names to the ultimate night of comedy. On as part of the 2024 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, audiences can get a taster of the best in the biz on Friday 3 May in Auckland and Saturday 4 May in Wellington, with host Chris Parker.

In Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Whanganui-a-Tara, audiences get to experience Aotearoa’s favourite American country music and comedy legend Wilson Dixon, following sell out seasons and numerous awards and nominations across NZ, Aus and the UK, including a coveted Fred Award. Fred Award nominee, Barnie Duncan, makes his Gala debut in both cities, with his unique off-beat style of comedy. Barnie has been highly awarded for his theatrical comedy both here and internationally and is known for his acting roles on shows like Wellington Paranormal and Shortland Street. He's joined by Comedy Fest regular, Wellington's own legend, MC and comedy producer Jerome Chandrahasen who will bring plenty of laughs.

In Auckland, last year’s Gala host and comedy force and previous Billy T Award winner Melanie Bracewell returns. Making audiences laugh on screen and in the writer’s room in both Aotearoa and Australia, her credits include The Cheap Seats, Have You Been Paying Attention?, 7 Days, and Wellington Paranormal. Winner of Best Live Show and Best Gag at the 2019 New Zealand Comedy Guild Awards, Paul Douglas has been making audiences laugh for more than 14 years and returns to the Gala after being a highlight in 2023.

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Also in Auckland are international acts, the award-winning UK comedian, actor and writer Ian Smith, who was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show last year and Aussie Kirsty Webeck, who brings her upbeat and relatable brand of comedy to the Gala for the first time after seasons at both the Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Fests.

The Capital will be treated to Courtney Dawson, who made the final three in Celebrity Treasure Island, Have You Been Paying Attention? and Paddy Gower Has Issues. She kicked off her comedy career with a bang, winning 2019’s Raw Comedy Quest and Best Newcomer. She’ll be joined by Lesa MacLeod-Whiting, who also made a big impression in her first year of comedy as 2020 Raw Comedy Quest national finalist and Best Newcomer at the 2020 Wellington Comedy Awards. She won Best Comedian in the 2023 Wellington Comedy Awards and is also the co-host of the podcast Are We Pals? with acclaimed Scottish comedian Samantha Hannah, a regular act and MC in Wellington and across the country, who will also be joining the Gala line-up.

These outstandingly funny comedians join the already announced line-up of Heath Franklin’s Chopper, Brynley Stent, Pax Assadi, Abby Howells, Takashi Wakasugi, Nazeem Hussain, Hayley Sproull, He Huang, Alice Snedden, Rhys Mathewson, and Eli Matthewson for an unforgettable night of comedy, filmed exclusively for THREE.

The 2024 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo runs from 3 – 26 May, with the full programme live at:



Friday 3 May, 7.30pm

Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre

50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland Central

Tickets via Ticketmaster


Saturday 4 May, 7.30pm

The Opera House

113/111 Manners Street, Te Aro

Tickets via Ticketmaster

© Scoop Media

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