Just For Laughs Festival opening press release written by Iain F. MacNeil in 2013.
We Only Speak One Language: Funny
Montreal, May 23, 2013 – Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers, Joan Rivers, Eddie Izzard, Taran Killam & Bobby Moynihan, Nick Kroll, Amy Schumer, Colin Quinn, Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood, Kristen Schaal, Bo Burnham, Hannibal Buress, Danny Bhoy, Marc Maron, Pete Holmes, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, and Judah Friedlander highlight the opening lineup announcements for this year’s Just For Laughs Festival, presented by Videotron in association with Loto-Québec. Comprised of some of the biggest female names in comedy, living legends, hottest stars, and brightest emerging talents, this year’s lineup promises to be both the biggest and best in the Festival’s history.
Galas For The Ages. All Of Them.
Comedy’s past, present, and future will converge at this year’s Videotron JFL Galas presented by Air Canada, as four of the most important voices of the past half-century take to the stage at Place des Arts. Superstar Sarah Silverman brings her brilliant brand of scatological satire to host two all-star Galas, each featuring a completely different lineup jam-packed with her funniest friends, on July 27th.
Outgoing Saturday Night Live head writer and future king of Late Night Seth Meyers, meanwhile, will show off the scintillating humor that’s made him the golden boy of NBC comedy when he hosts his own Gala on July 24th. Reigning Queen of Comedy Joan Rivers will hold court over all the skinny bitches, male and female, taking dead aim at her crown in a July 27th Gala guaranteed to burn as almost as many bridges as Joan has over the course of her trailblazing, five-plus decade career.
And finally, globetrotting festival darling Eddie Izzard will touch down in his adopted home to kick off the Gala festivities on July 25th, when he hosts his very first showcase boasting the finest international acts from around the world, including special guest and French megastar Gad Elmaleh performing in English.
Talk Of The Fest
Quite possibly the best-kept secret of the entire Festival, Talk Of The Fest delivers Gala- caliber star power at club show prices. Featuring a different host every night, including Saturday Night Live lynchpins Taran Killam & Bobby Moynihan, and irreverent 30 Rock and Daily Show scene-stealer Kristen Schaal, the series showcases all of the Festival’s biggest breakout stars at Club Soda from July 23-26. And be sure to keep an eye on the completely redesigned hahaha.com over the coming weeks, as we announce more high-wattage hosts for this hidden gem of a show.
Amy Schumer At Metropolis
The brilliantly bawdy Amy Schumer, star of the breakout Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer, returns to JFL to deliver what will surely be one of the Festival’s most coveted concert performances at Metropolis on July 24th. With her brazen and brilliant approach to taboo subjects, the porcelain-faced, potty-mouthed comedienne is guaranteed to leave her audience in horrified hysterics, and begging for more.
A Tale Of Two Colins. And also a Brad
The iconic Gesù theatre will play host to two of the hottest tickets in all of comedy this summer, as Colin Quinn joins the long list of SNL alums at this year’s Festival with his latest offering, Unconstitutional. The former Weekend Update anchor gleefully courts controversy with his characteristically unfiltered takes on gun control, gay marriage, and more in his new show, which the New York Times hails as “fast, furious and funny,” from July 25-27.
Canadian improv legend Colin Mochrie, meanwhile, teams up with fellow coming back to primetime, Whose Line Is It Anyway vet Brad Sherwood for three nights of unscripted, unpredictable, and unforgettable improvised comedy in Colin & Brad from July 26th-28th. Fans tempted to choose between either show would do well to embrace the improv mantra of “yes, and” and just see both.
The Stars Align At L’Astral
Three of the hottest names in comedy will convene at L’Astral for a trio of highly anticipated solo performances. First, Chris Rock protégé Hannibal Buress, winner of last year’s JFL Rising Comedy Star Award winner, continues his meteoric rise to superstardom with an all-new offering on July 24th, before hosting Hip Hop Karaoke on July 25th.
Then, musical comedy sensation Bo Burnam, now starring on MTV’s new hit series Zack Stone Is Going To Be Famous, makes his triumphant return to the Festival that helped launch his career, from July 25th-26th. Nick Kroll, co-creator and star of Comedy Central’s breakout sketch hit Kroll Show, rounds out the powerhouse lineup with a one-man show on July 26th.
