Australian comedy (or Australian humour) refers to the comedy and humour performed in or about Australia or by the people of Australia. Australian humour can be traced to various origins, and today is manifested in a diversity of cultural practices and pursuits. Writers like Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson helped to establish a tradition of laconic, ironic and irreverent wit in Australian literature, while Australian politicians and cultural stereotypes have each proved rich sources of comedy for artists from poet C. J. Dennis to satirist Barry Humphries to iconic film maker Paul Hogan, each of whom have given wide circulation to Australian slang.
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Vaudeville larrikinism in the style of Graham Kennedy and parochial satire and self-mockery has been a popular strain in Australian comedy, notably in the work of such as Norman Gunston (Garry McDonald), The D-Generation, Roy & HG and Kath & Kim. Acclaimed Australian comic character actors have included John Meillon, Leo McKern, Ruth Cracknell, Geoffrey Rush and Toni Collette. Sardonic political satire like that of The Chaser and social and cultural commentary provided by broadcasters like Clive James and Andrew Denton has been another hallmark. Multiculturalism has also contributed to a diversity in Australian comedy, from the work of migrant comedians like Mary Coustas and Anh Do to Aboriginal performers like Ernie Dingo. Australian stand-up comedy has a wide following and the Melbourne Comedy Festival is a major international comedy event.