Did you hear the one about the stand-up comedian who had no audience for his jokes?

A tough crowd would have been a welcome relief for a comedian who was forced to cancel a show after nobody turned up.

With not even a drunken heckler in sight, award-winning comedian Vaughan King's show at Auckland's The Classic Studio was called off on Thursday night.

His show is part of the International Comedy Festival running this month - and organisers say King was just unlucky with a late-night show, which isn't a reflection of the rest of the festival.


The Herald understands ticket sales have been low across King's Busy Living shows, which have run from Wednesday until tonight.

King has been a regular on the local comedy circuit for more than 10 years. Yesterday he said the turnout this year was "a bit of unfortunate-ness" but declined to comment further.

Local comedians are competing with international acts such as Stephen K Amos for the punter's dollar.

Festival director Kylie Aitchison said generally local comedians had sold well so far, with overall sales on track to meet the approximately 100,000 tickets sold last year.