We’re Sensing A Theme Here...
With demand for our themed shows at unprecedented levels, the Festival is offering no fewer than seven premise-driven showcases to satisfy fans’ insatiable appetite.
First, the unstoppable juggernaut that is The Ethnic Show presented by The Gazette opens the 2013 season with eight installments of the Festival’s hottest-selling show at Club Soda from July 10th-13th, all hosted by This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ Shaun Majumder. Then, hot off his breakout performance at last year’s Festival, Godfrey returns to host a four-night run of our newest club show, Date Night: The Relationship Show at Club Soda from July 17-20th at 7 pm, before host Bobby Slayton and special guest Jimmy Carr lead a snarling pack of junkyard comics in to tear the place apart in
The Nasty Show those same nights at 9:30 pm, with special extra midnight shows July 19th-20th.
The Festival is also proud to announce that fans looking to get even closer to the action at any or all three Club Soda shows can now “Sit In The Pit”! An extra $50 gets you a private table right in front of the stage, VIP access to Club Soda, and a ninety percent chance of Bobby Slayton humping your leg. Okay, that last part isn’t true. It’s actually closer to ninety-five percent.
Now, you’d think so many offerings of our three club show staples would be enough to appease the relentless clamor for tickets. Not so, according to advance ticket sales, which is why the Festival is now announcing the addition of two extra Date Night shows, two extra Ethnic Shows presented by The Gazette, and four extra Nasty Shows at Metropolis from July 24th-27th in our latest attempts to quench Montreal’s powerful thirst for nasty, exotic love.
Over at L’Astral, the Festival’s newest club show, Le Bilingual Show, debuts on July 23rd. Hosted by Québecois superstar Mike Ward, the show boasts a lineup comprised of beloved Anglophone comedians performing in “la langue de Molière,” as well as some of the hottest Francophone vedettes cracking wise in the Queen’s English. And speaking of the Queen, Britcom, our annual showcase of the best in British comedy, and one of the Festival’s most successful shows of all time, moves to the more intimate confines of L’Astral to deliver more shows to its legion of loyal fans from July 24th-27th, all hosted by yet another former SNL star, American ex-pat now living in the U.K., Rich Hall.
Elsewhere, perennial favorite The Bar Mitzvah Show returns to cram nearly six thousand beautiful years of tradition, perseverance, and neurotic self-loathing into two shows at Théâtre Maisonneuve in Place des Arts, hosted by Elon Gold, on July 25th. Finally, Spank!, the smash hit, unauthorized 50 Shades Of Grey musical parody that’s played to packed houses and rave reviews across North America, steams up the Centaur Theatre for an extended, 12-show run from July 16-28. The hilarious send up of E.L. James runaway bestseller is even funnier than your awkward attempts to explain why you spend so much time alone with the actual book to your kids. Not to mention way less traumatic.
Oh Danny Bhoy, The Festival Is Calling...
One of the most beloved comedians in JFL history, Danny Bhoy, returns to this year’s Festival with his new solo show, Dear Epson. The Scottish superstar will bring his latest offering, which has already played to sold-out crowds and earned rave reviews in both New Zealand and Australia, to Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts, July 26th-27th.
Comedy’s answer to Off-Broadway, the Off-JFL series features the coolest, most relevant names in comedy performing full-length shows in some of the city’s most intimate and iconic venues, for only $20 per show, or two shows for $30.
Montreal’s home of alternative comedy, Theatre Ste-Catherine, welcomes its spiritual godmother, original Comedian Of Comedy Maria Bamford, back to its romantic, red- brick environs for a full week of shows from July 18th-24th. Then, Tig Notaro, whose raw, moving, and profoundly hilarious show Live was the single most talked about stand- up performance of the year, sets up shop for five shows from July 23rd-27th. You Made It Weird host Pete Holmes, meanwhile, whose Team Coco-produced late night show debuts on TBS this fall, will serve up three shows of his own from July 25th-27th. And then there’s Trevor Noah. If there’s one comedian who embodies the spirit of the Off-JFL series, it’s the South African superstar, who’s poised to explode across North America over the next 12 months. Catch him here first from July 18th-27th, so you can brag about discovering him before everyone else, like the comedy nerd you are.
