Belly Laughs In Bangkok: The Magners International Comedy Festival Is Coming

Comedy and Bangkok aren’t two things you would necessarily put together.

While this fine nation undoubtedly provides more than enough comic material to fill a set, the stand-up comedy scene itself has been a little muted in the Thai capital.

Change has been a-coming in the past couple of years, however, with a simmering growth in the country’s stand-up sphere apparent.

We’ve now got loyal audiences and regular shows, as well as a host of international acts that are starting to view Bangkok as an important leg on the Asian comedy circuit.

The organisation leading the charge is the Comedy Club Bangkok – a dedicated comedy performance space located just above the Royal Oak pub on Soi 33/1.

comedy club bangkok

Run by Chris Wegoda and Drew McCreadie (pictured up top), the Comedy Club Bangkok hosts regular shows every Friday night, generally alternating between stand-up and improvised comedy (think: Who’s Line Is It Anyway?) with the occasional long-form gameshow and open-mic nights thrown in for shits and literal giggles.

From their first sold-out show in September 2014, Wegoda and McCreadie have been pulling in crowds of around 80 to 90 people every Friday, featuring a mixture of featured and headline international and local comedians. While comedy is generally dominated by men, female artists are growing steadily in number too, while the audience turn-out of the regular shows is mostly split evenly across the gender divide.

As every show is performed in English, attendees tend to be British and American, although a local Thai presence is growing furtively – even among the comedians!

The Comedy Club Bangkok aren’t resting on their laurels, however. The next event in the pipeline is the imminent Magners International Comedy Festival, which is touring around Southeast Asia with the final legs in both Bangkok and Hong Kong.

“This festival puts Bangkok on the map in the comedy scene in Asia,” says Wegoda.

“We have had some world-class comedians perform at our venue, but nothing can compare to the sheer volume of talent that we will be seeing in March. This is a rare opportunity to see some of the best in the business, up close and personal.”

magners international comedy festival

Martin Mor

Making the cut is the opener for Frankie Boyle, Martin Mor, and the legendary Earl Okin – former friend of The Beatles and a self-described sex symbol (even at 70!) – who’s known for his alternative musical take on comedy.

magners international comedy festival

Earl Okin

Other comedians in attendance include the Leo Comedy Award winner, Erica Sigurdson, Matthew Giffen, Luke Ashlock, Wes Zaharuk, Anto Chan and Lars Callieou.

magners international comedy festival

Erica Sigurdson

The festival will play out over the 17th, 18th and 19th of March in The Comedy Club Bangkok’s own space, as well as Tenderloins restaurant on Sukhumvit 33, and Altitude Bar at the top of the Westin Grande Sukhumvit in Asok.

magners international comedy festival

Anto Chan

As one of the final legs of the tour, it’s clear that Bangkok’s position as a comedy hub is finally being taken seriously.

It’s also the only city during the tour that will also be featuring improvised comedy alongside the stand-up, showing just how quickly the Bangkok scene is adapting and evolving.

magners international comedy festival

Luke Ashlocke

Sponsored by Magners – the biggest sponsors of comedy in the world right now – this festival is a real highpoint for Bangkok comedy and a huge coup for the Comedy Club Bangkok, who’ve worked exceptionally hard to build the burgeoning scene to where it is today.

magners international comedy festival

Wes Zaharuk

“The amount of work that goes into putting on a festival like this is beyond description,” explains McCreadie.

“I hope everyone appreciates all the hard work that had been put in, and that everyone buys a ticket for themselves, their friends, and just one ticket to keep in a special trophy case at home.”

magners international comedy festival

Matthew Giffen

9 comedians. 3 days. 3 venues. You know what to do!

Regular tickets are ฿750 until March 16th, thereafter are ฿1000 on the door. They can be purchased at the venue or on the Comedy Club Bangkok’s website.

magners international comedy festival

Lars Callieou


Thursday 17 March

Altitude @ The Westin Grande Sukhumvit

8pm: Erica Sigurdson (CAN), Anto Chan (CAN), Luke Ashlocke (USA), Earl Oakin (UK), Lars Callieou (CAN)
11pm: Improvised comedy jam with award-winning Drew McCreadie (CAN)

The Comedy Club Bangkok

8pm: Matthew Giffen (IRE), Martin Mor (NIR) and Wes Zaharuk (CAN)

Friday 18 March

The Comedy Club Bangkok

8pm: Luke Ashlocke (USA), Erica Sigurdson (CAN), Wes Zaharuk (CAN) and Anto Chan (CAN)

Tenderloins, Sukhumvit 33

9.45pm: Matthew Giffen (IRE), Martin Mor (NIR), Earl Oakin (UK) and Lars Callieou (CAN)

Saturday 19 March

The Comedy Club Bangkok

8pm: Martin Mor (NIR), Matthew Giffen (IRE), Earl Oakin (UK) and Lars Callieou (CAN)

Tenderloins, Sukhumvit 33

9.45pm: Erica Sigurdson (CAN), Anto Chan (CAN), Wes Zaharuk (CAN) and Luke Ashlocke (USA)