Why did one in five chickens cross the road? To see a female comedian!

That is according to Ticketmaster’s State of Play Comedy Report; a comprehensive look at comedy preferences of Australians.

One of the major findings of the Comedy Report is that Australia is leading the charge in terms of embracing female comedians. Our research found female comedians make up almost 20% of the industry in Australia, which is well above the United Kingdom, where female comedians make up just 14% of the market, and Norway, which has 17%.

The Australian comedy industry is thriving and Ticketmaster’s Comedy Report is proof that female comedians are commanding space within the market. On top of the 20%, there is close to an additional 15% of Australia comedy acts which feature male and female comedians within the one act.

Male comedians still account for the vast majority of the industry in Australia so it was no surprise when survey participants listed all men as personal and family favourites. Australia’s own Carl Barron was listed as the family favourite – which means a comedian everyone can enjoy. Billy Connolly topped the list of peoples’ personal favourite with Carl Barron coming in third.

The family and personal favourites features a strong mix of international and local acts. Australian comedian Dave Hughes is prominent on both lists; he is fifth on the list of personal favourites and fourth on the list of family favourites. Hughes is also the highest ranked comedian on prompted awareness with close to 80% of respondents aware of him and 27% who have attended one of his gigs. 

One of the most interesting aspects of the findings was the clear difference in preferences between the sexes and also the states. Men and women have very different taste in comedy and males overall were less offended by humour types than females. The three categories men and women differed on most were sexuality, sexual and religious jokes. 

There was also a big discrepancy in humour preferences between Victoria and New South Wales, as well as Western Australia and South Australia. Every region was turned off by scatological jokes – yes people, that means fart jokes etc – except Queensland, which was all for some potty humour.

Overall, respondents found family, country/region and politics the three funniest humour types but were most put off by jokes relating to disability, death and race. 

It seems seat location at a comedy gig is very important with 32% of respondents desperate to be close to the action sitting in the front rows. But there is a percentage (16% in fact) of comedy fans who deliberately sit in the back rows to avoid getting picked on by the comedian. 

And the Comedy Report shows there is a big difference between what people consider to be acceptable behaviour at a comedy gig compared to what they are prepared to do themselves. Only 20% of survey participants consider whispering to be acceptable and yet 80% of respondents admit to having done it themselves.

Click here to see an infographic that explains the State of Play Comedy Report.