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Comedy

Hannah Gadsby

About

Internationally acclaimed Australian stand-up comedian behind award-winning shows Nanette and Douglas

Most people will tell you that Hannah Gadsby is so much more than a comedian. That might be true, but what that omits is just how brilliant Gadsby is at just being a comedian. For all the focus on the overwhelming emotion of her searing Netflix special Nanette, so much of it missed out on relaying just how brilliantly funny much of it is. Gadsby can change how you see the world, but she can also make you laugh yourself silly at the same time. 

Born in Tasmania in 1978, Gadsby encountered no shortage of obstacles, not least growing up gay in a state where it was still outlawed. En route to discovering her predilection for comedy, Gadsby got a BA in Art History and Curatorship (which is used to stunning effect in her second Netflix special Douglas) and drifted from job to job before ending up homeless and hospitalised with a serious illness.

While visiting her sister in 2006, Gadsby entered and won the Raw Comedy prize, resulting in a slot at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where she finished second in the So You Think You’re Funny? competition. She co-wrote and appeared in Australian TV series The Adam Hills Show and Please Like Me, while also touring her stand-up shows, many of which had art-centric themes.

In 2018, Netflix picked up Gadsby’s revolutionary stand-up show Nanette, in which she grappled with themes of homophobia, gender identity and mental illness. It became an international phenomenon, earning Gadsby rave reviews and winning a Primetime Emmy and the Peabody Award.

Despite announcing her intention to quit comedy and focus on her own mental health, Gadsby returned with another Netflix special in 2020. Douglas was more comedy-focused than its predecessor, albeit with a meta narrative that involved Gadsby laying out the exact format of the show at the offset.

In 2021, Gadsby announced a new show Body Of Work, set to tour the UK in 2022.