Self-proclaimed World Champion Judah Friedlander headlines the GQ-proclaimed “coolest theater in North America,” with six shows at the MainLine from July 22nd-27th, while his 30 Rock co-stars Scott Adsit & John Lutz perform in the same venue from July 24th-27th. Writer, alt-comedy god, and metal-head Brian Posehn finds the perfect match for his dark, twisted sensibilities at Katacombes from July 24th-27th.
For full details, and a complete listing of all the performers appearing at comedy’s definitive tastemaking event, see the attached “Festival At A Glance” page.
Comedy fans looking to put their fingers on the pulse of the industry will find their lifeblood at this year’s ComicPro series. Stand-up legend and permanent zeitgeist resident Marc Maron, star of IFC’s new hit sitcom Maron, performs his all-new solo show in the 5e Salle at Place des Arts on July 27th.
Meanwhile, a new generation of comics looking to follow in his prodigious steps will all make their Festival debuts in the same venue, performing in a quintet of shows that shed a spotlight on comedy’s future. The world’s brightest emerging stand-ups will strut their stuff in The New Faces Of Comedy, The Homegrown Comedy Competition sponsored by Sirius XM, and Variety’s Ten Comics To Watch 2013, while their unrepresented peers will do the same in The New Faces Of Comedy: Unrepped. And with the impending exodus of stars from Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels’ team would do well to keep an eye on the sketch and improv talent on full display in The New Faces Of Comedy: Characters. In fact, with so many former cast members from the NBC late night dynasty already appearing at this year’s Festival, they could even start up a mentorship program!
Film buffs looking to beat the heat in the cool comfort of a movie theatre won’t want to miss the world premiere screening of Coffee Town on July 27th. Written and directed by Brad Copeland (Arrested Development) and starring Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), Steve Little (Eastbound & Down), and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), the movie is the first feature produced by leading comedy brand CollegeHumor.
Finally, Just For Laughs’ ComedyPRO (formerly the Comedy Conference) sponsored by Fonds de solidarité FTQ, our unique, annual global gathering of the biggest players in the industry. ComedyPRO explores all facets of comedy, and returns for its 6th year with its most comprehensive lineup ever.
Registrants for this one-of-a-kind, three-day conference will gain exclusive access to some of the most sought-after events in all of comedy: Colin Quinn’s Keynote Address; the Just For Laughs Awards Ceremony; industry luncheons and cocktail parties; and exclusive live performances of comedy’s buzziest podcasts, including The Todd Barry Podcast, Professor Blastoff, Mike Ward Is Full Of Shit, Fitzdog Radio, You Know What Dude with Robert Kelly, Ronna & Beverly, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, and of course, the king of all podcasts, WTF with Marc Maron.
ComedyPRO runs from July 25th-27th at the Hyatt Regency Montreal, but registration is already underway at www.hahaha.com/conference.
And that’s just the beginning. Stay tuned for more massive Festival announcements, including more superstar Gala hosts, and our full slate of 2013 Just For Laughs Award winners, coming up on June 5th!
THE 31st EDITION OF
THE JUST FOR LAUGHS FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY VIDEOTRON IN ASSOCIATION WITH LOTO-QUEBEC
English Shows July 10 – 28, 2013
For tickets by phone, online or in person:
The Just For Laughs Box Office, 514-845-2322, or hahaha.com presented by Videotron.
For the past several years, Loto-Québec’s has shown that it is committed to playing a major sponsorship role through its Rendez-vous Loto-Québec program, supporting events that offer considerable cultural and economic spin-offs throughout Québec. In addition to aiding 120 festivals across the province, this program brings together thousands of festival-goers for fun and celebrations,” said Lucie Lamoureux, Corporate Director of Sponsorships and Social Commitment at Loto-Québec.
The Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival would like to thank its public partners: Gouvernement du Québec, Government of Canada, Ville de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal.