Speaking at the launch of the festival on Tuesday, Gadsby indicated the reign of the white male comic has had its day.
“When I first began [comedy] … it’s safe to say that diversity wasn’t a key quality of the stand-up comedy population,” she said. “That is changing.”
Gadsby continued, sharing her vision of the growth of racial and gender diversity in comedy.
“I can only hope the diversity continues to grow … in particular sponsoring and fostering and nurturing – particularly in this racially fraught moment in history – more diversity in race.”
Her brand new show, Douglas, is set to premiere at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in a sold out run of shows ahead of an international tour in coming months.
I have some news… I’m going on a world tour with a brand new show that I’ve called ‘Douglas’. So no… I haven’t quit comedy. Sign up to get the pre-sale and all of the details first: https://t.co/WOLgayBwCT pic.twitter.com/1dg2pnI3WG
— Hannah Gadsby (@Hannahgadsby) February 4, 2019
For Gadsby, its not just the faces in comedy that are changing, its the nature of comedy itself. It’s something she started in her Nanette, when she carefully dissected comedy as an art form and its a trend she sees continuing in a world of diversity in comedy.
“I believe there is a revolution in comedy about to happen – a real, big, global revolution … where the joke is not the only tool in a comedian’s kit.”
In light of her own recent success, Gadsby has urged her audience to support the inclusive nature of Melbourne International Comedy Festival and try and see someone new this comedy season.
“Please take a punt and see someone you don’t know,” she said. “I would really strongly encourage you to see somebody who does not look like you.”