Joe White A.K.A Tilahun Hailu, Possibly Australia’s Only Ethiopian Comedian In The Comedy Festival 2017

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Fringe World Award nominated comedian Joe White, formal name Tilahun Hailu, is one of six siblings born to Ethiopian parents Yezina and Mulu. Amidst love, heartbreak, failure and success Joe has always tried to find the upside in life and this has been his inspiration for pursuing comedy. He has experienced many hardships in life and this has taught him the value of laughter in life. Now his passion is to make others laugh too.


Joe’s career started out with the launch of his first solo show “Ethiopian & Not Hungry”. These sold out shows attracted hundreds of people and he has already won some awards.

Recently plunging into comedy full time, this early 30-something used to be a banker with a side line in jokes. Now, after a slew of various awards, jokes are paying the bills. This is his first full length show in Melbourne (he’s played other cities) and he’s about to tour North America.

White uses corporate culture to explore casual racism and he’s not shy with the accents — Indian, Chinese, his own mother’s minimal English. His delivery is not angry or hard, it’s so relaxed that you can’t help going with his flow. He latched onto a few nearby punters for his crowd repartee, striking gold with a confident Kiwi-Indian bloke who ended up entwined in several punchlines.

At the age of 30, Joe White has matured like a good red. He migrated to Australia at the age of 11 as a ‘legitimate refugee’, overcoming many challenges ­– like surviving in the white collar world of finance for three years with no degree of any sorts. His biggest challenge to date is being raised by a very cultural mother (which he loves ­– in case she reads this), hence the formation of the show Joe White: Ethiopian & Still Not Hungry. This is a show not to be missed and will be touring Canada and the US next year.